Often times, I get asked my reasoning for selling everything I owned, (which happened to not be much) and leaving the country with no plans of coming back. Before I left, I thought I knew the answer to that question. Now, I’m not so sure.
I wanted to see the world. That has been a dream of mine for a very long time. So, I guess you could say that I am fulfilling one of my reasons. However, beyond that, the line becomes gray. Being homeschooled my entire life, I only got one perspective on a lot of the world. American, Christian, conservative, and filtered information was it. At first, ,my reasoning was that I wanted to break out of this, go to the extreme opposite and soak in every bit of culture and new experience that I could. After a couple of months of traveling, it slowly began to morph into something different, something I can still not entirely put my finger on.
People are the same no matter where you are in the world. Some are silly, some are serious, some have had rough lives, some have had easier lives. Some people are complacent with the status quo, and some want to change it. There are kind, loving people and also the people one would not consider friends. The difference lies only in the definition of what those terms mean to an individual. Traveling has somewhat become my dictionary.
I still want to gain new perspectives during my travels, but that being the sole reason for traveling seems a bit linear and simple now. If one goes right back to the life they left, only with new perspectives in tow, were they really worth gaining? A piece of knowledge that goes unused is useless.
In the end, if you travel with a specific purpose, I don’t believe you are doing yourself any good.That purpose will come to you as you let go of all stereotypes, all need of “comfort” and all judgments you might pass on any person on the planet. I am not better, my culture is not better. Every where I go, I know I can learn something from every individual I encounter, remember it, use it, and incorporate it into my life to enrich the lives of the people I encounter along my journey.
I travel to clear the haze from my eyes that led me to believe that, sitting in my living room in Atlanta, Georgia, I knew exactly what travel truly is.