Whether it’s a graduation trip, an anniversary celebration or a destination wedding, traveling has never been more popular than it is today.
The Information Age that we live in has bridged the world closer together with access to instantaneous news, photographs, and videos of foreign countries. Along with it, the idea to travel feels inescapable.
Financial institutions have teamed up with airlines to reward customers with flight gratuity like Air Miles. Marketers have cleverly enticed students to visit tropical resorts during prime times like Spring Break. As a result, major newspapers have no problem filling the Travel and Tourism section, and there is a growing number of travel bloggers.
Messages of the appeal and reward to travel are wove into your day-to-day.
Natural wonders of the world, scenic hikes, and sought after landmarks catch your eye on travel brochures and Trip Advisor. You add them to your bucket list and try to tick them off, like my friend Martin Bauman when he was last in Norway.
Once on the trip, your itinerary becomes the icebreaker for conversations which can lead to memorable adventures, and even lasting friendships.
While away your perspective can become more rounded and refined, but there are repercussions to traveling too. These might not fit the captions to your Instagram photos or get discussed when you return from a thrilling trip, but they are relevant.
As a tourist, you can escape reality. You never get an honest assessment of a destination because all you see are the high points. Aside from a mission or humanitarian trip, how many times have you sought out the poverty in a foreign city? You stray from the scuzzy, lowly parts of a town for fear that it will give you a bad taste.
The desire to travel again shortly after a trip is usually sparked out of a realization that there is more to the world than just your hometown, but it's also birthed out of a newfound freedom from responsibility. Your weekly work assignments and household chores get put on hold.
Rightfully so, the purpose of a vacation is to break from work and routine, but if you're not careful it can become the purpose of your life. Responsibilities seep through the cracks, and life becomes about chasing an imaginary dream, instead of what is tangibly in front of you.
Perhaps the most troubling part of travel is the absence from home. Not in the sense that you're 'homesick', but rather that the idea is less concrete.
You could set roots somewhere else, and that could be a better fit for you, but the more frequently you take off, the less likely you will be a part of an authentic community.
Keep travelling, keep blazing new trails, keep creating new ideas and meeting new people, but just remember what it costs you.