Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
That was one of my favorite story books as a child, and if I had to trace my seemingly insatiable wanderlust to anything, that’s probably where it all started. The idea of chasing new places and going on heart-pounding adventures has always appealed to me. In my younger days, you could find me in a pith helmet skulking around the backyard as if I were an explorer in Africa trying to hide from ferocious lions.
Today, my desire to travel has taken on less lofty realities but it is just as engaging and rewarding as I expected it to be as a child. As of this date, I’ve been all around North America and even set foot in a few places around Asia. The bottom line here is that I’m no stranger to travelling, especially by plane.
Once you have a few 13 hour flights under your belt, the rest seems almost easy in comparison. It’s tested all of my survival skills and I’ve seen just how adaptable I am to change, as well as stressful situations. A confrontation with a marketplace vendor in Thailand almost turned sour until I was able to defuse the situation with a little charm and a few words in the local tongue, and a fistful of dollars, of course. There’s an absolutely dizzying amount of reasons why I find travel to be addicting, and I want to share those with you today.
A Chance To See Stunning Vistas
No matter how beautiful where you live may be, there’s always something beautiful about a change of pace. In fact, I often think about how people who live their daily lives in the places I’m visiting would probably be mystified by the scenery of the very place I departed from. That’s a realization I’ve always found to be entertaining, to say the least. We’re hard being to satisfy, that’s for sure. There’s a saying I found on a t-shirt and it very quickly became my favorite t-shirt of all. The saying is, “A mile of road can take you a mile, but a mile of runway can take you anywhere.”
I’ve always identified heavily with that quote. I’ve been on road trips, and the rate at which scenery changes is typically pretty small, to say the least. Maybe it’s just the North American in me talking, but I find it to be true. Whereas whenever I step onto a plane, I know it’s just one mile of runway until I’m jetting off to a picturesque paradise that I hope my imagination hasn’t overhyped too much. There’s a lot of freedom involved with being able to go anywhere on a plane, and I enjoy it every time I take flight.
Meet New People
The sheer range of the human experience always leaves me lost for words. In my home country, I sometimes find people stuck in a rut with all of the stressors of modern life. But in other countries, I’ve found people who have much less and lead lives that would seem much harder on paper, but their outlook on their life situation just leads to a different point of view. I soak up these different perspectives like a sponge and constantly add and remove my favorite perspectives from my total life outlook. That’s just the locals, don’t even get me started on other people like me!
My frequent stays in hostels and hotels have led me to met such a diverse group of people that I had no idea existed. From the near-broke UK backpackers to the burnt-out businessmen in the hotel bar, everybody has a story to tell and each is more riveting than the last. I won’t like, some people are absolute dullards, but there’s something to be learned from them as well, even if it’s what not to do.
As much as my plane travelling has brought me to beautiful places, the most beautiful things I’ve ever had the chance to experience time and time again are the people. It is what makes travelling truly worth it in my experience, as even the most breathtaking vistas and stunning waterfalls are made all the much better with someone at your side to pat you on the back and say, “Hey, that looks pretty cool, doesn’t it?’ Our shared experiences that bring us together is what really matters in this life, in my opinion.
Take On Exciting New Cultures
Flying to Asia had to be one of the biggest eye openers for me when it came to learning just how different a society can be from my own. Some people might consider this an offshoot of my earlier point, but I beg to differ. The last point focused on individuals, this point is about the whole. When you walk around a new place, you can practically feel the difference in societal pressures in the air. If you aren’t able to, you’ll be able to notice it in other ways. How people greet strangers, or how their buildings and streets are laid out. Not to mention their choices in clothing.
All of these reflect much bigger, more abstract concepts that are more difficult to put your finger on, but you definitely know they are there. All of these individual differences come together to make a vastly different lifestyle, even though we still all breathe, eat, and, well, you know, the same. We definitely are more similar than we are different, but man are we different sometimes.
I hope my experiences getting on a plane and travelling thousands of miles away from the safety of my hometown, friends, and family can be insightful to you. My experiences have certainly made me a much more well rounded person overall, and I hope one day everybody has the experience to travel far and wide. I could drone on forever about what makes travelling just so fantastic, but then I would probably miss my next flight.
Best of luck to all of you, and may your mile of runway take you where you need to go!