Article of the Day: Alain de Botton on why we travel

Alain de Botton on why we travel

This article really resonated with me. Travel is such a unique experience. For me personally, it helps translate my passion for foreign cultures with the exhausting yet exhilarating experience of being in a completely unfamiliar place. Ultimately, I think the multi-sensory experience inherent to foreign travel is what makes it so amazing.

This article raises that point in an interesting way. Do we travel for a reason? I feel like the entire concept of “travel” has been hyper glamorized of late. But do the all-inclusive packages where you essentially sit in a resort with the same folks you see day in and day out really count? Perhaps if your specific goal is to experience comfort in a different scenery.

For me, travel is something different, perhaps something deeper. I don’t presume to be alone in this sentiment. In fact, I think the idea that travel is something highly personal – a literal voyage of personal discovery – is very in vogue at the moment. For that reason, maybe a form of travel that I do equate with having personal meaning holds just as much value to someone else as exploration does to me. Therein lies a fundamental beauty of travel that I think many of us (the author of this piece included) are all too fast to dismiss!

Still, why do we travel? I don’t think this article answers it fully – perhaps it doesn’t even scratch the surface. But I do think it takes an interesting lens through which to judge our decisions. Maybe, as the article states, we should orient our travel to help answer or address fundamental questions. In many ways, I think we all do: from the resort traveler to the errant backpacker. As long as we are being fulfilled in our choices, travel remains one of the most powerful ways to open ourselves to the richness of ideas present in our world. Perhaps that is truly where the beauty and uniqueness of travel lies!