Why Do We Travel?

Interactive Content Director
Published 1/21/14
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A couple of weeks ago, we here at Miles were asked to share our funniest travel story in 100 words or less. Immediately a half-dozen came to mind, including the time we were in the Rockies and my dad caught me scooping snow into my hand and eating it – and proceeded to film me for a solid two minutes. (What can I say? I grew up in the South.)

The hard part wasn’t coming up with a funny story; the hard part was telling it in 100 words. I could’ve spent 1,000 words waxing poetic on how the fresh white powder reminded me of a New Orleans snowball, with the just-right consistency of shaved ice that makes it downright fluffy. I wanted to go on and on about how “wrong” it felt to be wearing jackets in June, and then segue into the rest of our trip – a weeklong journey that took us from Albuquerque to Denver.

Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

Which got me thinking (always a dangerous thing): Why do we travel?

A Google search brings up about a billion possible answers, including several quotes that are far too philosophical for my simple mind:

  • The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Augustine of Hippo
  • “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

Well, ok. I can get behind that last one. I know why I travel – to make memories. Traveling, either to a new-to-me destination or someplace I could navigate in my sleep, lets me switch up my routine, forget about my daily stresses and live in the moment, whether that’s bundling up on a freezing morning to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person or sipping a frozen cocktail poolside while my husband and son splash nearby. I get to reconnect with loved ones (and, often, myself), learn something new and feel like a kid again. And that’s just the icing on the cake – or the syrup on the snowball.

We want to know: Why do you travel?