For a little kid who once got paddled in school for not being able to point out all the states on the map, (still mentally scarred because of it) you wouldn’t think traveling the world would be high on my list of priorities. At one point, traveling wasn’t important to me at all.

Then one day, by a number of random choices, I found myself on a plane on my way to the best places to visit in Ireland. That day my world got flipped upside down. As soon as I saw Ireland, I felt something inside me change. (I swear it wasn’t the airline’s three course dinner of something that vaguely resembled chicken) I felt a powerful curiosity inside me wake up, and I knew I was a traveler.
At that point, I didn’t know where life was leading me; (I still don’t) I didn’t know where I would be in five years; (hopefully still traveling), but I did know that traveling jumped right to the top of my bucket list. That day a new world opened up, and the backpacker in me was born. Since then I have backpacked Europe countless times. I’ve traveled all over Italy, and dozens of other European countries.

I often get asked what drives me to travel so much. The best description I have is a radio interview I heard with a famous British theater actor. (I forget his name) In the interview, he told how one night after he got off stage, a man came up to him and went on and on about how much he wanted to act.
The famous play actor thought for a minute then said, “If you want to act don’t.” Then meeting the man’s gaze, he said, “Only become an actor if you need to act”. I’m not saying only travel if you need to, but for me, that story sums up why I travel. I need to. And here are a few reason why. I have always had more than my fair share of curiosity and overwhelmingly so when it comes to traveling.
Just the thought of all the adventures, or misadventures, that await me around the world throws me into a frenzy of excitement. I can’t bear the thought of not knowing what is over the next horizon, what lies through the next door of an ancient building, or what it’s like camel treeking in Morocco.
Here are some reasons on why I have to travel the world 

Becuase I’m Restless

Curiosity and restlessness make an awesome combination if you love to travel. Where curiosity leaves you wondering what’s over the next horizon, restlessness gives you the drive to find out.
Even as a kid, I wasn’t able to sit still. I always had to move. Perhaps I was afraid that if I’d stop, I would miss out on something amazing.
Now, as an adult, my restlessness kicks in after four or five months. So this challenge of sitting in the same place, saving for twenty-two months straight, to start this new life has taught me patience, perseverance, and endurance. All good qualities to have right? But I’m still ready to travel.

Travel is Freedom

I am ready to move, explore, and have random adventures on the road. When you travel, there are no meetings you are late for, no set schedules you have to keep, or deadlines you rush to meet. Traveling allows you to step back, take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy each moment for what it is. You live on your own terms and at your own pace.
Life feels fuller when those everyday distractions are gone, that’s what traveling has done for me. Traveling has shown me who I am, and the person I aspire to be.
On my first solo trip, my journal began with this simple line. “I am a puzzle, and as I experience more countries, sights, and cultures, I am finding more pieces of the puzzle.” I travel, because if I didn’t, I would not only be denying the part of me I love the most, but denying the person I want to become.
From the first time I traveled, the backpacker in me woke up, and it changed my life forever. I don’t know where the road will lead tomorrow, but I am ready to shoulder my backpack and find out.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Becki Orth says

    Great post, Stephen! My first big trip was actually this year, going to Puerto Rico, and that’s when the traveling seed was really planted. The world is so large, and I can’t just sit in Wisconsin forever, I need to go explore. Every point you stated is exactly how I feel, I can’t wait to get out there next year for our RTW trip starting in Ireland! Can’t wait to read more of your posts! 🙂

    • Stephen says

      Yeah want you get the travel bug you can’t really get over it. For me I couldn’t go back to life at home when there was so much I hadn’t seen. Glad you enjoyed it. Look forward to reading your post as well.

    • Jessica says

      Must say I like Irish tourists havnig worked at Internet cafes for a few years I got to meet tourists often and I never met an Irish touristy backpacker type I didn’t get on with. The worst type were German girls who were damn cheap followed by british girls lastly American girls. They just seemed more uptight and in a hurry and a bit bitchy but that’s just my experience no offense meant

    • Stephen says

      haha I know Freya everytime I think I make a small dint in the world, I discover a million more things I have to do.

  2. Jamie says

    I hope that your curiosity continues and you keep exploring the world. I too feel a great curiosity and sometimes wonder if it will ever stop. If it stopped, I have no idea what it could possibly be replaced with, as the feeling is rather overwhelming.

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