Man standing on edge of mountain

I was recently asked by Lauren Rains, the founder of Outdoor Minded Mag and The Mad to Live, to write 150 words on ‘Why I Travel’ along with seven other travel enthusiasts. Here’s what I wrote…

“For me, travel is not so much about voyages to strange and distant lands, but a state of mind. I therefore remind myself to travel frequently – to wander, to explore, to discover – each and every day, both near and far.

Travel is an opportunity to break outside of the artificial world we can often create for ourselves at home, engulfed by technology and our too comfortable home surroundings. Travel allows us to get back to what is real – to experience the natural environment, to engage with authentic people and cultures, and remind ourselves of those who have journeyed before us.

So wherever I find myself, I will be continually wandering, constantly exploring, always striving to discover…”

My own thoughts originate very much from my desire to encourage people to make the most of where they live by getting outside and exploring, even starting from their own front door. But you can read the full article including the very different offerings of seven “world-traveling, life-inspiring, dream-pursuing, do-ers” here.

So why do you travel? I’d love to hear your thoughts. What are your travel / expedition / adventure plans?

About Jon Maiden

Founder of Goalvanise which enables people to create their Life List online, and inspires and supports them to achieve their life goals. Check out the Goalvanise blog here or my personal blog here.

14 responses »

  1. wanderoneday says:

    I travel because I can’t bring myself to be content with knowing only what I already know. I’m planning a trip to Europe with my mom next year – not only because I want to know more about Europe (I’ve never been there) – but also because I want to know more about my mom. She won’t be around forever and I need to take the time to know her better outside of our normal circumstances.

    • Jon Maiden says:

      Absolutely. I think I learned far more quickly and richly during my travels than at any other time in my life. I often give talks to students and speak of the immeasurable value of travel in developing yourself personally and, in some ways, professionally.

      I’ve just checked out your blog and it looks like you’re having an exciting time planning for your travels around Europe. So many great places to visit in Europe whether you’re interested in culture, architecture, history or the natural environment. Let me know if you would like any tips. I look forward to following your adventure!

      • wanderoneday says:

        Thanks! I am looking forward to planning for Europe. I think planning is half the fun of going, because you can brainstorm so many different possibilities. We are definitely excited for some semi-natural sights, like the gardens at Giverny… but also are looking forward to the architecture and art (my mom is an amazing artist so she’ll really appreciate some of the museums).

        I’m actually trying to find some sort of public works/engineer marvels (I’m an engineer) – any suggestions on those? The train system itself is somewhat impressive compared to the US, but I’m wondering about any ancient engineering works as well. I’ve only just started looking, so I’m sure I’ll find something eventually!

  2. Jon Maiden says:

    Wow that’s an interesting question. I’m sure they’re will be plenty of great engineering works in Europe. The Millau Viaduct springs to mind – it’s meant to be one of the world’s most beautiful roads/bridges. Or Transfagarasan in Romania got voted the worlds best road by Top Gear. The London underground (as much as I despise it) is certainly an engineering masterpiece. Possibly even the Thames Barrier in London too. A friend has suggested the Transporter Bridges in Middlesborough (northern England). And if you come to England you’ve obviously got to pass through the Channel Tunnel! Anyway, I’ve put a request out on Facebook so will let you know what comes back. Happy planning in the meantime!

  3. Jon Maiden says:

    Ok, this is fun! Other suggestions are flooding in (this could end up being a blog post!). We have:

    – Segovia Roman aquaduct in Spain, or Nimes (there are other Roman aquaducts)
    – CERN’s Large Hadron Collider and Jungfraujoch train station in Switzerland
    – Delta and Zuiderzee Works in Netherlands + the Dutch podlers
    – Iron Bridge and Clifton Suspension Bridge in England
    – MareNostrum supercomputer in Barcelona (in a church!)
    – WWII tunnels (best in the Swiss Alps and Gibraltar apparently)
    – Labirintus in Budapest, Hungary
    – Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Colosseum, plus Venice in Italy
    – Wieliczka Salt Mine in Poland (look it up – it’s amazing!)

    Hope this helps!

    • wanderoneday says:

      This wonderful! Thanks for drawing on your network to help me out. Since part of our trip will definitely be through Poland, I’ll have to check out the salt mine for sure. But I had never even heard of some of those other ones, so I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the help!

      • Jon Maiden says:

        Don’t give my friends too much credit. Kylie Minogue’s bottom was also offered up as an engineering marvel!

        It won’t be the most pleasant experience of your life but if you’re in Poland you really must visit Auschwitz and Birkenau. A harrowing experience and you’ll only understand why you must go after you have gone. On a lighter note, Krakow is really beautiful – as are the Tatra mountains.

        Happy planning!

  4. Lauren Rains says:

    Hey Jon! Thanks for spreading the world about the Why I Travel post! I am so much on the same page as you – I feel like you’ve written my very own thoughts!

    When are you going to get yourself out to Colorado, USA and go on some adventures with me?!

    I’m going to be in Europe at this time next year to do the Camino de Santiago, and I may just need to stop by England for a few days and go on a few microadventures with you!

    Talk soon!
    – Lauren 🙂

    • Jon Maiden says:

      Hi Lauren,

      Yes it’d be great to meet up for an adventure somewhere, sometime! Always good to meet like-minded people. Keep me updated on your travel plans for the Camino de Santiago – could be tempted with a stretch of that. Otherwise England has plenty to offer. No plans to go over to the US anytime soon, but you never know…

      Talk more soon,

  5. Breaking free from our artificial worlds we create is a big reason why I travel as well. Sometimes travelling is less about being in far off corners of the world and more about being present minded and out of your comfort zone and routines.

    • Jon Maiden says:

      Absolutely! You’ve said it better than I managed to. “Being present minded” is a great phrase. As well as my microadventures, my ‘photo a day’ challenge has actually helped me do this much better too. Just about to post the final month of photos now. But it’s certainly made me look at the world in a different way – continually looking for new and interesting things even if it’s just in my own neighbourhood…

  6. Sony Fugaban says:

    I travel to read several pages of St. Augustine’s proverbial book. I don’t want to read just one page. Every travel has a story and I want to share it to the world.

    I don’t believe that we have to be super famous to do get the privilege of traveling or that an ordinary man’s voice doesn’t matter. But, I do believe that all of us has stories to share and one way or the other, there will always be someone who can relate to them; there will always be someone who can learn from them.

    I also travel to promote the pulchritude of my country. That is, to let people around the world that it’s more fun in the Philippines. However it may be, I am not closing my door for that opportunity to land to other countries too and feature the same here. Glad to say that already happened when I braved the Middle East last April 2012 for a greener pasture so to say.

    I’d like to give you a glimpse of what I learned(so far). I discovered that most of what Filipino returnees say about Arab people are not true. Some are not even close to it.
    Being here for the timebeing did erase the fear (not to mention bad impression) I have about Arabs and I am still yet to know more.

    …All because of the love of traveling.

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