I just finished reading my “Best of Lonely Planet Travel Writing” book. And as I finished the last story, I wiped the tears from my eyes and had to concentrate on my breathing. And I remembered… this is why. This is why I want to do this.
Because through travel writing, you can take people on journeys with you. While reading that book, I was on the beach on Ascension Island with the writer watching a lunar eclipse and turtles laying their eggs. I was with another writer in Casablanca looking for an old friend and making new ones along the way. I was with yet another writer and his wife, settling into their new lives in Slovenia, completely different from what they expected, but OK at the same time.
As that last writer, Chris Colin, wrote:
“This is the essence of travel, or at least travel taken to completion: it’s not the change of scenery or the new way of preparing lamb – it’s you. You are lost to yourself, you don’t know who will emerge from the pit.”
And that…that is why. Why I want to travel. Why I want to write about my travels. Why I took the plunge and I’m taking the steps. That’s why. Not to see pretty places or get passport stamps. Not to avoid being tied down and to escape “the real world.” No, it’s none of that. It’s to get lost in the journey, to have life-changing experiences, to see the real real world, to find myself in a whole new way with each trip and each experience, never knowing what part of me is going to be awakened.
THAT is why.