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Why do you travel?
Its a question I’m sometimes asked – by neighborss, by friends, by strangers sitting next to me on airplanes, by the man across from the table from me on a first date..
Why do you travel?
It seems like such an easy question to answer – and yet one that I have no easy answer for, at least not one that is honest.
As some of you read this site for the first time (either thanks to BoardingArea.com featuring the site or via a weblink on a travel forum or because you stumbled across this on an internet search while looking for something entirely different), I thought I might try to address that question.
Why do I travel?
There is the easy answer… my career is in management consulting.
If you’ve seen House of Lies or worked for an entity that hires consultants then you probably know we tend to travel in from places outside the immediate local realm. (There’s a line a former colleague used to use about how a consultant’s sole qualifiations consisted of living more than 50 miles away and having a fresh shine on his shoes. I should note that he no longer works in consulting.) Management consultants tend to travel a lot. They also tend to talk about frequent travel programs a lot. I try to keep my lips sealed in those conversations… if they don’t already know about my website, I need not draw attention to myself.
But the career isn’t it.
That may perhaps be it.
I have always enjoyed getting lost. When I learned to drive, I’d often burn a half tank of gas just driving further than I’d driven before, meandering down a road not previously taken, exploring an unbeaten path.
Experiencing new cultures.
I enjoy that. In fact, I don’t always travel for “activities” but rather just to experience a change of scenery.
I’ve wandered to some interesting places, from the former Soviet Union when I was still a teenager to volcanos and ancient ruins in Asia and South America to some of the classic cities of the world. I’ve visited 47.5 (yes, .5) US states and 60 countries. And I’ve barely started on my bucket list as I eyeball places like Antarctica and remote islands for future travels.
Then there is the joy of meeting others.
I’m wrapping up a 16 night transatlantic crossing this week – my 10th cruise (totaling 83 nights) in the last 3 years. That doesn’t count my other leisure travels across 3 continenr the 50%+ time on the road every year in that same time period.
Or there is the volunteer angle with the 6 to 8 weekends a year that I leave for activities related to my various volunteer pursuits.
And maybe I just like returning home.
You’ll note that my site is called the Jetsetter’s Homestead. It’s here that I write about the intersection of my travel and home life, whether that is finding work/life balance, spending time in my kitchen, or experiencing a new city. If you are accustomed to reading points and miles sites, there are a couple of things you won’t find here – credit card offers and manufactured spending techniques. You also won’t find me insisting that you need to spend excess time in airline lounges or complaining about changes to frequent travel programs.
In the meantime, if you’ve made it this far, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Why do YOU travel?