Why Do We Travel?

**I wrote this during my last few days in California. I have since relocated to the East Coast and will soon be discussing how the move has gone**

The majority of my day today was spent running around with my mom, purchasing last minute items I was in need of before my move to Washington DC. Ordinary things that I never bother to buy myself, like shoes or new sheets, the kind of stuff your mom (or at least my mom) likes to nag about.

The day wrapped up with me purchasing a new piece of luggage because mine was beyond repair after having been lugged around the cobblestone streets of Europe and stuffed to the point that I once pulled a muscle while picking it up.

Moving to Washington DC has become this bittersweet event in my life, because while I love the idea of being back in the city and working on completing my masters degree, I have to leave everything behind once again to be happy. And that's me being completely honest, I am utterly unhappy when I'm home. Or anywhere for longer than a year for that matter. 

I'm not sure where my need to constantly be on the move stems from. I had a pretty stable childhood, we didn't move constantly from home to home and grew up in the same town my whole life. Yet when it came to choosing a university to complete my undegraduate degree in, my only criteria was how many miles I could put between myself and home. 

Four hundred miles away wasn't enough apparently because I eventually decided to study abroad, and then I grew bored of England and decided to spend weeks backpacking. Coming back from the UK to my small college town felt like a death sentence, and I can distinctly remember crying the entire flight across the Atlantic Ocean, just wishing didn't have to come back to California. 

I eventually escaped California by taking part in an internship program in Washington DC, and in those months I fell in love with the feeling of truly living in a city. 

I don't travel for the photo opportunities, the chance to learn about new cultures and definitely not for the food. When I took a moment to think about it today I realized I travel for that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when your plane lands. That feeling of uneasiness when you're not sure which way is baggage claim, you're anxious that the directions to the hotel you printed out ahead of time won't help you get any less lost, and you cant for the life of you find anyone who seems approachable enough to ask for help. 

My favorite feeling in the world is moving somewhere completely new, having to learn the quickest walk home, the way the aisles in the grocery store are organized, and adapting to the new weather. Eventually though that feeling of newness fades away, and I'm left wishing I could just pack up again and start a life somewhere new. 

Have any of you traveled somewhere new for an extended period of time, and if you, for what purpose? 

1 comment

  1. What an interesting perspective! I love to travel because I learn so much, step out of my comfort zone and try new things, and get to know this crazy world we're in a little better. I hope your move went well!