Why do we travel?

My boyfriend and I are planning to go to travel this week. Both of us love travelling. I have been travelling almost always in my life.

When I was a child, my parents would take me to lots of places in Japan, I began travelling alone at the age of 16 and started backpacking to go abroad since 18 years old. No matter inside or outside of Japan, travelling has been always a part of my life.

Some people say, now that you can see everything through the internet, even the other side of the earth, why do we have to bring yourself to those places? This question sounds to me as stupid as the one, “why do you learn English, now that translation tools are so well-developed?”

It is true that you can easily watch what is going on in other countries and cities, just sitting on a cosy sofa in your room. You don’t have to go through annoying immigrations with heavy bags, or muddy bumpy roads in crapy pick-up tracks. But travelling is not only seeing beautiful scenery or visiting UNESCO registered historical sites. It’s much more than that.

Each traveller has a different purpose in travelling. In my case, I like meeting and watching people while I travel around. That’s why I prefer to be in cities or villages rather than in nature. I love to know how their normal lives are there, how they live, work, commute, eat, and I also like to listen to what they think of life.

My grandfather bought me a set of encyclopedia which contained 12 heavy hard-covered books when I was 6 years old. Some of my favourite pages in it are about races and tribes in the world. When I opened the book, I always read those pages, and I knew that there are different people on this planet who are living in different houses and their lifestyle. I couldn’t stop myself to imagine how their lives would be there.

People upload lots of pictures and videos on their trips, some of which really are gorgeous and entertaining. Yet you can’t smell the stinky garbage bins behind the five-star hotels, can’t be irritated by the noise in a metro train packed with full of people who are individually talking on their mobile phones, and can’t be soaking wet by a sudden shower in tropics, either.

People take photos and movies when travelling. But there are much more things exactly happening than those. And sometimes, the most beautiful piece is impossible to get shot.

I go travelling, even though it is time and energy-consuming because I can meet the people who I would otherwise never bump into, I can feel the wet and hot wind on my face which I would otherwise never be blown.

I do travelling in order to get myself exposed to a different world, hoping that I could pour the essence of my travel experience into my creative writing.