It seems that Instagram and blogs are full of beautiful destinations, old buildings, quiet beaches, picturesque jungle treks. For some these are places on bucket lists and future travel itineraries, for others though, these are just pretty pictures that make nice backgrounds for your laptop. The latter was a realization I had only recently.
When I think of travel I think of the endless list of countries, cities, jungles, remote islands and beaches that seem to be calling my name. I love finding new places and trying new foods. I crave that feeling of not knowing and the ‘escape’.
For a very long time I naively thought that this was common for everyone and that the reasons for others not travelling was because of time, finances or even health reasons. Or maybe people just didn’t know what was out there!
But then after listening to some friends talk about what they want to do with their precious vacation time I was very shocked and humbled to learn that not everyone values travel in the same way I do. Some people are happy with simply going up north to a cabin or even just taking a week to hang out at home and see some things around their own town or city. They had no desire to sit on a plane for 10 hours to see another city. And you know what? That’s ok. Maybe their idea of ‘exploring’ is trying that new coffee shop that opened up around the corner. Or some people prefer going up north to camp. Do I want to go up north and live in a tent for fun? NOPE and I hope that people wouldn’t judge me for that. Just like us travelers shouldn’t judge the homebodies. And not only that but should realize that these home bodies are out there and our differences make the world more interesting.
My initial reaction however was shock. HOW could these people not want to explore Venice by gondola? Or wander through temples in Cambodia? Or sit on a beach in Thailand? Then I realized that they must be saying the same things about me. Why explore Venice by boat when there are beautiful lakes and rivers 30 minutes away? Why go all the way to Cambodia to see temples when you could learn about them through documentaries? Why not go to a local beach for an afternoon? I realized that those were all completely legitimate questions and reactions from both sides. I was too quick to judge. Just because something works for me doesn’t mean it will work for everyone. Just like we all like different books and clothing, why should exploring be any different.
So, whether you’re a self proclaimed globetrotter or wanderluster or if you’re a staycation person or however you want to define “travel”; exploring your world around you is so important. It doesn’t matter how far away you go but even just an afternoon trip out of the city (or to the city!) can really open your eyes and help you to see things in a new way. Seeing how other people live, admiring a new scenic lookout point, trying new foods, are all ways you can expand your horizons and try to understand life beyond your bubble.
And always remember that everyone’s journey is different. You can’t judge people for the way they wish to explore and especially don’t judge yourself. Just remember to always keep exploring and seeing new things. Either close to home or far away.