Sunday, March 23, 2014

Why Do We Travel?

There is only one rationale behind the desire to travel. Oh, people have the darndest explanations about it, but they are all wrong. Nobody needs to travel to 'think', 'figure out their life', or to put a vacation to good use. You can 'think' just as well beneath your roof as you can beneath a star-filled night sky in the desert. Changing your job - or in many cases, getting one - is the answer to most problems of the second category. Vacations can be spent just as well checking off that bucket list of books to read and movies to watch that you never got to. Why, then, do we travel?
Simply put, it's built into our fundamental building blocks. For most of our evolutionary history, we were nomads; dependent upon the seasons for an address, and upon the benevolence of an often-cruel mother nature for sustenance.
Then one day, some lazy nut, who needed an excuse to avoid carrying his quota of rations to the next destination, pointed out that some of the seeds that he had clumsily spilled last month had sprouted, and would be edible in a short time. Agriculture quickly became the norm, aided by similar loafers all over the world, and the nomad was suppressed.
However, we humans have genetic memories that go back beyond agriculture. We also have a striking tendency to become bored. Could it be that the suppressed genetic information from nomadic times is conspiring with boredom to make us want to see more? To eat more? To hear more? To spread our wings and fly beyond the edge of our comfortable nest? Could it be that we humans have simply been too busy turning into sedentary blobs to properly forget what it felt like to have dangers in our path and uncertainty at the end of it?
Could it be that we only truly feel human when we expand our experiences: when we stretch the limits of sanity to levels hitherto unexplored, when we make a conscious, voluntary effort to escape our chrysalis?
That, according to a rambling, bike-riding lunatic, is the only reason why we travel!

1 comment:

  1. i always thought " why do we travel?" is a hard question to answer. finally found the answer.