An Ode to Travel

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”
– Bill Bryson

The alarm clock sounds and I find myself hitting snooze once or twice more than usual. I’m not much of a morning person to begin with, but I feel especially unmotivated on my first day back from a trip. It’s funny, just a few days ago I would have given up almost anything to slow down the clock and now that I’m heading back to work, I would give up almost anything to speed it up again. It’s not all bad; the drag of getting back into the swing of things lets me know that I had a really great time traveling, which in turn drives me to plan the next trip.

Escaping my morning commute, the repetitiveness of my job, the bills, cleaning my apartment, and life, are just a few of the great things to love about traveling – but not the only things.

I love to see something as majestic as the Swiss Alps, as poignant as Omaha Beach, or as silly as a Scottish street named “Butts Wynd,” for the first time and to see it for myself. These have left permanent and powerful impressions.

The people we meet along the way have just as powerful of an effect. Between exchanging travel tips and horror stories over stale bread and jam for breakfast at the hostel, discovering the city nightlife, missing trains together, hiking a volcano, riding a dusty chicken bus; without the people we have met, some experiences would have been infinitely different. While many are temporary acquaintances, some become lifelong friends who were part of a memorable time in your life.

Finally, I love the carefree person I become; open to any experience or person that comes my way. It is refreshing to “disconnect” from everyday distractions (hello, Facebook) that keep me from focusing on my own interests. Travel forces you to grow as a person; you are continually learning, testing your limits and adding new experiences to your life repertoire. With every travel experience I’ve had, I have always returned home with a fresh and positive perspective on my life. I credit travel for molding me into the person I am today, independent and always up for a new challenging experience.

These are the things we dream about in between the last trip and the next one, the beautiful mountain peaks, the unbelievable architecture, and the cute Polish guy on the bus that liked Kate – why didn’t we meet up with him later? I bet he had friends…Whatever the experience, travel has become a huge part of our lives. When not backpacking or exploring a new country, we are either daydreaming about previous adventures or planning the next trip.

But I digress, back to work, so that dreams of going back can become a reality

So now we ask you, our fellow Go Girls: Why do you travel?