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There are two kinds of traveller

This post has been my thoughts for a few weeks. Something that I have wanted to post after recent conversations, and from the people I have met in the last 12 months. Ironically I was going to post it a couple of days back, however due to a bout of anxiety I put it off and stayed away from my blog for a couple days.

There is, from my travelling experience, two types of traveller. This opinion was formed from my experiences as I make my way around the places I have been fortunate enough to visit, and from speaking to people of all walks of life on these journeys. It has really helped me to understand why people travel and that travel isn’t always about having fun in the sun.

The first kind of traveller can be split into two groups. These are business and leisure travellers.

Those wanting to learn.

These are people eager to travel. The ones that are hungry for adventure or personal development. Someone wanting to expand their horizons, become more confident and learn about new cultures. It could also be someone travelling with work, wanting to develop in their career and travelling is a requirement in the role. The common link between the two is that travelling is the gateway to development and new experiences. The learning aspect that drives them to board that plane.

marten-bjork-556557-unsplash

But these aren’t the only people that travel. It isn’t always with high ambitions and the pursuit of fun. In fact, it is quite the opposite.

The escape of pain and misery.

Not everyone that heads to the airport does so with a giant smile on their face as they hand over the passport. Despite the Facebook feed being flooded with messages from family stating how jealous they are, with those all too common ‘is there room in your suitcase for me!?‘ comments, spending a week, or month or even a year abroad isn’t always a guarantee for happiness.

It certainly is an escape from the norm. However what that ‘norm’ is exactly largely determines why that person is travelling. A relatively comfortable existence often results in boredom and the need for adventure. Leaving a boring routine, but not necessarily a miserable life. But for some- and sadly, a fairly large percentage of people- travel is a way to escape. Whether this escape is from people, a place or even themselves, travel is used as a distraction.

I have realised this as I meet new people. Some backpackers have left poisonous relationships or family members. Some have suffered losses of close family or friends and needed to take a break from the pressures of life back home. Some have terminal illnesses and this may be the last time they get to see certain places they have had on the bucket list. The last one in particular hit me hard not too long ago as I checked in a couple into a hotel in Sydney. I asked rather merrily what their reasons for visiting were and the husband stated that his wife was terminally ill and this would be one of their last trips together. I would have had no idea as she looked relatively healthy as she stood there whilst I went through the check in process, and no training can prepare you for such an answer. I decided not to show too much emotion, acknowledged what was said and assured them a great stay with us, and that we would be here 24/7 if they needed anything during their stay. A quick check in, I felt they did not need a reminder of how tragic this situation is for them and their loved ones.

This was just one example of the sad reality of life, and the troubles we all face day to day. Whether it is depression that makes someone feel the need to escape their thoughts and find a way to try and stimulate themselves outside the 9-5, or wanting some alone time to take in some recent news, the view outside of the airplane window isn’t always met with excitement. It can be another chance to escape some kind of suffering.

I would put myself in both of these categories. Since I left the UK for the USA in 2010 on my first trip abroad alone, I have always desired for more travel. I made so many lifetime friends, gained confidence and learned that alone time is great. But then in 2013, my dad died. After this I was drained of any motivation to travel, however I realised that travel helped to keep depression and anxiety at bay with so many new experiences on a daily basis. The motivation to get up and do things can be difficult after such a loss, but because I new what travel was like prior to this, I realised it would be a remedy and a positive distraction from the negative feelings.

I know there are people out there that will benefit from this. Not to forget such an event, but to make the most of the time we have and get out and explore. Knowing so many others are going through similar things, knowing we aren’t alone and having new conversations with new people about similar experiences can be a great therapy. Travel isn’t always filled with happy people smiling 24/7 like their social media portrays. It is a mix of all kinds of people travelling for many different reasons.

And with this, what is your reasons for travelling?


Featured Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash


 

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27 replies »

    • Oh it can end in that, but it is a risk I am willing to take. I am a sensible traveller 😉

      And that is a great reason to travel. With no clear aim and relaxing gives plenty of time for ideas and finding out what you want 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love this post! Mine was the breakdown of a marriage and again a need to escape. I actually just wrote about it on my latest blog. I’d always wanted to travel but this kick-started it and made me live my life to the fullest. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great read!
    I travel for different reasons. I travel because I want to explore new places and stuff. I travelled once because of a heartbreak. Recently, I travelled because I feel drained from work and humans! 😉😅

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, yes it was very sad but a reminder to live this life whilst we can. Learning and trying new things for me is a necessity whilst I am here, I am glad we agree on this!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have almost always traveled for vacation, to see family on holidays, and for work. A couple of funerals and weddings.

    I enjoy traveling alone (my trips to Noir City fall into that category).

    Not sure I have ever traveled to escape my life–though one could argue that is what a vacation is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess a vacation can be classed as an escape in general… it just depends on what from. I know the majority of people in the UK do it to escape the weather!

      If you get to travel to visit family, that’s great. I don’t have many relatives in close proximity, so it was always a great excuse for a road trip. Like you said, funerals too. Not so fun, but often an opportunity to reunite with the family you may not have seen for a while. Weddings the same, just with a happier environment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I travel for work but within that schedule, I travel with a specific destination each day, one that is for myself. Having suffered significant losses, over several years, as I grow older I’ve realised one cannot run away, one runs towards life.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I love learning about new cultures I just hate travelling altogether.
    No that’s wrong. I hate the inconvenience of travelling, the long plane trips , the strange beds hence I always go 4 stars to ensure comforts, the dangers not knowing where is safe?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know exactly what you mean. I am always nervous before a flight but I love the experience of flying, once I am settled with a beer and the entertainment on long haul flights. I have never stayed in a hostel until I landed in Australia and never wanted to. But I have realised that even hostels are very safe and I haven’t encountered any issues myself. Certain places can be dangerous, and I haven’t ventured anywhere that is considered a danger. This is something that would concern me throughout the holiday if I went somewhere that wasn’t recommended.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s how I think, and a reason why I am travelling right now. I think it is a way of thinking that truly reminds us that time is limited and that we should make the most of it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your words of support. I find travelling to be full of both kinds of experiences, however both kinds of experiences can help us grow and develop.

      Thank you for sharing and I am pleased we are interested in similar things 🙂

      Like

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