The Personal Meaning of Travel

By Nomadic Matt | Published September 23rd, 2011

Travel means something different to every person in the world. People may have similar reasons for traveling, but they are always just a little different than the next traveler. To me, travel is about freedom. It’s about being able to do anything anytime of the day, any day of the week. I wanted the freedom that I felt I couldn’t get working in an office. But I wondered what motivates other people to get up, quit their jobs, and travel the world.

So I asked.

And here is what people said:

comments 20 Comments

Awesome video! Nice to see Brook Silva-Braga (director of the backpacking documentary “A Map for Saturday”) and Rolf Potts (author of “Vagabonding”) pop up to share their thoughts.

For me, travel is simply about feeling alive. All your senses are heightened when you’re on the road: taste, smell, sight, and sound. All your adventures become 10 times more story-worthy because they start with, “When I was in . . . ” You realize the endless possibilities of life in new places, with different people. Travel is life in high-definition; any other life is black-and-white.

Like the video said. all of the above. get out of your comfort zone.

Well I haven’t figured out how to chuck everything and live the full time life as a traveler yet however I do enjoy the ability to travel more than most. When I travel I do usually see a few “must see” sights but then I spend the majority of my time off the beaten path and just enjoying the location I am in. I enjoy getting out and experiencing the local flavor and because I am as foriegn to them as they are to me it makes for great interaction and experiences.

Nice, but … this video made me feel really old, and I’m “only” 42! Only the bald guy looked over 30. I have a feeling they don’t have kids either. I just want people to know you don’t have to suspend meaningful, long-term travel if/when you settle down with a life partner and start a family. You can do this mid-career, mid-life too, as our family did and hopes to do again.

Hi Sarah,

First I want to say “thank you”…I am in the video and am 40 years old…and married…and have 3 boys (4,6,13). I think what you say it’s really important, it’s one of the things I hope to represent…travel even after settling down/life partner/kids. I also hope to represent that things aren’t always what they seem.

Thanks Matt for the awesome video! Loved being a part of it!

Well done, Matt! Bravo!

Ace

I’m most definite I seen Rolf Potts in this video…

NomadicMatt

You sure did!

Supper great video… well done

Cheers

Nice! Your got some great and very diverse answers.

Cal

Cool video Matt. Thanks for sharing!

i enjoyed the video man nice post

nice video, really friendly post thanks

Travel is all about adventure for me and breaking out from the everyday to enjoy the ones you love – whether that’s family or friends. Loved the video!

loved the video! great answers in there and especially yours. travel = freedom even if only for a few days. it is amazing to experience new things and get outside your comfort zone but really only to see that we are very much the same in all corners of the world.

NomadicMatt

Actually, I’m not in the video :)

Well, I love to travel but also love to have a pied-a-terre somewhere, like a security.
Nice video.
I came across your blog today and enjoy reading your story. It requires courage to give up our comfort zone for unknown place.

How inspiring! What a fascinating series of interviews with travelers around the world who share one passion, one goal, one dream and one ambition…to travel and experience our great big wide world! Glad to hear I am not alone! Thanks for this…made my day.

There’s a quote often credited to Mark Twain that says (not exact words) that travel is the best remedy against narrow-mindness and prejudice (and all that goes with it).

That pretty much defines what travel is for me. Once you realize there’s way, way more to this world than the inmmediate, familiar surroundings you get used to, you don’t want to miss on discovering more of it on every chance you can get. Travel is also trying to get yourself immersed in other cultures and understand them, rather than just passing them by.

Travel?

I like to see the exoctic things in the world, eat food, talk with foreign people..
I like the feeling that I escape my routine and I am free!

Is it meaning that I’m living in the wrong life?

Do I have to acquire something more meaningful than fun through traveling?
Can’t I just enjoy traveling…?

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