If someone hypothetically comes into a lot of money, they are questioned what they would do with it. One of the top answers is invariably to travel. There is even a commercial based on the premise of “going to Disneyland.”
What is it about traveling that makes it a seemingly universal goal? The main reason is to escape from regular life and see something different. By traveling somewhere exotic, we experience a new way of life different from our own. While the actual act of traveling may be exhausting in the moment, I also find it refreshing or invigorating.
Traveling is also an attractive activity because it means we can leave some responsibilities behind, even for a short time. While away from home, we worry less about going to work, doing laundry, or making food. Traveling is relaxing that way.
Whenever I travel to an interesting place, I am struck by conflicting emotions. On one hand, I do not want to leave that place. I look around at people who do live there and feel immense jealousy that I am not joining them. At the same time, though, I have a need to be in my home environment. It is not a very intense feeling, but it is more or less a constant, which increases over the length of the trip. My homesickness—if you can call it that—is not necessarily representative of my affinity for my home. Rather, it is that middle ground of not having a home base. No one likes living out of a hotel, right?
That said, I still love to travel. I think anyone who is able should make the effort to see as many different and unique places as they can. Most people, myself included, pick up a lot of experience by reading books and watching movies set in different places, but there is no replacement for actually visiting.