In recent months I was asked this question a few times by friends, which in turn made me ask myself; what suddenly inspired me to go travelling?
I certainly have not travelled as frequently as I have over the past 10 months. Truthfully, I guess this wanderlust has always been within me, dormant. The fact that I was shackled to a demanding and time-consuming job - which I loved nevertheless - meant very little time was available for proper travelling. We really can't have the best of both worlds, can we?
Prior to having the me-time now, apart from work-related travel and the odd trips to KL now and then for shopping and makan, the only 'travelling' worth mentioning were my hours spent on the couch, watching Travel & Living, Discovery, Lonely Planet, etc. The result of all that was usually even longer hours spent day-dreaming and planning my what-ifs and if-onlys.
A corporate training programme in my previous job introduced me to the concept of trip persona. That was when my mind went wide open, and discovered that it was something I could closely relate to. Once I'm on my own travels, I'm not the 'corporate me' anymore. I'm at home with my tee, shorts, selipar and backpack. My dormant travel bug started stirring.
Of course reading also exposed me to the adventures of other travellers, hence I sought Bryson and the likes even more. I also love travel quotes, I'm a sucker for those that make me stop and think. Some that I really like:
"Once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote, and I know that I shall be happily infected until the end of my life.” - Michael Palin
“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
“Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure.” - Aldous Huxley
My favourite one is very simple :
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” - Henry Miller
So, in short, I want to travel because I want to experience new things - people, places, sights, smells, tastes, sounds - and everything else that comes with it. Including the possibility of experiencing some not-so-good things, like delays, cancellations, communication breakdowns, bad food, lousy bed, rude people etc; hopefully not all in one go though :).
And one more inspiration came from Discovery Channel's I Love the World commercial. The idea was to position Discovery as The World's Biggest Fan of The World.
The World is an Awesome place, and I'm a Big Fan, too.