• Michael Knock

Why do people travel?

Updated: Dec 4, 2019

Seems like a simple question, doesn’t it? A more interesting question might be “why don’t people travel?”

At the outset, we’ll discount one of the “ordinary” reasons for travel – work – and think about those people who actually choose to travel.

There are any number of reasons why someone might want to get away including: a break from their usual routine, a different set of daily decisions or the sort of decisions that you can see immediately changing your life, seeking what they don’t have at home such as better weather or climate, to experience new things be they food, environments, people or challenges, because travel is “trendy” and the list goes on.

Why don’t people travel? This list is equally as long and all the reasons equally valid. They could include time, money, contentment with their life/ environment, commitments etc. A more recent addition to this list is the internet – some will opine that they can travel the world from the comfort of their home and without any of the inconveniences – virtual worlds now exist online and experiences can be shared vicariously easily. VR (virtual reality) should not be discounted as it is likely to be a very big player in the future. Check out an early adopter here.

Obviously, I am very much a proponent of being a traveller. As a person, it can be pretty boring just existing in two planes (pun intended) whereas to live life you do need to actually experience more and challenge yourself more. It is the interaction with others that bring people to life.

A good example of this occurs if you have ever travelled on your own. Nothing wrong with that except that it is a bit hard to share your experience with others if they weren’t there. Ever tried having your family or friends over to see your holiday photos? What was their interest level? Compare this to flicking through your photos (nowadays usually accomplished as a slideshow or via your Instagram account), seeing somewhere you’ve been pop up in a news article, having a meal from that country/location and being able to talk about that – relate it to the time you where there, the experience(s) you had there etc.

Taking this shared experience further, one of the best “things” about travel is that it really does make you appreciate that people anywhere in the world are no different to you! They might have similar hopes, dreams and aspirations, they just occur in a different environment. Travel also allows you to empathise better with others – you might think that you are having a rough day etc but it does not take much to realise that the little things that annoy you each day are pretty insignificant in the bigger scheme of things.

Most Aussie travellers have an epiphany fairly early in their travels - just how good do we really have it in Australia? Australia truly is the “lucky country”, we just need to work a bit harder at remembering that. We take so many of our “liberties” for granted – being able to work and live where we want, the choices available for our must-have consumables, our legal system and community standards – liberties that a lot of people overseas are still striving for. It reminds me of a (very) old joke – “we had a general election and no Generals were elected and no-one died”. We might complain about our politicians and having to vote but at least we can – on both counts.

Some of the most insightful experiences that you can have whilst travelling including working out that price and value are completely different things. As examples, talk to a frequent traveller and they will never regret what they have spent on travel. Many forgo what others consider to be necessities of life (travellers might call this “stuff”) so that they can continue to travel or by determining that home is a place you like coming back to – no matter how far and wide you roam, home is exactly that. The little things that annoy you at home are just that – little things and in the scheme of things they do not really matter.

If you would like to experience more of the world or if you would like to challenge yourself to the fact that your journey is as important as the destination, join MK1 Travel as we explore some of the less-visited places in the world with a very small group of like-minded travellers. Visit or #mk1travel and discover a whole new world.

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