Notre Dame Paris

People vs Places

Why do you travel?

Is it to tick an item off your bucket list? To be able to overhear a conversation about landmarks amongst friends and be able to chime in, “yeah, I’ve been there” like it’s no big deal?

I don’t think so. I don’t think those who truly love travel do it for the “brag-ability” points. It’s not about being able to recite cities and countries and continents that have been explored. That, of course, makes its way into conversation. But it’s not the primary goal.

No, travel is about collecting experiences. Being exposed to the new, whether that’s in your own country or in a far away foreign land. Taking a glimpse at how another culture goes about things. And, if you’re lucky, making friends along the way.

Why do I travel?

To meet these people. Those who will become lifelong friends. Those who no matter where else I flit off to in the world, I know they are always there. If not in person, then in spirit. These kindred souls who may always be off on the next adventure themselves, and who you may or may not cross paths with in the most unexpected places.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good landmark. Or a famous city. But what makes those places come to life, for me, is the people I meet while visiting. I may have spent 3 years living in Paris, but without the friends I made there, it’s not the same city.

I travel for people. I travel to visit old friends, and to meet new ones. And if in that course of that I happen to visit a few landmarks, that’s fine too.

It may mean I don’t visit as many places as some, and it most likely means returning to the same places again and again, but I’m fine with that. Because my friends are in those places. And in the end, that’s all that counts.

{Image by Moyen Bren}

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