By , May 17, 2011 5:00 pm

A bit of background information: Not too long ago, Mike came home asking the question “Why do we want to travel?” He had read Lauren’s Why Choose to Travel Long Term post at Never-Ending Footsteps and was astounded that we had never really sat down and answered it together (or individually). He proposed that we tackle the question separately by writing our own blog posts before sharing them with each other. If you’ve been following our blog, you’ve probably already read Mike’s answer. Now here’s mine…

You would think that after deciding to quit our jobs, sell our house, and travel the world, answering the question “Why do you want to travel?” would be a snap. Because I love to travel. Duh. You probably could have guessed that. But that doesn’t really answer it, does it? The real question is why do I love to travel? And why do I want to go on a RTW trip? And why now? It turns out that answering these questions and digging deeper is a tougher, but very worthwhile exercise.

Why Do I Love To Travel?

A Massive Kauri Tree in New Zealand

A Massive Kauri Tree in New Zealand

1.   I want to expand my worldview and experience what’s out there.  The world is an immense, diverse and powerful place full of interesting and unique places and people. I want to see experience a small piece of that. This is easily my biggest reason for the trip.

2.   I am obsessed with learning. I’ve always loved school because I love learning new things. And who wouldn’t prefer learning new things by experiencing them, rather than sitting at home on the couch reading about them in a book?

Why An RTW Trip and Why Now?

3.   Backpacking around the world is, in my humble opinion, the best way to achieve #1 and #2 above. By not having a timeline, agenda, or solid itinerary, I will have the time to really immerse myself in other cultures – not to just visit them for a while, but to live within them. Not having the pressure of a job, or even a house, to return to gives me the freedom to really experience the places I am in.

4.   I think we make our own fate. And mine was becoming that of the majority in North America… go to school, get a stable job, maybe have kids, work for 30+ years to earn a good pension, then retire. And then, if you’re still healthy enough, you can go out and travel. This safe, comfortable pattern wasn’t doing it for me anymore. The more I thought about, the more I realized my all-time favourite times of my life have been spent travelling with my husband – so why not do that long-term?

5.   I went through a bit of a career crisis last year – for the first time in my life, I didn’t know if teaching was THE job for me for the rest of my working years. While, ultimately, I decided it was and am currently quite satisfied with my job, this was the point where talks of an RTW trip switched from “what if” and “if only” to “we could” and “when” and “how.” After deciding that traveling was something we could really do, resolving the crisis certainly didn’t mean discarding the trip plans. There will be always be teaching jobs somewhere.

6.   I’ve been feeling that I’m living in a bit of a rut. I spend way too much of my free time doing mindless, boring stuff like watching TV. I know that you don’t need to travel to go out and experience everything life has to offer. But somewhere between my job (including the extra-curricular hours and homework), commuting almost an hour each way to work, and the daily grind, I stopped treating life like it was a journey and an adventure.

7.   I love Saskatchewan. I really do. But I can’t just take an hour drive from my house and climb a mountain. Or canoe down a river. Or go for a hike without getting a migraine from the heat since there’s no tree cover. Some people say that Regina is in the middle of nowhere, but I prefer to think it’s halfway to everywhere. And now I just want to go the rest of the way.

Summit Lake, Stone Mountain Provincial Park, BC

2 Responses to “Why Ashley Wants to Travel”

  1. megan says:

    I hear you about being in a rut! I’ve even found myself falling back into the same old routine here in Sydney, and I’ve only been home for 4 months – makes me realise this isn’t how I want to live.

    It’s so important to take control of your own life and live it on your own terms – and you guys are doing just that. Can’t wait to read more from you guys once you take off.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I know how you feel. We have just gotten back from Cuba and we are already planning a trip, only here in Canada. With kids, work, and responsibilities, it does make you want to travel even more (especially with the kids). I get into the same old, same old. I hope to one day venture off more with my spouse (after the kids are grown) to travel more…

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