Travel for Truth
“Why do you travel?”
That was the question, and the answers were many. To conquer fear. To explore. To learn. To challenge myself. As a fellow blogger decided, to eat. But, the truth is, the reason I travel touches on all of these. Even the food one. When I really thought about it, I realized I travel for one thing: truth. I travel to be true to myself.
Moments and Memories
There is a moment seared in my memory; a moment of being buffeted by winds howling across a barren landscape. A moment of solace and reflection, one magnificent in scope. I stood on a mountaintop in the wilderness of Mongolia and saw all the twists and turns my life had taken leading up to that point.
Fragments of memories flitted through my mind: of a friendship from primary school which fostered my interest in a strange country impossibly far away; a home room teacher who nurtured my passion for ancient civilizations; a Christmas night spent on a tropical beach with the waves crashing just outside my bungalow as I bought the ticket which would take me to the Land of the Endless Sea; finally, descending into Ulaanbaatar and feeling the thrill as I looked out over the lands of Genghis Khan.
It seemed that every fork in my road had been leading inexorably towards that moment. On top of that hill, I realized a poignant truth about myself. I was not meant to be stagnant. Complacency does not promote self-discovery. I travel because I uncover nuggets of all important truths—when I realize freedom is the thing I value above all else, and travel is what lets me possess it. I travel for truth.
I’m home now, a place I’ve been eager to return to for a long time. The one thing travel has failed to provide is proximity to my family—the reason that will always keep me coming back to this warm house. And yet, I’ve barely been back a month and I can already feel the pull. The open road is always before me—calling, beckoning. Inside of me burns a primal urge to answer the call and go.
Soon, I will answer it. I will pack my bags and leave, but not yet. For although travel is the lens through which I see myself, it doesn’t define me. That’s another truth I discovered about myself as I walked up my driveway on May 12, 2013 after nineteen months overseas: I am so much more than a single passion.
Perhaps that’s the most important thing travel has taught me and it’s the reason I will never stop. There is too much to see, too much to do. No matter which passion enchants me, there will always be something to entertain it—somewhere out there. As long as I pursue my passions, I will be true to myself. Luckily, there is a wonderful, wild, wide world out there; it is rich with opportunities. And it’s just waiting to be explored!
Do you travel for truth? If not, what’s your reason for traveling? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments section below!
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