Why you travel matters as much as where you travel. Occasionally we get lucky and there are beautiful beaches and scenic overlooks that make for great photos, but usually, it’s not that glamorous. We travel because there is an entire world full of people that don’t live like we do. Having a chance to experience their lifestyles, to learn their culture, to remind ourselves that what we see on TV and hear in the news isn’t always correct. The only way to truly appreciate these situations is to live them.
We’ve learned so much about ourselves, about people, and about the world from walking back alleys, talking to locals, and actually experiencing the second and third world countries that we so often disregard. We’ve learned more than we ever have from reading books or watching documentaries. We’ve learned that people are inherently good. That poor doesn’t always mean dangerous and it definitely doesn’t mean unhappy. Some of the most beautiful and genuine people we have ever met, were in a situation that we would deem unlivable in the Western world.
If nothing else, wandering the world has shown us that you can survive on your own wit and ingenuity without always relying on the safety nets so commonly found at home. Perhaps, most importantly, it allows us to support those communities that have unknowingly given us so much.