Launching this site has been a great chance for self-reflection around our attitudes about travel. What do we get out of travel? If we could travel even more, would we want to?
I find the various aspects of the online travel and tourism fascinating. There are seemingly endless folks who’ve created travel personas – people who travel constantly, writing books and blog posts about their escapades. They make the rounds on travel podcasts, and make guest appearances on YouTube channels. Sometimes it seems like every big city lawyer is at some point destined to quit her job and set out for Southeast Asia to write a blog. There are sub-groups here, like the YouTube travel food bloggers (check out The Food Ranger) who build devoted and highly interactive followings.
There’s another sub-genera of the travel web: the travel hackers. These are the folks who live on Flyertalk and BoardingArea and often have jobs that require extensive travel. They share tips on maximizing their points, collecting miles, and having awesome experiences on the road. These are the places where you learn about “mileage runs” and “manufactured spend.”
While I sometimes look upon these groups with envy, the truth is that these are not the lives that I aspire to. Travel is an important part of my life, but it’s not the only part. Being on the road constantly means never having the chance to see the beautiful growth and iteration in your own community. And reading the fine print on yet another new credit card sounds pretty dull to me, when I could be out exploring a neighborhood nearby.
I’m not a “stamp collector”- I don’t need to tick off every country or every UNESCO site. To me, travel is as much about the mindset of seeking to learn from others in order to reflect on my own choices, and to live with an excitement for the future. Even when the days are dark and gloomy, and work is stressful or frustrating, I am fueled by dreams of all the places I might go next.