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The reason we travel

Everyone is always so curious as to why I am so desperate to leave home and explore the world. Why not stay here; where routine, stability and structure surrounds me? Why travel during one of the most crucial points in my life instead of settling into “young-adulthood”? Why go there? Why now? The questions that encompass me are endless, yet this is what motivates me further. To get away from it all.

As patent and cliché as it sounds, there truly is a whole new world out there full of culture, opportunity, learning, new people and change. Everything is ever changing. This is the prime reason why I have an undeniable passion and drive to travel. It is something more than wanderlust; something stronger.

However, if a whole new world is out there screaming for us, why is it that we only choose to travel to specific parts? Why do we ignore so many aspects of a country to maintain a one-sided perspective on something or somewhere we know so little about despite being so desperate to broaden our knowledge?

The second part of this question is painstakingly simple. As individuals, we only have the capacity to learn what we genuinely want to, so if something is difficult to understand, like for example: a conflict, then we simply push it aside and move on to a new topic, culture, country or idea altogether. I am sure you will agree that we cannot just move on from conflict and crisis but the multitude of people who do is disconcerting.

Yet, we can simply alter this mindset by asking ourselves the first part of the previous question: Why do we want to travel to this specific location? What will I and the people I meet gain? This is not to say that traveling, which should be fun, should become a deep philosophical epiphany about the true meaning of wanderlust but we do need to consider what motivates us. We must travel elsewhere, and we as young adults must be the catalyst for this, we must start the openness to “everywhere’.

Israel. When you hear this name, what first springs to mind? The beautiful deserts which expand for what seems like eternity or the beautiful sea that captures the sunlight so perfectly? Or does conflict and war and fleeing and pain and separation come to mind? This is not an abnormal image at all, in fact most people do as well but there is so much more to a country than their conflicts. Despite politics being the root to almost, if not everything, a country is more than its politics and even so its people. It is beautiful and it has its own personality.

Israel is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world; there is a trail which expands the Lebanese border in the far North to the Eilat at the southernmost tip of Israel on the Red Sea. The trail is marked with three stripes: red, blue and orange and takes from 45-60 days to complete.

So, the next time you are traveling while trying to “feed” that wanderlust in you, maybe consider and reflect on a few simple facts. Start by, why here? Why now? But, most importantly, enjoy the wonderful learning experience. Take the time to learn from the culture, the people and the country.


martha hammond, 15, has always loved reading and writing, especially about topics such as history, politics, and film. she also enjoys spending time with her dog and horses as well as going out with friends. she is an op-ed writer on love letters magazine.

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