We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again — to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more. ~ Pico Iyer
As much as Pico Iyer’s words have inspired me on my own journeys, I spent the last week soaking in the wisdom of 667 of my readers – reading through the entries to my last contest.
On popular demand, here are the most creative and inspiring answers (along with photos of the great minds behind them):
I travel because…
“Bank balances, car brands, and salary hikes are a poor measure of life’s worth. I measure it by the songs I sang facing the Nilgiris, the unhurried conversations with strangers by the sea, the stories I heard, the people I loved and the many homes I discovered in strange places.”
~ Ullas Marar; @ullasmarar
“I want to breathe other air, taste other food, speak other languages so that everywhere becomes home.”
~ Ameya; @ameyann
“I just do. For no earth-shattering reason but for a deep, personal love that I am yet to fall out of. To curb my restlessness, to shatter my peace. To ruffle my feathers, to breathe a new air. To feed my soul and to wander aimlessly. I just do.”
~ Priyanka Kher
“The more I learn about the universe outside me, the more I immerse myself in the universe inside.”
~ Zainab Kakkal; @zainabkakal
“The best lessons in life don’t come from books, but from muddy boots, a full camera memory, quaint tea stalls and from watching the sun disappear into the horizon of a land whose language is unknown, but soul forever intimate.”
~ Bedatri; @bedatri
“Because getting in touch with the rest of the world is the best way to get in touch with your soul!”
~ Ramya; @girlindelhi
“It gives me a chance. There are two kinds of travellers – those who are running away from something and those who are looking for something. Its bit of both for me. A chance to break the bonds I was born with. A chance to make new ones of my choosing.”
~ Shubrank Mukhiya
“I want to remember that in this wonderful and magnanimous scheme, I am just a tiny bit. And it is okay even if I fail in life, the sea will still rush out to hug my feet, the mountains will beckon to stand tall just as they do and the winds will sing to me as always. Because they are just as happy to see me as I am to see them.”
~ Sonal Ajwani
“It makes me forget the world, by being my world.”
~ Onkar Patwardhan; @onkarpat23
“Life is too precious to be spent indoors and I would not want to die knowing that I missed dipping my feet in the gurgling brooks, feeling the wind on my face, mussing up my hair in the mountain tops and the thrill of being on the road.”
~ Sangeeta; @sangeetash
“I am searching. Searching for so many answers. And I know sitting at my table wouldn’t answer my question. Its like a scientist who is filling papers with theories but her theories will be validated only when she experiments. So I am looking for my laboratory out there. I am experimenting.”
~ Kiran Karol; @karolkiran
“Sometimes I need to close my eyes and breathe the air of distant lands to understand the world close to me better. Because sometimes I need to live among strangers, and taste things strange and unknown to know that people everywhere are not so different after all.”
The winners of the contest are announced here. A big thank you to everyone for participating and inspiring us with your words!
Your turn, why do you travel?
Girl with the map photo by Blek.
[The Shooting Star takes no responsibility for the originality of thinking / writing of the above answers. These are taken verbatim from the submissions to my contest.]