"Why I Travel" DueSer's Profile

A Matter of Priorities

I am asked by a lot of my friends and aquaintances why I don't replace my 17-year-old car. They are shocked that I don't have an iPod. My best friend finally bought me a DVD player for my birthday a while back because she couldn't stand the idea of me being the only person who didn't have one.

My explanation for all of these things is simple: I'd rather spend my money on travel. My car gets me where I need to go, which is to the airport so I can fly away on an adventure. I love music and I can still listen to it perfectly well on my discman. Sure an iPod would be nice but I would rather spend that money on a train pass or a few nights in a hotel in Paris.

We all make decisions every day based on what's important to us individually and what's important to me is not things but experiences. I'm not saying the decisions I've made are any better than someone who chooses to spend their money on an iPod or the newest cell phone or whatever, I'm just saying I'm happy with the decisions I have made but surprised that people seem so shocked at those decisions.

Traveling Alone

Another thing that seems to shock people no end is the fact that I travel alone. I realized early on that if I was going to get anywhere I had to go on my own because no one else I know is as passionate about travel as I am. I didn't want to spend my life waiting to go somewhere because I didn't have anyone to go with me.
I have made some trips with friends but there is a special feeling I get when I travel solo - like it's this secret I have. The places I get to see are amazing and I do wish other people could see it but the rush of freedom I get traveling alone is stronger than any desire to share it with someone.

There have been times that I've spent the day sightseeing, gone back to my hotel, then thought about something and decided "why not go now?" and gone back out. That would be hard to do traveling with someone else. I've also gotten so engrossed in exploring a city that I've forgotten to eat - that probably wouldn't go over too well with a partner.

I usually end up talking to myself after a few weeks on my own but that's okay. It's a great time to do some soul searching and revel in the freedom of not worrying about anything or anyone else.

One of my favorite scenes from a movie is the very last vignette in "Paris, Je t'aime." It's about a woman going to Paris alone for the very first time. She explains, "Sitting there alone in a foreign country, far from my job and everyone I know, a feeling came over me. It was like remembering something I'd never known before or had always been waiting for, but I didn't know what. Maybe it was something I'd forgotten or something I've been missing all my life. All I can say is that I felt at the same time joy and sadness but, not too much sadness because I felt alive. Yes, alive. That was the moment I fell in love with Paris. And I felt Paris fall in love with me."
That alone is reason to travel, n'est-ce pas?

Favorite Travel Quotes

Travel is fatal to bigotry, prejudice, and narrow-mindedness. - Mark Twain

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the places and moments that take our breath away. - Anonymous

To breathe Paris preserves the soul. - Victor Hugo

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. - Helen Keller

If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good. - Dr. Seuss

What do you remember? The vacations or the times between? - Joe Casey

I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list. - Susan Sontag

Perhaps now and then a castaway on a lonely desert island dreads the thought of being rescued. - Sarah Orne Jewett

We travel partly to re-engage a sense of wonder, which wanes under the press of modern circumstances. - Barry Lopez

So much of who we are is where we have been. - Unknown

There are places one comes home to that one has never been to. - Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

Sail out of mist & squalls, ride with the wind to burning lands beneath a copper sun or never-melted mountains of green ice or hot dark secret places in the steam of equatorial forests, where the sun strikes far above the canopy, where men and other creatures never see her light save as a casual winking lance that runs a silver shaft between green dark and dark. - A.S. Byatt

You don't regret the things you did, only the things you didn't do. - Unknown

Je vais, je viens, le monde est le mien. - Celine Dion (altho she probably didn't write it;-))

There's not enough gas in the world for all the places I want to go. - "The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio"

I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world. --Sue Monk Kidd

Favorite Places

* Tasmania, Australia
* Heron Island, Australia
* Salzburg, Austria
* Brussels, Belgium
* Canadian Rockies
* Toronto, Ontario, Canada
* Shanghai, China
* Praha, Czech Republic
* Warwickshire, England
* Paris, France
* Savannah, Georgia
* Budapest, Hungary
* Amana, Iowa
* Venezia, Italy
* Valley of the Seven Castles, Luxembourg
* Maine coast
* Glacier National Park, Montana
* New York City
* Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
* Charleston, South Carolina
* Memphis, Tennessee
* Burlington, Vermont
* Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

  • Intro Updated Nov 5, 2011
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Chris DeLong
Los Angeles, California
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