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Why do people travel?

الإمام الشافعي: “تَغَرَّبْ عَن الأَوْطَانِ في طَلَبِ الْعُلى…وَسَافِرْ فَفِي الأَسْفَارِ خَمْسُ

فَوَائِدِ: تَفَرُّجُ هَمٍّ، وَاكْتِسابُ مَعِيشَةٍ، وَعِلْمٌ، وَآدَابٌ، وَصُحْبَةُ مَاجِد”

There is an arabic saying (or a poem) that goes like this: Travel to other countries to seek the highest gains, travel as it has five benefits: relief from worry, finding a job or starting a business, learning new knowledge, learning how to be courteous to others, and you may even find a good friend.


Thus when I ask why we need to travel? is it a rhetorical question?;  but off late and due to our inability to travel for a reason that you all know about, we are asking this question a lot.  What do I gain from traveling? why is it so important to me? what can I do while traveling that I cannot do while living in my own country? is traveling or the intent to travel is merely for relaxation or just to change our daily routine? some say that we travel because we want to eat, drink and shop, some say we travel to learn and some say that we travel so we can explore other places in the world and maybe bring something back to our home.


How many of us watch videos of travel bloggers or Vloggers just to see whats in that country and put it on our list. We watch the art, food, culture, life in general, how they live, what are the sceneries, how did they build their countries, are they environmentally aware, do we travel by airplane or ship or car, how is it with the foreigners? do they hate us or love us? what do they do on a daily basis, is it expensive there? should we stay in a hotel or in AirB&B,  and so on. Basically what makes a country worth our trip?


If you stop anyone in the street and ask him or her why would they want to travel, they can tell you these few things and maybe another one is added (maybe I will find my future soulmate).

Food, culture, shopping, history, architecture, work experience, events, study, conferences, adventure, remove painful moments, health spas, hospitals, resorts, amusement parks, and so on are the reasons that people gave me when I popped the question.

Recuperate curiosity broadening ones horizon are the ones I added, as this is what I feel when I visit a country. I personally feel sad that we are so limited after COVID19 and travel less then before, and I often wonder when will I go back on the plane or be at an airport again (simply because I used to be on an airplane at least every couple of weeks). I want to visit the amazons and go deep into the forests in many countries. I want to see the safari in Africa and walk around the Nile in Egypt and Sudan. I want to go to Morroco, Algeria and Tunisia (I did visit Libya many times), i want to live with Bedouin families in Saudi Arabia (if there are any left).  I want to learn new things about food in all the cultures, maybe I wont eat everything, but at least know what they eat.  I also love to see the traditional clothing.


I always advise my students to travel during their mid semester breaks and summer holidays to other nearby countries instead of coming back home, as that opportunity will not duplicate again; as once we start a job, get married and start a family, the time and work would limit us, and traveling with young children is not fun for them nor us.


So, next time you are about to go abroad and accomplish your bachelors and masters degree, remember to roam around a bit and enjoy what those countries have to offer.


Tell me about your reason for traveling?

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