So I was looking around one of my favorite travel websites the other day, World Hum. I was first introduced to the website by a contributing writing when he came to speak to my Literary Non-Fiction class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ever since, I have been visiting periodically to see what new stories and advice are posted. It's always amazing to me that just reading a story about a spice market in Marrakech or a long bus ride in Vietnam can instantly make me want to leave wherever I am sitting and go somewhere. For those of you who have caught the proverbial "travel bug," you probably know that familiar itch to constantly explore and just GO.
I often liken this feeling to those restless leg syndrome commercials—which I'm sure is an awful condition—where it is all I can do to continue to sit in front of my well-traveled laptop and decide, just for today, to live vicariously through the person writing that all-too-familiar story. But why do we travel? What separates those who constantly feel the need to escape out of their element and those who are content to read about the world in a book or magazine? I don't know if it is nature or nurture or some other biological phenomena, but visiting sites like World Hum illustrate the fact that I'm not alone in my struggle to fight the "travel bug."
One of the regular contributors to World Hum asked this very open-ended question last year at the New York Times Travel Conference to see what the professionals had to say:
So, why do you travel? That first leap to go abroad, especially if it is by yourself, is always the hardest. What made you finally make the move to go abroad and what was your experience that first time you got off the plane in a new country? And what was the point that made you realize you were going to be a life-ling traveler?
If you are interested in going abroad (maybe again), check out InterExchange Working Abroad's programs.