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Traveling Essay

2908 words - 12 pages

Brianne LeeAdventure Exploration and RiskOlsenResearch Paper"We travel, initially to lose ourselves; and we travel next, to find ourselves." A quote by Pico Iyer which describes that when we voyage out on a journey, we unknowingly open our hearts and eyes, learning more about the world than one ever could by simply watching the six o'clock news. In a sense, travel leads us to a greater stability of intelligence and empathy. The ability to not only see the world more distinctly, but to actually feel it as well. The beauty in travel is the magnificence of leaving behind ones ideals and certainties of home, and the potential to see everything we thought we knew in a whole different light. It whirls us around showing sights and ideas we may have otherwise ignored; as well as aspects of ourselves we might have never even known. Abroad is the place were one can follow instinct and find ourselves as naive as when we are in love. Traveling allows us to recreate ourselves. Even if for a fraction of a second, we can forget about our past and future, granting us the potential to live fully in the moment. As a women by the name of Miriam Beard describes, "travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living."Everyone has a specific reason for traveling. For some, it is solely for the purpose of relaxation and pleasure. Others travel with the motive of seeking adventure and high-risk. These two types of individuals differentiate greatly. What gives people the desire to participate in high-risk activities, where others feel absolutely no need to do so? As you meet new people and learn where they've been, you begin to understand how the purposes of traveling vary from person to person. There are those who travel for the sake of pleasure, relieving their worries and anxieties. Then, there are those who travel purely for the purpose of seeking adventure. They take the road less traveled by. A quote by Paul Theroux explains that "Tourists don't know where they've been, travelers don't know where they're going." The Literature of Travel and Exploration: An Encyclopedia describes a traveler as one who "seeks encounter with the unfamiliar, leaving the well-beaten track to travel independently" and a tourist someone who "remains childishly dependent, led by the nose to sights that are reduced to cliché by the constant gaze of tourists." (Speake, 1186)As I reminisce about my past traveling experiences, I have come to the realization that for the most part I have been a tourist, not a traveler. There was always a specific set time, plan for what I was going to be doing, and where I was going. This left me closed-minded to the greatest aspect traveling has to offer, the journey itself. When traveling, we are often times overwhelmed with so many new sights, smells and people. We in turn, forget to slow down and really take in our surroundings. In the book The Best American Travel Writing 2012, there is an...

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