What this girl has to say about travel is what all of us feel 24/7

This article was created for The Travel Project by Kesha Robertson, who lives in Amsterdam but harks all the way from Aotearoa, New Zealand. Currently at country 65, she's hoping to one day make it to 100.

My brother recently said to me, “Kesha, only young and single people travel — and you are now neither.”

This kinda threw me and my pending solo trip to Colombia. Maybe my spinstering 27 year old self should settle down and get a nice white picket fence. But the very thought of this, at this moment in time, has me and my backpack fleeing for distant lands.

Is travel a form of escapism? What drives this incessant desire to travel? Am I merely making the most of opportunities while my life is still flexible? And as my brother so eloquently put it, if I’m always beach hopping with cocktails, why not just do it at home?

“We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. 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

For me travel is primarily driven by a desire for the unknown. The lead up is often as fun as the experience itself. I hire mountains of library books, and scour travel forums. I obsessively read about places and dream of the endless possibilities.

all of the smells 🌷 #TULIP

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Yet once I’m there, all my planning goes out the window. I like to soak up the atmosphere, and follow my nose and stomach. My curiosity is stimulated. I have nowhere to be but here — and I like that.

And then there’s the people you meet. They are always so refreshing. Inspired by life. People discontented with the 9-5, success, and the picket fence. People who dream and yearn for more. These are my people. The dreamers, the soulful and the adventurers.

mulled everything #mulling #lille #christmasmarket

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I can feel so at home on the road, soaking up new stimuli, that sometimes I find it hard to return home. I become despondent and restless. But the true art of travelling is to take the experiences, the dreams, the lessons, and integrate them back into your world at home. Then travel is not escapism, but a means to enrich our lives.

“And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end” - Pico Iyer

Do you share Kesha’s passion for travel? Are you excited by the possibilities of the world in the same way she is? We want to hear from you, and we want to hear your stories. Head here to find out how you can become a community contributor for six-two.