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Do you agree that travel is the making of us?

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Travel – the 6 letter word that is passed around so often. Whether it’s used to talk about past trips, to fill the void of boredom in the office break room, or to fantasise over the never ending desire to get away.

No matter the situation, this 6 letter word has lost some meaning.

From the cliché city of Paris, France, to the forgotten roads of Ecuador, South America. The many hours on trains, buses, planes and cars, nothing compares to that feeling, the feeling like you are finally travelling, as they say. But what really is travel? Is it the smell of a new city far away from home? Or the long hours on a plane, just to set off again days later? Or the independence of saving all your money, just to spend it on a cheap hotel with no view?

If you went and asked anyone on the street what they think travel really is, you would always get a different answer. Some will say it’s to get away from home, others will say it’s for ‘business’, and most will say it is for the experience. The experience of what though? Seeing thousands of year old attractions, to get that one ‘perfect’ photo for Instagram? Or waiting in line for hours on end in the hot sun, just to get a glimpse of a forbidden city that you get rushed around in because thousands of other tourists need to see it? Or is it back to the feeling of knowing you are travelling?

A couple standing in a shoe-filled hallway.
Keywords: couple, shoes

If you ask me, it’s all of the above. It’s about being on the side of the road in Bangkok, Thailand, and wondering whether or not the street food on the corner is safe to eat. It’s about being stuck on a plane for hours on end, with barely any room to sit, just to get on another plane an hour later into another place where you have no idea where you are. It’s about sharing a bus with twenty other strangers in a foreign city and talking about your future.

The trapped feeling of being on a plane, the smell of a crowded bus, the taste of foreign food, the view of an over-priced tourist attraction – without these feelings and experiences we would never know what being away from home really is. We would never know if we didn’t like that grey looking ‘meat’ from Vietnam, we would never know what it is like to be surrounded by people who only speak Spanish, we would never know that the Guinness beer from Ireland is the best thing ever!

As cliché as it is sounds, this is what makes us who we are. So whether you are reading this with a Contiki tab open on the Asia tours, walking past Student flights, or talking to your best friend about taking a road trip down south, no matter the reasons, just do it!

It will be the making of who you are.

Has travel been the making of you? We want to hear how! Share your stories with us here and you could see your work published on six-two…