What Motivates You?

Motivation is a funny thing. It comes and goes, allowing us to accomplish amazing feats one day, and leaving us feeling useless the next. So, what motivates you?

One thing that has constantly motivated me is travel. Travel has been a major motivation of mine for a long time. Being able to see as much of this world as I can is such a driving force in my life that it affects all other aspects as well. For example, my motivation to travel has caused me to prioritize things like flexibility, vacation time, and business travel when considering job opportunities. It has motivated me to want to one day live in another country. It has also been the cornerstone of how I spend my free time (this blog included). I have so much passion and motivation for travelling that it fuels me every day and is part of many of my major life goals. Why? Because I believe that travel has the ability to change your life, open your mind and, if done right, can make the world a better place.

So I started thinking about WHY travel motivates me so much – what exactly is it that is so alluring and drives me to keep pursuing my relentless list of “global goals”? I’m not sure I have the full answer, but here is what I have discovered. I’m curious…how many of these are motivations for you?

Travel is freedom

For me, travel is freedom. I never feel more free and alive then when I am exploring new places, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. Having the freedom to explore this world and all that it has to offer is one of the most liberating things I have ever experienced. For me, to travel is to be free, and to be free is to be happy.

Travel is a privilege

I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to be able to travel. It is such a privilege to be able to see all of the weird and wonderful things this world has to offer. It is easy to forget that many people do not have this luxury, and it should never be forgotten or taken for granted. A little ritual I have when travelling abroad is to stop and say thank you to whatever it is in this life that has allowed me this privilege. I will never ever take it for granted. Ever.

Travel is an adventure

Okay adrenaline junkies – this one is for you. I have to admit I didn’t always crave adventure. In fact I used to be more of a “play it safe” kind of girl, but now – not so much. I have been scuba diving with barracudas, hiking in the Andes, zip-lining in Costa Rica, white water rafting on the Urubamba river, and backpacking through Europe solo. The old me would be very proud of herself and let me tell you, the feeling of adventure is relentless. Once you try it, you want more, and the “same old same old” just won’t cut it anymore.

“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all” – Hellen Keller

Travel is a way of life

Often when we think of travel, we think of a week or two at a seaside resort. Sure, we may expand our definition to include other forms of travel, but how often do we really look at travel as a way of life? I have struggled with this one too, but it really is possible. Travel doesn’t have to be only a week or two (or even a few months), it can be a lifestyle. Long term travel and the amazing awesomeness of it is becoming more accepted and more popular. If this idea motivates you in any way, definitely go pick up a copy of the book Vagabonding by Rolf Potts, it is epic. It will change the way you look at and think about travel for sure. Another life-changing read is the 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. Seriously, read these books if you want inspiration and motivation. Seeing the world doesn’t have to be a pipe dream, it could be your reality. If you want it enough. Motivated yet? Yup, me too!

Travel is an education

Travelling can be an eye opening and informative experience to say the least. I am a big fan of education, I did many years of it and got my Ph.D., but there is something about travel that teaches you about life in a way school never could. Reading about other cultures versus actually experiencing other cultures is totally different. The same can be said for learning about wildlife in a classroom versus actually seeing wildlife in a natural habitat – while in Costa Rica I saw a ton of sloths and I had only ever read about them in books before that! SO. MUCH. COOLER.

sloth on branch

Travel is an opportunity

In all of my travels there has been an opportunity that presents itself, a way to give back to this planet and the people who need it most. I always strive to take these opportunities to give back, to “see the world and make it better”. Whether it is donating to a good cause, volunteering some time while abroad or supporting local businesses – be on the lookout for these opportunities and take them whenever possible.

Travel is whatever you make it

As with most things in life, travel is what you make it. If you wander around this world appreciating all that you see and do, learning new things, and giving back when the opportunity presents itself, then you will probably be motivated to keep going. I have found that no matter how much I give, travel experiences always give back in ways I could never imagine and never repay.

So, if you are motivated by travel and all that it does, that’s awesome – I’m right there with you. But no matter what inspires you, travel or otherwise, keep on doing it! Surround yourself with it, fill your life with it and stay motivated to do and see great things. Never settle for ordinary when you could have extraordinary.


~ Earthly Traveller

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