Ever since the time I was young, I believe that I've been on the road traveling to different places. I grew up in Chicago and traveled to different destinations from that hub. During my youth, I've been to Oregon, Colorado, Florida, Switzerland and Michigan. If I wasn't leaving my home at least twice a year, there was probably something wrong. I can't even remember not traveling.
As I became older, the destinations became broader. I traveled to Mexico on numerous occasions, Washington DC, Jamaica, and many countries in northern Europe. During college, I was a travel editor for a periodical called INsider Magazine. Eventually, I went to the West Indies of the Caribbean for Medical School. These experiences expanded my interest in travel.
What is it about the traveling personality that compels us to be constantly on the move? If I wasn't going somewhere after a few months, I would feel an annoying drive to try to get somewhere.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not." Maybe this is one of the reasons why we travel in order to find that beautiful thing and collect it into our consciousness to make sense out of life.
"When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Charles Dickens wrote, "Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering." Especially after visiting countries that don't enjoy the same luxuries that we do in the United States, one can truly value and appreciate their lives in America.
"I travel because I'd rather look back at my life, saying 'I can't believe I did that' instead of 'if only I had'." – Florine Bos
"The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for a newer and richer experience." – Eleanor Roosevelt
"If happiness is the goal – and it should be, then adventures should be top priority." – Richard Branson
"One travels to run away from routine, that dreadful routine that kills all imagination and all our capacity for enthusiasm." – Ella Maillart
The point I'm getting at is that I feel an inner drive to travel and explore this world. I love reading other people's travel blogs, video blogs and books about foreign places. Even with all the reading and research that I do, I cannot satisfy my irresistible urge to reach out into the unknown.
I'm inspired by stories of individuals overcoming the odds. My dog, Tina, was one of those stories. Tina was a fantastic black Labrador retriever. She loved to travel anywhere. She knew how to explore everything and show the utmost courtesy to people that she met with loving affection. Tina developed severe osteoarthritis of her legs, but it still did not decrease her tenacity even with one leg working to pursue her drive to chase after the squirrels in the backyard.
As a physician, I do my best to help people return to normalcy. I would like them to be able to explore and discover the world around us after recovering. I also notice that with the more places visited, I find that I have better solidarity/understanding with my patients that come from those areas.
When I don't have the ability to travel, I feel irritable. I feel like somebody trapped within a prison without bars. I want to bust out of that scenario, spread my wings, and fly/drive/run to a destination unknown to me. I want to learn the language, taste the foods, understand the culture, and meet the people of the lands that I am visiting.
I don't need to be a great explorer like Magellan. I don't have to be an innovator. I don't have to be an ambassador. I just want to explore this world.