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1. Posted by cusedesign (Budding Member 3 posts) 10y

Hey everyone...

I'm a design student exploring travel for my thesis and I was hoping some of you would be interested in sharing your thoughts on some areas that I am interested in.

So far I've just been talking to tons of people all over and I feel that I get the best feedback when they have been comfortable to just tell me about anything that they feel is important in the life of a traveller...whether it is something they have seen/ experienced/ or discovered along they way

Some focuses of mine are:

Why you travel?

What you are seeking...intentions?

What you feel is authentic about the places you have been?

What is the most important thing you have found or place you have been and how has it changed your life?

How do you feel your travels impact the world?

I have so many questions/interests so if anyone wants to share anything I would aboslutely love to hear from you!!!

Thanks for reading!

2. Posted by cikusang (Respected Member 1361 posts) 10y

Hi Jacky, welcome to TP!

If you do not mind, you can send a pm to me as I'll return you my opinion.

And do not forget to pay us visit here as often as you can!

Cheers,
Lee

3. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

Why you travel?

I find travel challenges me. I am really not good with languages and uncomfortable in social situations where I feel I can't communicate well. By travelling, I am forcing myself to confront these issues, and hopefully become better for the confrontation. Also, I find that when you are hoisted outside of your comfort zone, you are more open to noticing things, both about yourself and about others.

..and because it's better than being at work.

What you are seeking...intentions?

In pushing myself outside of where I am comfortable, I hope to learn the secret of happiness and what to do with my life. It hasn't happened yet, but damnit I'm going to keep on trying!

On a smaller scale, I hope to find interesting adventures, because when I am sad or bored, it makes me feel good to remember fun things I have done, and what a great time it was.

Finally, I am looking for really cool stories to tell at cocktail parties, because talking about work or my portfolio is boring.

If, in the end, all I get is the last two, and I never figure out the secret to happiness, I'll still be pretty pleased with the outcome.

What you feel is authentic about the places you have been?

I'm having a tough time answering this, because I am not sure what is inauthentic about any place. I've liked some places more than others, but I don't think it means they are less authenic. Some places have not conformed to my expectations of what they should be like (like having my safari guide answer his cell phone while we were in the Serengeti), but I'm not sure that makes it a less authenitic experience.

I think occasionally we travellers have a bias that the places we travel to should stay frozen in time. That natives shouldn't want to wear "Western" clothes or chat on cell phones or own plasma television sets. But really, that's our bias, and not fair to the people living in these countries. Who am I to stand in the way of anyone wanting the same things that I have? People can claim that it's not natural, or that we (the West) have forced it on them, but it was just as much "forced" on us. I certainly can't make a cell phone or a plasma television, or, even, clothes. But I'll buy them just the same. Should we stop others from buying them just because their culture didn't come up with the concept originally?

I don't know, is that getting to the heart of your question, even?

What is the most important thing you have found or place you have been and how has it changed your life?

I think that travel has made me a more patient person. As Bill Bryson said, when you are travelling somewhere where you don't speak the language, you are like a 5 year old. It's being vulnerable. And by making myself vulnerable, I find that when I am at home, I am more willing to allow others to be vulnerable, or scared, or just plain having a hard time communicating.

How do you feel your travels impact the world?

I really don't think about, which is probably pretty selfish, I know.

On the face of it, I contribute to local economies via tourism, but I also cause ecological damage by travelling in airplanes and creating garbage and using up valuable resources like food and water and electrity in 3rd world countries.

Given that I travel on the cheap, usually, and do very little to allivate the ecologic footprint all my travel is taking up, it's probably a bad deal on the health and wealth of the earth.

4. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

Why you travel?

For the freedom, solitude, and to test myself.

What you are seeking...intentions?

Fundamentally I'm looking for the above. On the ground, anything unique, what ever is around the corner and on the otherside....

What you feel is authentic about the places you have been?

The food obviously. And the way people behave. I try never to shop the well known brands, always go for whatever the locals are buying. I like sneaking away to the places behind all the touristy places.

What is the most important thing you have found or place you have been and how has it changed your life?

I would have to say the courtyard outside of the Louvre. One of my biggest regrets in life is that the one day I was in Paris, the Louvre was closed. So I just sat outside and sketched. Somehow the layout of the place gave me a whole new appreciation of space and form. Don't ask me why. Like most people I've been in courtyards before, but somehow, that one day, it hit me. It kind of openned up my eyes to the world. Lead to a number of life changes as a result of it. I'm not going to go into all the details, but they were significant changes.

How do you feel your travels impact the world?

Hopefully none. I was taught in my early teens to "leave no trace" when I camped and travelled. I travel for myself. The things I've seen and learned become apart of me, and help me live my life. It comes out in my work and home life.

I have so many questions/interests so if anyone wants to share anything I would aboslutely love to hear from you!!!

Ask away, we're a friendly bunch. Welcome to TP!!

5. Posted by danalasta (Travel Guru 519 posts) 10y

Why you travel?What you are seeking...intentions?What you feel is authentic about the places you have been?What is the most important thing you have found or place you have been and how has it changed your life?How do you feel your travels impact the world?

Maybe this article will give u a clearer idea.

"We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again -- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more. The beauty of this whole process was best described, perhaps, before people even took to frequent flying, by George Santayana in his lapidary essay, "The Philosophy of Travel." We "need sometimes," the Harvard philosopher wrote, "to escape into open solitudes, into aimlessness, into the moral holiday of running some pure hazard, in order to sharpen the edge of life, to taste hardship, and to be compelled to work desperately for a moment at no matter what."
Few of us ever forget the connection between "travel" and "travail," and I know that I travel in large part in search of hardship -- both my own, which I want to feel, and others', which I need to see. Travel in that sense guides us toward a better balance of wisdom and compassion -- of seeing the world clearly, and yet feeling it truly. For seeing without feeling can obviously be uncaring; while feeling without seeing can be blind.
Yet for me the first great joy of traveling is simply the luxury of leaving all my beliefs and certainties at home, and seeing everything I thought I knew in a different light, and from a crooked angle. In that regard, even a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet (in Beijing) or a scratchy revival showing of "Wild Orchids" (on the Champs-Elysees) can be both novelty and revelation: In China, after all, people will pay a whole week's wages to eat with Colonel Sanders, and in Paris, Mickey Rourke is regarded as the greatest actor since Jerry Lewis.

If a Mongolian restaurant seems exotic to us,it only follows that a McDonald's would seem equally exotic in Ulan Bator -- or, at least, equally far from everything expected. Though it's fashionable nowadays to draw a distinction between the "tourist" and the "traveler," perhaps the real distinction lies between those who leave their assumptions at home, and those who don't: Among those who don't, a tourist is just someone who complains, "Nothing here is the way it is at home," while a traveler is one who grumbles, "Everything here is the same as it is in Cairo -- or Cuzco or Kathmandu." It's all very much the same.

But for the rest of us, we travel, in part just to shake up our complacencies by seeing all the moral and political urgencies, the life-and-death dilemmas, that we seldom have to face at home. And we travel to fill in the gaps left by tomorrow's headlines: When you drive down the streets of Port-au-Prince, for example, where there is almost no paving and women relieve themselves next to mountains of trash, your notions of the Internet and a "one world order" grow usefully revised. Travel is the best way we have of rescuing the humanity of places, and saving them from abstraction and ideology.
And in the process, we also get saved from abstraction ourselves, and come to see how much we can bring to the places we visit, and how much we can become a kind of carrier pigeon -- an anti-Federal Express, if you like -- in transporting back and forth what every culture needs. I travel to Cuba with a suitcase piled high with bottles of Tylenol and bars of soap, and come back with one piled high with salsa tapes, and hopes, and cigars for my friends.

But more significantly, we carry values and beliefs and news to the places we go, and in many parts of the world, we become walking video screens and living newspapers, the only channels that can take people out of the censored limits of their homelands.

By now all of us have heard (too often) the old Proust line about how the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new places but in seeing with new eyes. Yet one of the subtler beauties of travel is that it enables you to bring new eyes to the people you encounter. Thus even as holidays help you appreciate your own home more -- not least by seeing it through a distant admirer's eyes -- they help you bring newly appreciative -- distant -- eyes to the places you visit. You can teach them what they have to celebrate as much as you celebrate what they have to teach. This, I think, is how tourism, which so obviously destroys cultures, can also resuscitate or revive them, how it has created new "traditional" dances in Bali, and caused craftsmen in India to pay new attention to their works. .

Thus travel spins us round in two ways at once: It shows us the sights and values and issues that we might ordinarily ignore; but it also, and more deeply, shows us all the parts of ourselves that might otherwise grow rusty. For in traveling to a truly foreign place, we inevitably travel to moods and states of mind and hidden inward passages that we'd otherwise seldom have cause to visit.
On the most basic level, when I'm in Thailand, though a teetotaler who usually goes to bed at 9 p.m., I stay up till dawn in the local bars; and in Tibet, though not a real Buddhist, I spend days on end in temples, listening to the chants of sutras.

We travel, then, in search of both self and anonymity -- and, of course, in finding the one we apprehend the other. Abroad, we are wonderfully free of caste and job and standing; we are, as Hazlitt puts it, just the "gentlemen in the parlour," and people cannot put a name or tag to us. And precisely because we are clarified in this way, and freed of inessential labels, we have the opportunity to come into contact with more essential parts of ourselves (which may begin to explain why we may feel most alive when far from home).

Abroad is the place where we stay up late, follow impulse and find ourselves as wide open as when we are in love. We live without a past or future, for a moment at least, and are ourselves up for grabs and open to interpretation. We even may become mysterious -- to others, at first, and sometimes to ourselves -- and, as no less a dignitary than Oliver Cromwell once noted, "A man never goes so far as when he doesn't know where he is going."

...there are, of course, great dangers to this, as to every kind of freedom, but the great promise of it is that, traveling, we are born again, and able to return at moments to a younger and a more open kind of self. Traveling is a way to reverse time, to a small extent, and make a day last a year -- or at least 45 hours -- and traveling is an easy way of surrounding ourselves, as in childhood, with what we cannot understand. Even when I'm not speaking pidgin English in Hanoi, I'm simplified in a positive way, and concerned not with expressing myself, but simply making sense.
So travel, for many of us, is a quest for not just the unknown, but the unknowing; I, at least, travel in search of an innocent eye that can return me to a more innocent self.

And since no one I meet can "place" me -- no one can fix me in my résumé --I can remake myself for better, as well as, of course, for worse (if travel is notoriously a cradle for false identities, it can also, at its best, be a crucible for truer ones). In this way, travel can be a kind of monasticism on the move: On the road, we often live more simply (even when staying in a luxury hotel), with no more possessions than we can carry, and surrendering ourselves to chance.
This is what Camus meant when he said that "what gives value to travel is fear" -- disruption, in other words, (or emancipation) from circumstance, and all the habits behind which we hide. And that is why many of us travel not in search of answers, but of better questions. I, like many people, tend to ask questions of the places I visit, and relish most the ones that ask the most searching questions back of me: In Thailand, for example, where many young women give up their bodies in order to protect their families -- to become better Buddhists -- I have to question my own too-ready judgments.

For what we all too often ignore when we go abroad is that we are objects of scrutiny as much as the people we scrutinize, and we are being consumed by the cultures we consume, as much on the road as when we are at home.

Romantic poets inaugurated an era of travel because they were the great apostles of open eyes. Buddhist monks are often vagabonds, in part because they believe in wakefulness. 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. "