I watch a lot of travel shows and follow a lot of travel writers, travel bloggers and travel influencers on social media. It seems like people travel for a lot of serious reasons. They want to expand their minds, explore new cultures, and learn about the world.
These are all noble reasons to travel. However, no one ever says, “I want to travel because it’s fun.” And the truth is, that IS the truth. Travel is fun, and while memes may quote famous travelers or make travel seem like a lofty objective, when it comes down to it, we travel to have a good time being alive. We only get one chance at this thing called life and some of us want to spend it amusing ourselves. I know I do.
I take road trips. I don’t have anything against planes, it is just that I have obligations like a husband, dog, cat and mortgage. And I like small towns, and there are plenty of those right here in the Rocky Mountain West. I also like festivals, and we have a lot of those around here too.
Road trips entertain me. I have taken road trips to participate in festivals because festivals entertain me. I have taken a road trip recently inspired by a book. The Dust Bowl Road Trip was the result of reading. Yes, reading can be a serious intellectual endeavor and it did inspire a trip. We wanted to see the area affected by the Dust Bowl and when we realized it was only 6 hours southeast of where we live, we decided we’d go. And of course, I wrote about it, because that’s what I do.
We will probably take more literary-inspired road trips in the future because both Ryan (my husband) and I devour books on Audible. We recently visited North Denver and an Italian restaurant that used to be mob-owned because Ryan was reading about the mob in Denver. See? The older we become the more we are influenced by the books we read.
But why are we ultimately doing these somewhat intellectually-inspired trips? To have fun. We’ll learn some stuff and see some stuff along the way, and eventually, I’ll write it down, but we went because the adventure would be fun.
There is little doubt in my mind that some people travel to a specific place, let’s say the Eiffel Tower, because they feel they have to. After all, everyone else goes there. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the trendy world of influencer travel. And if they don’t Instagram a photo of themselves in front of that specific place, it didn’t even happen. That is an indicator of the times we live in.
But you and me? Let’s not kid ourselves, we travel because it’s fun. No serious reasons necessary. We want to be entertained in this one life we have to live. There’s no bigger reason than that, and I don’t think we need to pretend that it is.