Thursday, 19 February 2009

I'm a travel wanker. Sometimes.


Megan of Little Breeze wrote a really nice post about traveling yesterday. It inspired me to do the same, especially after I read the article linked to at the Age blogs: Travel wankers.

I have done a fair bit of traveling, at least having visited 22 countries feels like a fair bit. And that's not including my home country, Norway.

Last year was a really good travel year for me. 37 days of 2008 I was traveling on some sort of work related mission; I was on a couple of adventurous Hurtigruten journeys, I drove a snowmobile at Svalbard, I got a real taste of ouzo in Greece, I discovered (yet again) the beauty of Italy, and I was in Odda.

I also did some really fun private traveling; hanging out with Flickr friends in Berlin, enjoyed a later summer in September at wonderful Fogn, and we drove 14 hours to celebrate our friend's birthday at a mountain cabin, to mention a few trips.

See! Now I'm being a travel wanker. Sometimes it's hard not to be, especially when talking to people you meet when you're out traveling. Right there and then traveling is the most obvious thing you have in common, and it feels only natural to chat about it and to share (or brag about?) experiences. Also, traveling is so much fun, so why shut up about it? But like the guy who wrote the article mentioned above, I try to limit myself to as little wankery as possible. Btw, is showing photos from travels also considered wankery? In that case, I'm a terrible travel wanker!

So, back to Megan's headline; Why I travel.

Travelling is the only time when I all I focus on is that very moment.

I very much agree with Megan on that. To travel is to be in the moment, and just soak in everything that happens and everything you see - delays, early mornings, the confusion of foreign currency and languages you don't understand, buying groceries that are the same but different from the ones you are used to at home, eating almost all meals out.

I don't travel to get away from my everyday life at home. I like everyday life (you already knew that, right?). I travel to learn and experience things that are different from my everyday life. Things that will enrich my life and make me happy because they are good memories. I find that planning a trip and enjoying the memories when I'm home, are just as important as the actual trip itself. For example, buying guide books is such a great way to start any travels.

To travel is to go from one place to another. That's what I'm trying to describe in my traveling set of photos on Flickr. The break from everyday routines. Glimpses of travel moments and memories.

After our summer vacation in Croatia in 2007 (now I'm doing it again!) I wrote a few posts about traveling. I'm sure there will be more travel thoughts soon when I add the 23rd land to my countries I have visited list - I'm off to South Africa in March (for work).

How about you? Why do you travel? Are you also a travel wanker?

11 comments:

  1. Oh Astrid. What a great post!

    I must be a travel wanker too!!! ;) But I agree...it's such a joy to be traveling for work or pleasure. I too have been lucky enough to travel for work quite a bit...and there is nothing better than setting off on a new adventure. Enjoy South Africa....

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  2. I feel really connected to what you wrote. It is exactly how I see travelling, and I really can't live without this constant opportunities of discovering something new.

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  3. I'm a flickr travel wanker lately. In the past couple of years we have done some fabulous traveling including Cuba, New York and North American Road trips. However, the bulk of my travel lately has been to visit my flickr friends. We went to California TWICE because of flickr friends. We flew to Berlin to visit the Germans (and YOU!) I am going to Monroe, Louisiana in a week or so to see the Bayou and a wonderful flickr friend, and as you know, Ken and I will be traveling to Norway next summer to visit with some great Norwegians. !!! yay for traveling. Good post.

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  4. It's the sharing of experiences and the looking back at memories that give me reason to travel. Plus, in difference to you, I like to get away from my normal life from time to time. I get a buzz from travelling and I get an equally large buzz from writing about my travels on my blog and sharing my photos. Heck, it's the sole reason I created my blog in the first place.

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  5. Hei! Kan vel ikke si jeg akkurat et travel wanker etter at jeg fikk en liten en, men planlegger alltid en tur. Det er faktisk ikke så vanskelig å reise med småtasser heller. Nå driver jeg obsessive research for en liten paristur i begynnelsen av mars. For meg er halve turen planleggingen, nesten:)

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  6. I wholeheartedly agree with this:

    "I travel to learn and experience things that are different from my everyday life. Things that will enrich my life and make me happy because they are good memories. I find that planning a trip and enjoying the memories when I'm home, are just as important as the actual trip itself."

    My Flickr stream is pretty much all traveltraveltravel at the moment (though I like to think not because I'm a wanker but because I like to drag out the process of going through them, because it drags the trip itself out ;-))

    I'm so glad my post inspired you!

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  7. this is so strange .. i literally wrote this exact thing that megan expressed in my journal this morning. we are planning spring roads trips and i wrote "travel is when i live entirely in the moment; everything else falls away."

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  8. i want to go to Greece so badly! my cousin Amalia went and had the time of her life. the beauty there is pure magic.

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  9. hej!
    i see you're off to south africa in march - my home! if you're in cape town in march, let me know - i'm there at that time too - happy to show you some sights if you get a chance in between work :-) tanya.

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  10. i feel exactly like that. "
    Travelling is the only time when I all I focus on is that very moment."

    super nice post

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  11. I travel to escape the humdrum of my everyday life and to rediscover myself and my worth. With my timeshare in Hawaii from TRA www.tralasvegas.com, travelling has become an annual event for me, one I look forward to.

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