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Why We Travel

Years ago, I was on a press trip in Africa.

As we were bumping along through the savannah, one of my fellow journalists was flipping through a stack of magazines he had brought along for what I guess he considered dull moments.

He could have been on a plane, he could have been in his own living room.

One place he was not, was in the moment.

The enemy of the travel writer is the “been there, done that” attitude. It is something we all have to fight because many of us travel all over the world, see great sites, stay in top hotels, eat in award-winning restaurants, even meet local dignitaries along the way.

Enthusiasm is what I look for in travel reporting.

Because of it, we have a tendency to take this extraordinary life for granted.

But that is really dangerous not only for ourselves but for our readers, our viewers, our site visitors—whomever we are doing these reconnaissance trips for.

I believe that critical for survival in our field is a puppy-like curiosity wherever we find ourselves. If you’re not tickled about anything, what’s the point? It’s not only a waste of your time, but certainly harder to write enthusiastically about it.

One of the contributors to my site, FarewellTravels.com [1], recently was on a sea kayaking trip in British Columbia. He had been on many such trips, as he’s very involved with orca conservation and protection projects. When he got back, he sent me a short video his wife had shot while they were in Johnstone Strait.

The 34 second film captures not only an amazing experience of having a whale come within a couple of feet of their kayak, but the audio captures their excitement. Clearly, they were wowed by what was happening and you can’t help but feel it as you watch and listen.

This enthusiasm is what I look for in travel reporting, whether it’s written, photographed, sketched, painted or filmed.

But more importantly, this is why I travel.

~ Susan

Do you find yourself losing enthusiasm for traveling? Share your thoughts!