Why do I travel? Whenever I hear this question I want to say: Well, for the free champagne and kittens of course!
Actually that’s not a question I frequently get or ask myself. People do ask me why I travel so much or wow, you are traveling again? Sometimes there is a little accusation in that sentence. Like I should be doing something more sensible with my time and my life. Luckily I am surrounded by few of those, most people who know me seem to be genuinely excited for me when I go on a trip. That makes me lucky on many accounts.
Right now that luck almost scares me a bit. So many new places on the agenda this year and so many places that I even dare to call home and love accordingly. And when you get to see the Northern Lights or find a complimentary bottle of Ruinart champagne in your room, get to see where Santa lives and bark at seals who bark back, it is hard not to wonder how you got to be so lucky to call this your life or in my case my almost my job? The question on why I travel seems almost tedious. But still…
Today I am sad. Today and yesterday already I had the trepidation of saying goodbye to a place that I have absolutely fallen in love with. Yes, another one. But this time, it was so unexpected, so absurd almost that it made the whole experience even more intense. I love the sun and the warmth like nobody else. Yet there I was in my borrowed boots and an ugly padded overall, a case of really bad helmet hair and just laughing so much that my cheeks hurt. It wasn’t funny but just insanely beautiful. I couldn’t believe I got to see something that amazing with my own eyes. Trees and mountains of white, blue skies and some white reindeer playing where is Waldo in the snow. Who would have guessed that I could love a scenery that didn’t include a white beach and turquoise water or lush jungle so much? So much in fact that I am already planning when and how I can come back to see it all again and more.
Luckily today it was raining, which made the goodbye a bit more bearable. I don’t think I could have bared to leave the snow in the sunshine. Still I felt sad, but I had yet another flight to catch and sometimes my mind and my heart can’t catch up with my body. So I was allowing myself to mope and wallow, to transition and enjoy a last sauna at my hotel in Helsinki. How did I live without daily sauna for the last years??
I travel for the possibilities. For the possibility to fall in love, to see and experience new things, to laugh till my cheeks hurt, to have my heart broken when I leave, to feel alive and to feel all the feelings that come with it.
Tomorrow I am off to China. The other day I told someone about this upcoming trip and the person pulled a face. I wouldn’t want to go to China. It smells and is disgusting, they all spit everywhere and the food is bad! I was honestly shocked into silence. Because not only was this person a travel blogger (somehow that made it worse!) but she also had never been to China. Of course, it is her prerogative to not want to go. And of course, it is her right to say that she disliked China for a lot of people spitting and her having to eat bad food had she been. But to offload such a spiteful, prejudiced comment to someone who had just told her she was going there was more than a little rude, it was ignorant.
So, no, I don’t know if China will become yet another love, but again, that’s why I travel – to find out. For love it or hate it, at least I will have seen it with my own eyes and hopefully, will not make ignorant comments like at a dinner table. So if you ask me, I travel for kittens, free champagne and the possibilities of becoming a better person.