Why we travel?


  1. Your travels
  2. Why travel?
  3. Why travel top 10
  4. Why should young people travel?
  5. Why don't Americans travel?
  6. Self-imposed Isolation
  7. Long way Round / Long Way Down review
  8. A geographer's perspective

Your travels

I have traveled in couple of countries, Gabon, Cameroon, Congo, Togo, France, Switzerland and the USA. In fact, there was a reason for me to go to each places. First of all, Cameroon is my native country and I lived there permanently until 10 years old while I later went to Gabon because my mother relocated there so must of my teenage hood, I spend it in Gabon until now and I have both citizenship because my mother is Gabonese and my dad Cameroonian.

When it comes to Togo and Congo, my mother was sent to work by the WHO couple years ago to Congo Brazzaville while my Step dad was sent to Togo where he is originally from. I didn’t live long either in Togo or Congo just 4 months in each place because I was pursuing my education in France where I got the opportunity to visit old castle in the inside of the country which I always dreamed of and that was made possible through my university which organized excursion in different places of the country in the inside of the country that was awesome.

Then after a year in France I got the opportunity to come to the US which has been a long journey I can tell. The thing that motivated to go out of my countries of origin were more about discovering new cultures, new places, understand why people act as they do on TV why they behave the way they do and geographically speaking I just mostly wanted to visit other countries in other continents. The great things that I enjoyed of those experiences are first seeing the architectural aspect difference, especially in France, from one city to the other, whether if in Paris, Angers, Bordeaux, and Lille which are the couple cities I got to visit and live in the architecture is different and beautiful.

Further on, when I came to the US, I was concerned about the reason why most houses or building were more made from wood than all of brick like most houses in my home country, and here I understood that weather and hazards have a lot to do in it. While some places have windows in the bathroom some other do not. Despite my deep interest in meteorology I must confess that I won’t ever get use to the cold weather in Omaha. But despite all of this the main reason which sent me to the USA is the language. I always loved Languages English, Spanish, Italian and Chinese.

Why travel?

When reading the travel experience of Huberman and her insight of the outside world, I definitely agree with Huberman on reasons she highlighted to travel. First of all, Huberman describe that experience as an opportunity to be exposed to new ways of doing and seeing things; she described India from another Indian himself who sees India as a dustbin, and this is due to a lack of dustbin in the entire city and India itself. She believes and states that traveling was all about liberation and explained how she would free herself from her backward American ideas. I think this shows how she was eager to discover new things and learn new cultures and which is why for an instant as people throw things on the ground, she flung her plastic bottle to the ground as well.

This show how adaptation is essential when we are in contact to another culture but it is never easy as her whole article implies as much as she wanted to assimilate, soon she will realized that the attempt to become Indian was not only exhausting, it was impossible as much as she might have enjoyed some aspect of their cultural life such as wearing a Sari, or sitting on the ground to eat. I think from this point of view it is important to point out how important it is to comprehend and respect other cultures but by remaining yourselves. I think we might not get everything other do or agree with it, but it makes us see the world differently like a mosaic of different cultures and behaviors.

She shared another experience of hers related to the way Indians handle justice themselves before calling to the police’s help. She described how they beat up a man that molested her with the intent to make him reveal his identity and only when they did not succeed that they call to the police who uses the same method and beat the person to persuade him to confess which seemed normal to all except her because of her background where people could easily call to their fifth amendment and have the right to remain silent but there those rights did not apply and this is when we realize that sometimes from one place to another we must adapt because things are different, rules are different.

Plus, through her experience, we can see that it is not easy to have a certain cultural background and easily adapt to a totally different one, no matter how much we may try to be like others, we remain ourselves because of our own personal identity influenced by our culture. She points out to the fact that no matter how much she would have tried to be like Indians or Chinese any one of those countries she visited, she was American at heart. In my opinion when you read this article of hers, you realized that traveling made her realize how much American she was discover about herself but also how capable she was to adventure herself to new areas and discover new ways and she came to realize that belonging to those different group of people wasn’t the main objective but more about seeing things the way they see it and be able to cohabitate with them despite the culture difference.

Thus, discovering those different places gave her “a chance to look with new eyes on familiar things. She didn’t change to become Indian, Chinese, or any other citizen from any of the different countries she visited but instead it made her wiser and changed her American ways because of all those people of different cultural background she met. This experience made her realize the chance she had to be able to travel while others have amusement parks to immerse themselves in other countries or make them travel around the world with the example of “windows to the world”.

Why travel top ten

If I am asked why we should travel, these are the three main reasons I will tend to give:

-It improves your language skills. For me language has always been important to embrace the world. It takes you out of your isolation zone and makes it easier to you to discover new things and communicate more easily with people of other linguistic background. In order to easily learn a new culture, make new friends.

-It teaches you about the world. Traveling for me makes you discover new horizons and new cultures, learn about behaviors from one region to the other, understand the dressing code and so on. Personally I never understood while people will smoke so much during winter in occidental countries France of America and most friends of mine claim it to be stimulating and make them feel less the cold temperature, is that reason enough for me to start smoking well no I am strictly against it; I wonder if cold is the reason of most people to smoke in cold area what will be the reason for those in warm temperate region like in African Countries like Togo Gabon Cameroon. I learned to be more tolerant by discovering new culture and learn about the different factors which make people be the way they are, but I rather keep some example to myself 😊

-Especially teaches you about yourself. I think the first thing you learn from yourself is how strong you are when you travel abroad you are faced to many diverse challenges, looked at weird, struggle of the language or people unable to understand you frustration to no be able to communicate what you feel to people speaking that language, or moving around or the difficulty in my personal experience to be on a student visa with so much limitations and realizing how perseverant you are and strong minded and the ability you have to face any challenge that comes to you and always keep your smile on your face I think it tells a lot about you. Not everyone has the same experience that is why I took an example based on my own personal experience and all things you go through without the presence of your family member around makes get stronger.

Why should young people travel?

Travelling according to Peterson both benefits someone for their personal and professional life. She justifies it as being a way to gain in skills and experiences and allow you to discover yourself at a young age because it is basically the period during which kids are still discovering themselves. She also emphasized on how in high school because children have more freedom when it comes to free time and less responsibilities, it is the best time to start. But the 6 main reasons though listed were:

-Get out of your comfort zone

-Traveling builds confidence

-You will develop cultural sensitivity

-You can adapt to globalization

-Be immersed in a second (or Third) language

-Infinite opportunities to network

Personally, the other advantages I can highlight is that it helps young kids to discover about them and who they want to be, grow faster immerse in the world and think more openly, develop their mindset and make them more considerate of others and this also apply to adult, develop skills and why not learn better at school. Additionally, some other relevant advantages I picked on are that: Traveling makes you be thankful for the little things you have, it gives you the opportunity to change environments.

Why don't Americans travel?

The United States is a country which has its own rich cultural and geographic diversity, when we even look back at the history. The truth is most Americans are skeptic and ignorant about international destinations, a work culture that prevents Americans from taking long vacations abroad and the prohibitive cost and logistics of going overseas Says the author. Therefore, the following are the different reasons he points out:

-Cultural diversity

-Skepticism and ignorance

-Work culture

-Cost and logistics

The US has everything to itself to visit or travel to Oceans, deserts, beach, mountains and more. This represent to itself an entire continent in terms of what it has to offer when it comes to its cultural, geographical features and even more. All those features lessen the interest of people to go out while they have it all without need to spend money on either a ticket or on getting a passport as stated in the article by the author Gary Arndt who wrote “You can do all kinds of things without needing a passport in his website everything everywhere.com

As much as from one region to another in the US the culture present differences, it is still not as much important than when it comes to differences between an actual country to another like Asia, Paris or London. Another factor would be the negative image portrayed by Medias when it comes to other countries whether if it is natural hazards or crimes, kidnapping and many more creating a sentiment of fear preventing people from discovering the outside world living in isolation.

-Americans always have assumptions for any outside countries and are inhabited by feeling of fear of going outside

-Same life pattern , they have to take loan to pursue their education and then get a Job to be able to pay it back; So, for them there is no time of self-travel or money to waste on trips too far too expensive especially that for them time is money.

-As Kepnes stated, American are more about money than leisure time, they are not a travel culture Kepnes said.

-The United States is a so big country that to travel from one place to the other it takes almost as much time than flying outside the country, they have more a culture of traveling inside the country that going outside.

Self-imposed Isolation?

Each of us lives in varying degrees of isolation from the rest of the world. This isolation is both happenstance and self-imposed. If we are born in an isolated part of the world with few opportunities to travel, we will likely lead an isolated existence. Self-imposed isolation occurs when have many opportunities to see other parts of the world but choose to spend our time and resources in one tiny area. We isolate ourselves because we are afraid or uncomfortable in other parts of the world.

After talking about Americans and reasons of not traveling I decided to pick on a good friend Chloe from a wealthy family living in Chicago a very quiet person who loves her space and is not eager to travel abroad she doesn’t like to be too much in contact with others she says it is because she avoids drama and she rather be at home and she is still living with her parents at 22 the only child and with few very few friends all she does is going to school and going home. Not much interest in traveling the longest trip she allows herself to take is to Oklahoma when she goes to visit her grandparents but never went out and never really intends to because she says the is everything, she needs right here this is why I picked on her because to me I feel like it is a good example of Self-imposed isolation.

In this case money is not really the issue I think she has been with her family all her life and is just a bit scared of adventuring herself too far and alone. On the other hand, I have my cousin Roberta who always dreamed of going to Canada to pursue her education but it has never been an easy things to do because of finances back in the days when we were little is we were grown up then she would have been able to because there was a little money that could finance it but we keep hoping that God answer that dream and I believe the time will come which is why I don’t take for granted the opportunity I had to visit so much places all was grace and in this second case we see that this person wants to face the world but financially she is unable to but keeps fighting looking for alternatives to realize it.

If I take my sister for example Ashley, she is in France and she really wants to be with others and open up but people have been doing too much racial distinctions especially that she is the only black in her area of studies her sections and sometimes she feels bad because of the way many treat her which is why she lost interest on doing anything there she just go to school come home and repeats the same patterns because she doesn’t want anyone to annoy her.

But She is trying now to open up and is making friend outside of her area of study and through this example we can see that sometimes no matter how much we want to assimilate to others people tend to push us to isolate ourselves but, in this case the thing to do is to ignore and live your life even though it is going to be hard but people will come along and this is something life thought me, never change for no one impose yourself and those who appreciate you will be with you that’s all.

Long way Round / Long way Down review

I hope you've enjoyed these two series. To what extent do you agree with Wallaston"s (Motorcycle Emptiness) review?

The Review ( Motorcycle emptiness) is pretty much to my opinion right because we can see that it is a whole industry these men are traveling around but are commercializing the different companies sponsoring them it is like a win win, we help you to travel around and you help our market at least that’s how I understand it and I believe that this is the reason why The author probably referred to the term a limited company. In fact the portray the cultural differences and difficulty of traveling but when it gets hard it is important to remind themselves of what the outcome should be taking the case of Mongolia and the bad road but their determination and looking at one of their episode where they had to learn expressions from other countries to know what is appropriate or not and this is nice.

But something I do also agree with is that a new country is in my opinion a lot of stress and despite all the good material, equipment they may have had, and they had, they still struggled and faced to some situations weren’t that much hopeful. It is normal when we see how they struggled to move their motorcycle in that land at Mongolia on their way to Yakutsk. From this short review I must say that I agree with that review especially on the term emptiness because well those motorcycles gave them too much trouble but also made them think of the end than the difficulty even though it was though.

A Missing Geographic Perspective

As a geographer, my criticism of the series is that the two motorcycle riders display little geographic knowledge. As actors, their geographic education is probably limited. Comment on a particular scene from either series where a knowledge of physical or human geography would have helped understand what they experienced. Draw on any other geography course you might have taken.

We can see that on the Long Way Round episode 5 Western Mongolia to Yakutsk, when the Bike of one of the two men brake down and after it was fixed, the two main engaged back to their trip but the sky was suspicious with clouds a little darker if they knew a little of Meteorology, they would have understand that it is better to wait until the sky opened up a little bit.

They might show a lack of knowledge on human and physical geography, but they seemed to have understand the most important out of those trips people do not look the same, but we are actually the same based on what drives us for example as one of the men pointed out everyone has kids despite different believe system. I think when they lost a little bit of motivation during their trip in Mongolia to reach the capital on how difficult it was due to the road conditions with mud everywhere.

I believe that if they knew a little about soils, and the type of soil they were faced to they would have enjoyed digging a little bit to study it as part of their trip and maybe, they would have been able to find an alternative way from the initial one they were taking and with the sky getting darker, these two travelers were about to experience more difficulty to cross that valley because the soil was so soft that more rain would have worsen the condition of the soil therefore the road and make it harder for them to cross. Well I guess geography is important for many various reasons to predict hazardous situations.

Submitted by Sidiki Bolanga Krystel Audrey Sophie on 02/01/2019.