Why Do We Travel?

Creative Commons

Creative Commons

Why our obsession with travel? 

The couple on HGTV wanting to live in a remote village in Guatemala because of their insatiable urge to experience new cultures, food, and explore parts unknown.

The young single hipster living on beans, rice, and their blog, to travel the world and take selfies on top of mountains. Not wanting to be tied down to one locale. 

Why do we travel? Why go to other places and explore other cultures?

No time in history has travel been more affordable and accessible. Past generations could only dream of leaving their homeland. Only the rich might board a ship and take months to visit another part of the world. Now all you need is a credit card number and a cell phone. 

Is our itch to travel based on the motto: “because we can,” or, “why not?”

I think traveling goes much deeper. We travel because all of life is taking us on a journey somewhere. We aren’t aways sure where, not sure what the final destination will be, but travel feels like we’re in control of finding the place we long to be. 

Frederick Buechner says this about travel:

“SOMETIMES WE TRAVEL to get away and see something of the world. Sometimes we travel just to get away from ourselves. Sometimes we travel to convince ourselves that we are getting someplace… Maybe at the heart of all our traveling is the dream of someday, somehow, getting Home” -From Wishful Thinking

The story of God revealed in the Scriptures is one of travel. God creating a people in his image and rescuing them and delivering them to a Promised Land. A long obedience in the same direction.

But along the way we know the land in which we inhabit is not safe, uncomfortable, and not built for the true longings of the heart. The people resist the leadings of God and want another home without God and without each other. 

We’d rather travel alone.

The writer of Hebrews said it well:

“12 So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” -Hebrews 13:12-14

The city we seek is illusive. It’s illusive because it’s temporary and not built for eternity. Jesus went outside the camp, traveled to the outskirts of the city and suffered and died, so we could find our true city, a city which never will fade and perish. 

I think our desire to travel is a desire for Home.