What is Travel?? 

The word “travel” is used in everyday conversations more than ever before. The strange part is that what is travel to you might be travel to me. Travel is different to everyone and is also changing with each passing day.

What is Travel to you??

For most of the people around me travel is unfortunately going to a place, clicking pictures and posting on social media in order to tell the world where they were. Well, don’t get me wrong, I do that too but that is not my motive. I have visited places with certain people where all they cared about is their selfie stick or phone more than the place!

For instance, in Budapest, I saw tourists who started clicking selfies as soon as they reached the Buda Castle. (I popular landmark in the city). I swear they didn’t even see the building in front of them!! All of this made me wonder what travel has become.

Wasn’t travel about experiencing, relaxing, making new friends and understanding new cultures?? Also, wasn’t travel getting away from mundane life…..and the people?? But here you first want to involve people to get 100 likes on your Facebook picture.
The Effort behind Travel
I am sometimes surprised when people overlook or forget the effort it takes to actually plan a trip. It takes weeks and sometimes months for a trip to come together. Figuring logistics when traveling solo or in a group is a Herculean task! There is so much hard work that goes behind it to make it happen.

Sometimes one has to let go of current comforts to make it succeed. It could be as small as eating out less or as big as working extra hours to earn more money. These are only some of the reasons that I think travel becomes possible of course apart from the need to travel….

Sadly, in today’s times, people assume that a particular person travels due to a rich family background or a sponsored trip. I hope people can someday realize that passion, need and handwork also make a vital role in making travel happen. Here’s hoping it changes in the years to come so that people not only respect everyone who is traveling but also understand what it means to travel. I respect everyone’s style but this was just my two cents on it.

What is travel to you??

Have you read these books on travel?? Disclosure: There are “ affiliate links” on my blog. If you click on a picture and make a purchase through these links, I will receive a small commission (at no cost to you). Thanks for supporting Italophilia!

161 thoughts on “What is Travel?? 

  1. Well said. I’m currently coming to the end of two weeks touring France. I’ve taken selfies, pictures of places I’ve been, I’ve checked in. But most of all, I’ve seen new things, experienced new things, improved my French and found a greater passion for France. My trip is coming to an end, but not the memory of it.

  2. Great article, Ishita. You certainly have given us much to think about… Yes I too, post a lot about travel on social media… But before I was ever on much of social media, I have enjoyed traveling… It began when I was a senior in college and went to the Bahamas for spring break… I thought I was in heaven… From then on, the wanderlust has never left me. It was not until 2007 then I made my first trip to Italy and then I really fell in love… With the country of my ancestors… The rest is history, as you know, And I try to travel to Italy every chance I get. For me, like you, it is the experience, the excitement of new places, and meeting new people.

    1. Thank you Margie. Wow I never knew about your Bahamas trip. Sounds fun..I know your passion for all things Italian and I can relate to it all that’s why we are kindred spirits. More power to us and lots of travel too 😉

  3. I absolutely agree.
    So many people have been annoying me with “I would love to travel as much as you, but I can’t afford it”. The funny thing: they are all richer than me.
    It’s about priorities: https://andreasmoser.blog/2015/10/24/travel-priorities/
    And some of my best trips were the ones where I didn’t have a camera with me at all. I didn’t take a single photo, and somehow, it made the experience more in-depth, less superficial.

    1. That’s so ironic no?? Strange they are. I know what you mean. I was a few days in Perugia in 2015 without many photos and videos and just sitting and eating. Best time ever

  4. Your posts are always so thought provoking.Thanks for this one. I travel to soak up the ground where people before me have walked. While I can’t walk in their shoes I can inhale the aromas of bread baking in the oven, clean laundry hung out to dry, meats and cheese at a local farmer’s market, freshly rubbed leather of a newly made purse. I’m in awe of the art and architecture of ancient cities in Europe. Nature’s beauty in whatever part of the world I happen to be in. And the people, learning from them how they lived back then and today. So much to soak up when you’re in the moment… traveling.

    1. You are so so kind, Cara. Thank you. True..Lovely thoughts from you as well. I’m thinking of small towns in Europe. My last visited city (Budapest) left me mersmerized!!

  5. Great point taken Ishita!
    What I personally feels is that most people are not interested in the beauty and origin of the place they are visiting; they are more interested in clicking a picture and posting it on Social Media with a bunch of hashtags.
    We really need to look on the way we are thinking and going.

  6. I love this post. For me, travel is about learning. Learning about another culture, history, the people, the food, everything. I love to take pictures as they are my best souvenir. They remind me of what I learned long after. I agree, you don´t need to be wealthy to travel. We have made many sacrifices in order to visit the places we have so far. Perhaps that is what makes our travels so special.

  7. Travel is about experiencing the local culture. When we travel we try to stay in one spot at least a month, so we get to know the people, the architecture, the food and the wine. I like to learn to cook local foods in local style. I like to find local literature and read about the place I stay. Because I am retired I can do this easily a couple of times a year. I follow your posts after meeting you during our stay in Lecce, Italy.

    1. Love your travel style, Arthur!! I don’t cook but I’m going to try imbibe your habit .. I loved our meeting in Lecce and I’m so glad you do. Could you forward me the link to your profile?? Best wishes

  8. I really like this post about traveling. Everybody travel for different reasons. If you can afford to travel and you like to do it then you go away as often as possible. I agree with you that the planning is time consuming but it is often what makes the success of a trip. I am just back from a 42 days road trip ( will be blogging about it in about one month) and I already know that I will travel again in 6 months and this trip is not quite all planned yet so I have work to do ( this is a nice part and the after trip is nice also when I look at my photos- they are often the only “thing” I bring back). I am not into buying lots of souvenirs. Our house would be full with stuff I do not need.. 🙂 . what is travel for me ? sometimes is going to visit friends or see a places that I am interested . It is an opportunity to meet new people also. I always meet nice people and I like to talk to everybody. I hope you come by and read about my travel experience also. My last post is about a small village in Mexico. Have a good WE.

    1. Thank you 🙂 wow 42!! Amazing .. very inspiring. Indeed an opportunity to meet people and know their lifestyle. I’ll check your post now .. thanks for commenting. Xx

      1. 42 days is not our longest road trip. We did 63 days (across Canada and USA) with our teenagers a while back and last year we did a 55 days in USA …

  9. Ishita,
    I have to agree with everyone here…
    I can say that, for me, travel has always been a passion. I’ve always been intrigued and interested in how other peoples live, about their history and lifestyles. I also love learning how we all intersect…
    Doubtless there are many “tourists” who skim the surface of a place, take a selfie and say they’ve been there. What ever…that is their experience… However, that isn’t and has never been my intent.
    I just love immersing and now sharing through my writing in hopes of informing and inspiring… t
    Traveling connects us to the people – walls disintegrate, stereotypes are blown apart…we learn and we grow and, for me, it is enriching and gratifying.

    1. Absolutely Victoria. It’s all about the hard work. I keep hearing the same from ppl and frankly I’m a bit tired of it now. But to each his own. Let us be grateful for the strength we have. Glad our intents are same 🙂

  10. I love your posts. They are thoughtful and thought provoking.
    Travel is many things. I remember being in Australia at Bondi Beach and a group of tourists got off the coach stood against a wall and took photos of themselves with the wall behind them. They had the view but it just wasn’t apparently relevant to them. Just ticking that box. But I thought about it and to them it was travel. That’s the point. It’s whatever you want it to be.
    You just hope to meet people when you travel who approach it like you do. And in you I did. I’m so glad we did. I’m back in Lecce and Ostuni next week. I’ll raise a glass to you

    1. That evening in Lecce might have been short but it’s so clear in my mind. I’m so glad we met Babs. Thank you for your words and thoughts. I’m thinking of Lecce and you.

  11. You touched a hot topic – so all my admiration for your bravery. Personally, traveling is a way of developing your knowledge, a way of learning new ways of understanding and becoming more tolerant/open minded. Might sound extreme, but in my opinion, traveling should be mandatory, as having and id – as it would not be just a piece of paper, but a true life experience.

    1. Haha I like the word “hot topic” 🙂 thank you..I hope it gives people something to think about. It sounds extreme but it makes sense. Thanks for your thoughts:)

  12. Ishita, I enjoy reading your blog.
    I enjoy transporting myself to different dimension of reality. Listening the stories that mountains, Rivers, firsts and oceans share with me as I legal my bicycle from one end of the world to another. Before a trip I enjoy reading pretty and books in the language of the country I’m passing through. When I return home I continue reading in my newly acquired language. I enjoy doing what you do, and additionally I enjoy being in touch with nature while going self propelled pedaling my bicycle… And sometimes walking out paddling a kayak…

    1. I feel so stoked when you write that. I hope to live up to the expectations that you have of my blog and writing each time. To me readers are very important as they give me direction. Love your thoughts, you sound adventurous:)

  13. Great post Ishita.
    We’ve met those kinds of travelers who don’t appreciate the experience. To each their own I guess. The biggest thrill is to say “I was there”!
    To Us it’s the History. The Culture, the Food. It’s the meeting of the average person and the way they live. The mindset of how local Politics, Religion and History cultivate the attitude of day to day lives.
    But it Is more than that. It’s walking the walk of the Ancient People. How those people lived and what they had inside there heads. Walking in the same foot prints as the people who we hear about in History.
    I’ve had a camera at my side for more years than I want to think about. Shooting images of our Traveling Experience captures the Memories and reminds us of how we are all similar

    1. Thank you for your thoughts. You are right, the Biggest thrill to everyone is I was there! I love how there are so many like minded folks reading my blog. And cameras really capture the best. Ciao

  14. I’m quite the opposite. While I have pictures of my trips not one is on social media and I never tag myself at any location. I’d rather enjoy the beaches at Thailand than post a picture that makes it look like I’m enjoying it, know what I mean? You please Don’t stop posting though, haha. Your posts are gorgeous.

    1. Yes to think about it I’ve never seen your travel posts. Haha I won’t but I do in moderation 😉 but you will get a DM if I’m in a bookstore in Italy!!

  15. The first time I travelled was when I was 19. I sailed in the Achille Lauro from Australia to Italy via South America. Italy has been calling me ever since. I laugh when people tell me how lucky I am to travel so much. If you want something enough you can make it happen. I was lucky to have been born to great parents in a country that gives people opportunities, the rest is what you make of it.
    I have found that writing my blog about my travels has made me more observant. For me travel is never about selfies, I never take them. I love discovering new places and revisiting favourites. I like to see how people live and how they once lived. To walk on a street where Caesar once walked is amazing to me or to wander through towns and village where time seems to have stood still.
    The sheer beauty of Italy is incredible, the people are great and the food is delicious…what more could you want?

    1. Agree, I think we make our luck here. no one understands that.. Italy is incredulous. I am so blessed to have visited the country and understood its culture.

  16. an escape from the ordinary, from the life, a way of life, a new experience, happiness, being in the moment, all the planning before the actual trip, the memories after the trip..:)

  17. Travel – that is movement, mobility – is one of the core meanings of life. One must only have a look at the majority of people who never go abroad and it becomes even clearer what staying in one type of community all their lives is doing to them. So I say: even if some only travel in order to brag about it by way of selfies – at least they have moved.

    1. Yes I think the mind becomes very narrow, the person’s approach to life is so different when one doesn’t travel. I have learnt so much just by going to Italy only so many times. Also, other countries but Italy taught me to live 🙂

  18. Nice post, Ish. I also see a lot of people taking a million selfies when they are traveling and then bombarding my FB feed with all those.
    On a recent trip to Grand Canyon, everyone I saw just went to the rim, turned back and started clicking their pictures! That’s blasphemy coz there’s a natural wonder and all you can think is you, yourself!

  19. During the day walking around with no aim and purpose and finding cool buildings, cathedrals, museums etc. taking your time to appreciate and wonder, and then moving on.
    Going into a random restaurant or pub that looks cool, having a meal, ordering a couple drinks, chatting with the server or bar tender then moving on.
    Going to a club or bar and dancing and conversing and looking back in hindsight that the random people you danced or chatted with that night is what you’ll remember most after having left.
    I actually was in Budapest a couple of weeks before you and broke my phone my first day while stumbling out of bed. I was devastated at first because I felt there were so many beautiful photos I could’ve captured and blogged about. Through it it gave me a purpose of chatting with more people organically and asking them to send me pictures later. I made a few friends, I creeped a few people out, but I made fun of the situation and made lemons of a pretty unfortunate event.
    Mainly, I think traveling is about those extremely organic encounters you’ll never forget. I’ll never forget stumbling into a random bar that was completely empty at 1 AM after having been extremely irresponsible earlier this night. I ended up drinking with the bar tender until 3 while listening to his DJ friend’s mixes while he used to own a night club and talking about life, and his friend who owned a restaurant on the street came by and brought us some snacks. Me, him, his friend, and his friends gf just chilled til 5 AM while talking about all sorts of stuff and listening to music. Was amazing.
    A few other of these other organic unexpected meetings happened, and I think those are the experiences traveling that are what makes me want to travel more.

    1. Amazing (though not about your about phone getting lost) Haha creeping people out, I can so relate to it. LOL! Your experience with the bartender is so cool! Random strangers chilling..But I am sure those days must have taught you so much. Without technology we realize what we miss no??

      1. Yeah absolutely, I will admit I click away a bit when I have my phone while traveling, but when its completely gone you internally record so much more. Also found myself thinking of ways to describe different things I saw to write about later, so that was a bit fun 🙂

  20. Hmmm, what is travel? I don’t remember who said ‘travel is the only money you spend that makes you richer’. To me, travel is about personal growth, education, walking in the footsteps of those who walked before you, honouring your ancestors, and becoming an all around better person. My first travel, other than immigrating to Canada-was returning to Italia at the age of 11, then again at 16 and 20- and I still remember the awe with which I saw things. My parents sacrificed a lot so we could all go every few years, and my siblings and I could not have otherwise gotten that kind of education. My love of art, art history, archeology, language and ancient cultures started with that first trip. This inspired me to travel to a lot of different places in my life and shaped me as a person. In 2004, after many trips home to Italia, I decided there was no reason to keep me from going every year. I even picked up a 40m squared place that used to belong to my Bisnonno along the way! Now I travel to my own home-which in reality cost me less than a shiny new car. I can’t imagine life without travel. I also often have people say how ‘lucky’ I am to be able to do this. i find this so unbelievably annoying! Usually these people are far more well off than me and spend a lot of money going away for weekends. Being able to travel takes hard work, planning, saving and setting priorities in life. If it was too easy though, it wouldn’t be as rewarding. Buon viaggio, Cristina

    1. So many wonderful memories cara 🙂 must have been real special to be connected to Italy at such a young age. I agree about people being well off and saying it. I am so irritated by it because it happens every so often.. Alas the world is made of all kinds of them

  21. Travel to me means discovery, satisfying my curiosity, and engaging with people and their culture. I tried to express this in one of my recent posts “What would Buddha ask if he walked into a church?” You might like to read it and record your answer because the lack of comments tells me a lot http://wp.me/p3R1tV-Dy

  22. Travel is all about the relaxation and when you feel bored with one place, and you need to change atmosphere, We plan to visit that place which we actually not even only that one which are famous like Whitehouse, Tazmahal etc even where we want to go in reality for himself not for click selfies and show-off.

  23. Also for me, traveling is an escape from everyday life, it’s a form of relaxation although that’s not always the case (haha). It’s a way to discover the world, yourself and other cultures and people. It’s trough traveling, a person gets knowledge and an open mind.
    I catch myself sometimes stuck in this part of society. Afterwards when I think about the pictures I have shared on social media I am also a little bit “disgusted” with myself or other people. Okay it’s fun once in a while, but people exaggerate with it very much and I don’t wanna be that person. I, too want to live in the moment and see/experience the surroundings without having to share this on the internet. Of course it is wonderful to take pictures to remember the beauty of traveling, but it makes me sad that some people put more time in taking and orchestrating that picture than experiencing it. What’s more important; 10 pictures you’ll look at once in 5 years or a memorie that you carry around everyday?

    1. I realized I missed reverting Jelle. I was traveling when your comment came … Thanks for your thoughts on this. People do exaggerate …we all do.. I wish technology was only for a short while..it does get to me at times and there are more cons than there are pros.

  24. Nice read! I associate travel with exploring places and yeah I like living the moment too.. I do click pictures, but only after I’ve enjoyed being there.

  25. To me, travelling is experiencing the unknown. Most of that you can’t experience through the lens of a smartphone, and when you rely so heavily on one, you miss so much. The cities of the world offer so many minute pleasures that you need to be paying full attention or you’ll miss them. That being said, I hardy travel without taking my camera with me, but balance is key.

    1. I definitely agree, balance is key! I remember during my study abroad trips, one of my friends caught me taking constant pictures of a Bastille Day parade in France and asked me, “How are you even enjoying this if you’re just looking at it through a lens?” That really stuck with me. Since then, I’ve tried to be a lot more conscious of taking photos to remember, but also putting the phone away and simply soaking it all in.

        1. The same! I usually post afterwards, either because I’m running just on wifi when I travel and have to wait until returning to the hotel, or because I want to sit down and reflect more on the experience before posting and putting it out there in the public world. More so I can digest it myself and give it meaning first before turning to social media and attributing the number of likes and reactions on social media as its meaning.

          1. Me too. Sitting down and reflecting with a caffe 😉 I too don’t depend on data at all. I only use wifi in the hotel/BNB

    2. Yes unknown are the things they don’t teach you at school. Absolutely right. Me neither but balance is the right way. End of day upload the images, enjoy the time otherwise

  26. Great post!! To me travelling is finding out new things, new cultures and new experiences and is the reason why I work. Thank you for showing to people what it really means 🙂

  27. Hello!
    We are just kids but we think that travelling is the best thing ever! We think travelling is good because you get to see new things and meet new people and make lots of new friends. Friends are really important because they are like family. We also like to see all the things that are different from where we live and to see lots of animals!
    We wanted to start sharing our adventure stories on social media because then lots of people can share our adventures even if they can’t go on them with us. We also think stories make people happy and we like it when people are happy. It makes everything better!
    Hope you are having a really amazing adventure!
    Wolf Bear and Monkey! xxx

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by. So nice to see like minded ppl around 🙂 friends are very much family to me too. I’ve met a ton through social media. It’s amazing. Happy travels!

  28. I actually share many of your sentiments that you mentioned above. Some of the most important aspects of travel to me are the experience, the creation of new friendships that reach across the globe. But I think for me, it’s largely about the stories. Not necessarily to brag about them on social media, as you mentioned, but to live through them and incorporate them into my own life. The adventures I’ve had, the people I’ve met, I consider each and every one of them to be a critical part of who I am because of what I’ve learned from them and the experiences. I wouldn’t be who I was without travel. And I look forward to the many adventures to come.
    To me, travel is putting yourself outside your comfort zone, going someplace away from home, even if it is in your own country, and finding a new story from it.
    These sentiments are something that I tried to include in my post about the one moment I would choose to relive from my adventures: https://courtneydumonde.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/one-moment-to-relive/.

    1. Thanks Courtney!! Friendships make me travel to Italy every yr. I agree with you. The people you meet during your travels and with whom you have shared the best moments are so real and important… Also, going past comfort zone is tough but I am trying to make it happen every time I move out of home. Even the smallest things can help!

  29. The whole notion of travel in my eyes is a conundrum of confusion. Very well put this!
    Such a neat post and offered me a chance to think about what travel is in my eyes.

  30. Great thoughts put together… Travel to me is desire… I wish to travel whenever I can, Love to see new places, admire the nature across the world then pen it down to make them best memories ever….

    1. Love your blog!! Especially the design…I’d suggest you to be more descriptive with your posts..Can’t believe you are only 17!! 😉

  31. Agreed with you that most of us would rather be tourist rather than traveler. I would rather going to new places and enjoy relaxation rather than going to tourist spots and try to snap a few selfies. However, when my other half is totally opposite of me… well, I make the best out of it… 🙂

  32. I am new to the blogging world and a fellow travel lover – please check out my blog, and let me know what you think 🙂 (it’s still in the early stages)

  33. Well said Ishita! Yes of course travel is not about clicking pictures and posting status on social medias, it’s all about exploring the new place, their culture, their food…What we have to do is to live that moment and make memories instead of capturing it on clicks. Travelling is a sort of relaxation to our body and mind. Do travel guys. Live happy Ishita!

  34. I think it all depends on why you’re traveling in the first place. If I scrape and save to travel somewhere with a rich history and culture you can bet I’ll be soaking it all in AND snapping some photos (not so many selfies though). But if I’m going somewhere to relax it will be a much more mellow experience. But it is hilarious how so many people hold out their hands like they’re propping up the Tower of Pisa or holding the Eiffel Tower between their thumb and index finger. Nice article. Cheers!

    1. That too but even if it is historical for me pictures come after I see the place. can’t always see it through a lens right?? 🙂 Thanks cheers!

  35. The best way to describe what your saying is that even though “Travel” is only one word. It has different meanings for everyone. Saving money for a couple of years for a trip. The planing and research that goes into creating a wonderful experience might be overwhelming for some.
    What Travel Means for us? Phew! We prefer to go by Guided Bus Tours. Being shown something that is off the beaten path that most people miss. The People of the area? The History of the People. What makes them do what they do? Religious History. Art History. Economics and Political History? All of this makes for an excursion to Remember. Add Food to this list and it rounds out being shown how these people Live! On that Note as a Photographer I am up and out at Sunrise shooting the area every morning. I have a saying: You want to sleep? Stay Home? LOL
    Thank you for Sharing your Wonderful Posts.

    1. Oh yes different for everyone Mark. I love the whole saving and planning process. In fact I will start for my next trip now :)I don’t go for tours usually but whenever I have it was fun and very worry-less form of travel since everything is taken care of 🙂 LOL! Great..keep up the sunrise shots 😉 Are you on Instagram??

  36. Great post! For me travel is about feeling alive and experiencing new cultures. I too snap my selfie and post on social media, but in the past few years I’ve become less inclined to do that. I’m about living in the moment. 🙂

  37. Completely agree with you Ishita, these days people don’t want to explore and enjoy the beauty of nature and places. Just clicking pix is their main agenda. Travel to find yourself should be the motto!!!

  38. I couldn’t have said this better. Sometimes when travelling i see people and they make me wonder if they really came all that way just to say they have. Embrace cultures, gain experiences, open your mind. One reason i love travelling is actually because i get a second away from social media and get to actually see the world! Fantastic post!

    1. Embracing cultures is not easy but it is something we should do and respect. I see a lot of people disrespecting others’ culture..That makes me sad.. Anyways thanks a lot for your thoughts 🙂

    1. Getting away from daily routine is very important for me too. In 2-3 months I go mad if I don’t go out of the city. It could be as small as a short drive away from where I live.

  39. Great post! I do believe everyone has a reason to travel, and it differs for every individual. I’m rooting for taking pictures/videos as a way of inspiring others to travel than as a means of showing off, that’ll be nice.

  40. Travel for me is a passion. Just exploring new places and meeting new people from different cultures motivates me. All about finding your fire and your passions and this is definitely one of mine!

  41. You brought up some great points and I completely agree. People have let the attention of being somewhere become so important to them that they their cant seem to go anywhere without needing the picture that will get the most thumbs up, likes and comments. Thank you for this. It only makes me want to step away from the technology and experience traveling as it should be experienced.

    1. Thanks so much dear for reading. I am glad you think as much. Sometimes technology bothers me too. Many a times I take a decision to leave all social media but it is a tough one 😉

  42. Very well said travel is freedom happiness and relaxation for me🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 do check out my two new blog posts and let me know what you think would love that it’s about my trip to Barbados 😊

  43. Nice post! I feel you! Traveling is so much more for me than taking pictures or live videos everywhere. I wont say that I will never do so, but when I started my world tour last year, I was shocked how many people travel because it’s cool! It is!!! But that’s not my only reason… thank you for your article. I like honest words like yours. Cheers to the good travel life – from hamburg, kati

    1. Thanks Kati. I wish we were more into traveling and less about posting photos on social media. The world needs to change. That being said, I am part of the same crowd. Traveling because its cool is the main reason why travel is what it is today 🙁 cheers!

  44. Well said! To me, travel is soaking in the culture and feel of a new place! I also take lots of pictures when I’m traveling, but that doesn’t mean I won’t put the camera away and enjoy my moments:) great post! If you have some time, please check out my blog at: http://helenechoo.com
    Thank you;)

  45. To me, travel is expanding my horizon – to know there is the world beyond my world view. It is also having a first-hand experience of the place you hear about or read about. To interact and engage with the world during travels is a raw experience that makes you so much more human. Like I always say – it is impossible to hate the people you have visited.

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