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Why Travel Should Be About WHO, Not WHERE

  • Written by Lindsey Huster
  •  / 
  • 8 min read
  •  / 
  • Last updated 7 months ago

Do you first think about all the places you’ve been or the places you want to go? Sometimes I immediately envision my google map with all the tiny flags indicating places I want to go.

What is your first thought upon hearing the word travel?

Sometimes I think about all the places I’ve been and the memories I have. I recently was looking through a list of all my favorite travel quotes. As I read carefully through the list, I had a mix of thoughts and feelings on the topic. I began to organize and categorize my thoughts and came to one final conclusion. Travel should be about WHO, not WHERE.

Lindsey's map of places that she wants to visit
Lindsey's map of places that she wants to visit

Why travel should be about who, not where

As each of these quotes sparked a thought, I began to ask myself what does this mean to me? Is it really about the destination? What is our motivation and why is traveling so fulfilling? How do my memories of travel impact my life daily?

As I said, for me it all boiled down to who I was with that makes the memories so special. I also include myself in the "who". There are plenty of times that memories or feelings are just for me. We all need time to ourselves, traveling gives me a different perspective and the time to just think.

My hope is that you find these benefits in travel also. Do you make deeper connections with those that you are with or even yourself during travel? Do you take the time to breathe, think and reset during travel? I thought I’d share some of my favorite quotes and my personal thoughts on each.

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This a quote that truly sticks with me

“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” --Dalai Lama

When I think about the last few years, this one hits home. We basically moved to a place we had never been before. Then we began to explore new places close and far. Even better than that is the fact that we’ve shared this with family and friends! My memories of these travels are all about the who. The impressive locations don’t hurt, but really it’s how that location impacted me or the people I was with.

I’ll never forget Thea's visit to Utah. I remember visiting Goblin Valley State Park and seeing Thea’s smile as we saw her standing at the edge of a canyon filled with funny-looking red rocks. None of us had ever seen anything like this before! Then overcoming our fears together on the hummer tour of the Slickrocks. I’m not sure I have ever really told Thea how scared I was, probably more than she was! I kept a strong face because I didn't want her to be scared. By the end of the tour, our fears were squashed and excitement replaced most of those bad feelings.

I’ll always cherish Keith’s parent's willingness to stay in our motorhome with us and especially the bucket list items we were able to check off together. Hiking to Delicate Arch for the first time, but even more memorable is Steve’s fall at the start of the hike. 😉 Then there was the moment that the jeep broke down and we were just sitting on the side of the road in Arches National Park. We’ve been back so many times since and I always point out the spot.

Exploring Canyonlands National Park, and getting to see Steve and Roberta’s faces as we overlooked the canyon is priceless. It wasn’t long before it started to rain and we thought our day was over. All of the sudden the sun came out and we saw the brightest rainbow I’ve ever seen in my entire life. These are all things that are so memorable because of the people we shared them with. Seeing Keith reconnect with his parents during this trip to share his new interests and hobbies was amazing.

I’ll never forget seeing my mom sitting as peacefully as I had months before at one of my favorite locations outside of Bluff, UT. At that moment (and others during our trip together) I felt as if she understood why we’d chosen to move so far away and explore. I remember our impromptu porch party at a hotel near Lake Powell. We took advantage of the gorgeous afternoon, relaxed with some drinks, and just sat around to chat. The location was nice, but it was the people that I was with that made the moment.

John’s excitement and appreciation for another culture as we watched Native American Dancers at dinner one night will not be forgotten. I questioned whether or not to make those reservations, I am so happy that I did. The moment mom and John stepped foot into our townhouse was memorable for me, there’s nothing like having your family share your home.

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Hiking, traveling and mountain biking with Yi is another fun, memorable week. What is even more fun is knowing that he’ll be back here for more adventures in the future, he went home and bought a mountain bike! Had we not traveled together we probably would have never gotten to know him the way we do today. We were able to have the time together to ask questions and have deeper discussions than ever before. I walked away from several conversations with a better appreciation for each of us.

This was a similar feeling when Keith’s aunt and uncle were able to stop in right after we moved to Utah. Rarely seeing them would be an understatement. Rich and Jan live on a sailboat and I think I’ve only spent a few hours with them in the time I’ve known Keith. Again, having them stay with us gave us all the chance to talk in a way that certainly never would have happened otherwise.

Wow, I could go on and on about this! This is just a sampling of how we have adventured with family and friends to see and try new things. As I look forward to and am currently making travel plans for the upcoming year, I’ll be thinking about this quote and the value that travel brings to our lives.

In the next five months, we will be traveling to three new locations we’re never been to before! Although the locations will be fantastic, what I’m looking forward to the most is sharing this time with Keith and the memories we will make together.

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This is a quote to live by

“And then there is the most dangerous risk of all -- the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” --Randy Komisar

Again, this strikes a cord and exemplifies why we’ve chosen to move and travel now. What if we don’t have the freedom to do it later? For me, this is one of my biggest fears that has become my motivation. Why wait for retirement? Will our bodies be healthy enough for the activities we want to do during retirement or even before? Isn’t there a way to work in travel now? How can we change our lifestyle to meet our personal travel goals? These are all questions that have become much clearer to me over the past few years.

That clarity has become evident because of the people we have shared our travels with. My mom and step-dad visited us last summer and right before their trip, my step-dad needed a heart procedure. We were so thankful the procedure was successful and completed before their trip. It actually helped him to enjoy the trip even more because he felt better. A few weeks later we had a friend visit and just a few weeks after that, our friend found out he also needed some major medical attention.

Both of these examples reminded us that we cannot count on the freedom to do things later. I could give so many more examples on this topic. If fact, the year before we left Indiana both Keith’s parents and my parents all had major health scares. As scary as it has been to leave them, we knew that we might not be as lucky to overcome all that they each have and this pushed us, even more, to spend our lives doing what is important to us.

All of this being said, we have calculated and planned financially for this freedom to travel. We do not believe in living irresponsibly, in fact, quite the opposite. Some may interpret this quote that way and that is not my intent to encourage irresponsibility.

Do you keep a quote book?

As part of a college class many years ago, the actual assignment I can’t quite recall... I was required to keep a list of quotes, respond to each one and choose some to share in class. Over the years this has been something that I’ve enjoyed doing for many stages of life. This can be calming, motivating, healing, focusing and so much more. I’ve kept quotes on family, friendships, grief, teaching, life, travel, etc. I’m sure many of you have done this and if not, you should consider it.

Would you like to hear more quotes in another post like this? If so, comment below and let me know.

Sunset over Canyonlands National Park in Moab, UT
Sunset over Canyonlands National Park in Moab, UT

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