The Psychology of Travel

Oh travel, travel, travel… One of the things that moves me in life, both literally and metaphorically. The extraordinary discovery of people and places thru exploring and adventure. A source of happiness and inspiration for me.

How fitting then, that right in the middle of my travels, I stumbled upon the Grand Hotel exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery. An exhibit focused on travel and the role of hotels in this industry. Full of historic and curious facts, photos, vintage memorabilia, and some creative art installations. All nestled in the beauty of the neoclassical building that used to be the main courthouse in Vancouver. What an enjoyable afternoon I spent there.

You may not know this about me, but I love history, ever since I was in grade school. So of course I fully enjoyed reading all the interesting information displayed all across the exhibit: the facts and stories about iconic hotels around the world, the history they brewed within their walls, their social and cultural impact, their legacy on design and architecture . However, my favorite piece of information talked about the psychology of travel, stating that “The travel industry is predicated on our innate desire for escape, for an outlet to abandon the monotony of our daily existence in favour of adventure and the opportunity to revamp our identities, even if only temporarily.”

In my experience, I have found this to be true. I can’t deny my innate desire to escape and reinvent myself thru travel. I just don’t agree that travel allows us to do this only temporarily. At least in my case, travel has left a permanent mark in my life. It doesn’t only allow us to escape whatever circumstances we’re trying to leave behind at any given moment, it forces us to face the one thing we can never really escape from, ourselves. It is getting lost in travel and the world, that we often find ourselves. And yes, it does present an opportunity to “revamp our identities” by showing us who we really are, and most importantly who we want to be. Travel is not just a journey of discovering the world, it’s also a journey of self-discovery. What we find on such journeys are no temporary treasures, but ones that will last a lifetime.

Now, more than two months into my latest travel adventure and as much as I have loved every second of it, I’m ready to close this chapter. I feel forever grateful for the opportunity to come and go and live thru all these experiences, but as much as we like to fantasize about abandoning “the monotony of our daily existence”, nothing can replace the comfort it gives us. Just as excited as I was when first embarking on this journey, I’m now looking forward to my return to the familiar, the routine, the ordinary.

As usual I leave you with the corresponding photos. I hope you enjoy them and that you feel inspired to travel and to share your thoughts on this subject.

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4 thoughts on “The Psychology of Travel

  1. oh to travel!!! what a joy, how exciting it is. I agree with your post. I believe travelling is the best way to know yourself, to get inspired, to broaden our perspective of ourselves and the world. Thanks for sharing, nice pics.

  2. Great article Abril! I love to experience new things and new places but I’m definitely someone that love the comfort of the routine of my life. :-)

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