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If there’s a question I’m asked most frequently, it’s what motivates me to travel. What motivated me to start, and what continues to motivate me today.

And it’s an interesting thing to consider. To pin-point exactly what makes us leave our homes and journey to far flung corners of the earth, sometimes halfway around the globe. What pushes us to sit in an aluminium tube for sometimes 20 hours + and endure in-flight food. 3 billion of us do it every year, though have you sat down and actually asked yourself why?

Some people do it to taste exotic dishes, and to dive into history. Some people travel for the ultimate tan. But for me, it’s always been about adventure and exploration. About the chance to experience and discover something new, whether that be a new taste, sensation, culture, or even an undiscovered city. (I figure Hiram Bingham did it, so surely there’s one just waiting for me too!)

What Motivates Me to Travel: Personal Reflection After 10 Years

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Adventure and Exhilaration

My original motivation for travel was curiosity. I was aware of a whole world which existed outside of my bubble, and I was itching to discover it and explore. To experience a change of atmosphere and reinvigorate my thinking. To challenge my perspectives and renew my spirit.

Though once I broke free from my comfort zone, the adventure and exhilaration from experiencing something new became addictive. It didn’t take me long to realize I wanted to see the world in living color as opposed to watching it on a television screen. I wanted to actually feel, taste and experience the world instead of settling for the version I was reading in books.

There’s nothing stale or unimaginative about travel. It’s a completely different experience to journey to the Pyramids of Giza than to watch it on a History Channel documentary. It’s a completely different emotion to watch the sun set over the African Plains while on safari than it is to see someone else’s photo and think “wow!”

Thrust into entirely new environments, immersed in entirely new cultures, hearing the English language spoken with an unfamiliar accent; I realized this feeling of new discovery was what it meant to truly be alive.

Kayaking Lake Titicaca

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At Which Point Does the World Stop Being New

However after 10 years of travel, does the same thing which motivated you at the beginning, continue to motivate you now?

I remember being told at age 18 that I needed to slow down. “You’ll have nothing left to achieve if you do it all now” which at the time I thought was ridiculous advice. After all, live as if there’s no tomorrow, dance as if there’s nobody watching and all that. But 45 countries later, that advice does ring partially true.

While I was once motivated to travel for exploration, the more you tick off your list, the less experiences which are truly new. A waterfall becomes just another waterfall, historic monuments all blur into one, and you lose appreciation of your surroundings. When you’re in such a rush to conquer the world before you hit 30, you hit 30 and wonder what’s left for you to do!

#ThisIsEpic

Galapagos

Our New Years Resolution: Seek Out Experiences Which Are New

So in looking to 2017, we’ve made the resolution to slow down. Take fewer trips, and appreciate them more. Make each trip epic, instead of an epic whirlwind. To do our best to seek out experiences which are new.

While it can sometimes feel as though you’ve seen it all, there are in fact many, many experiences which await us which are still new. Many more exciting opportunities to explore. For instance, we’ve never been skiing or snowboarding before. So a vacation to the snow in 2017 will be a fantastic opportunity to recreate that feeling of adventure and exhilaration.

We have a trip to Antarctica planned for February, and have then been looking at a vacation within the portfolio of Vail Resorts. Both fall within our definition of epic, and prove that there’s still a whole new world we have to explore.

I’m still motivated to travel by adventure and exhilaration, and by a curiosity of the world I haven’t yet explored. For the sake of continuing to experience something new, let’s hope that world doesn’t become too small!

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Vail Resorts. The opinions and text are all mine. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

    66 Comments

  1. Your post made me think.

    From my perspective, there are many things in life that traveling actually prevents you from experiencing. I need to think about this some more and maybe write about it too.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post and Happy Holidays!

    • Like anything in life, there’s always a balance to be achieved, and sacrifices to be made along the way in pursuing a different lifestyle.

      Let me know when you publish your post Anne :) Happy holidays!

  2. A really great post Meg! It definitely is completely different seeing things in person and know how the air feels and the scale, I felt that way about Petra! I think slowing down and picking the perfect spots for you will be great and make you more present. I can’t wait for your Antarctica trip!!!

    • Thanks Anna! Yes, we’re looking forward to spacing our trips out more, and enjoying the anticipation of the lead up, and the excitement of re-living the trip after you get back. They’re some of the best parts of travel, but are lost when you try to fit too much in :)

      I’m definitely counting down to February for Antarctica instead of Christmas this year :D Happy travels!

  3. I think over time, this is so true. We all have our favorite places and yet we do return. When we set our own pace and decide how we want to spend our time, the experience really wins and makes for a happy traveler. Happy traveling in 2017!

    • Absolutely Sara :) Happy holidays & happy travels in 2017!

  4. Antarctica will be epic! I’m definitely guilty of trying to see everything, so slowing down a bit would do me some good as well.

    • I can’t wait!! I’ve been counting down to February instead of Christmas this year!! :D

  5. Great perspective! The more I travel the more the realize the importance of slowing down. As long term traveler I find it a contast battle to make things feel new. When epic adventures become your daily life I sometimes forget how lucky I am.

    • Thanks Stephen! You really do forget how lucky you are, and it’s difficult to fully appreciate experiences when you’ve become spoiled for them.

      Here’s to slowing down in 2017!

  6. It is a good question, that one must ask themselves. The answer will be different every time like 2 persons are never alike. For me, I want to travel more and more. That desire of more travel motivates me. Slowing down is like every evening even the bird’s return back to their home, so why can’t we?

    • Absolutely Vishal – everyone’s motivation for travel will be different, as it’s a very personal thing. And each person has their own journey of internal growth.

      Wonderful analogy of birds returning home – I think that’s so apt for this! Because birds do migrate right around the world, but they always make their way back to the same starting place. I had never thought about it like this before. Thankyou!

  7. There are so many things that resonate with me in this post! I am addicted to learning about and exploring new places. Kudos to you for going after it for 10 years! I can’t wait until I hit that milestone myself! I am personally excited for your trip to Antarctica as if
    I were going myself! I have never been to Vail, but it’s another one of the beautiful destinations we have to see for ourselves one day! Have an awesome 2017 and can’t wait to follow along your journey!

    • Thanks Megan! Yes, 10 years is a long time looking back on it! I can’t wait to celebrate with you once you hit that milestone too!

      All the best in 2017 … so glad to be connected with you! X

  8. I’ve always loved travelling because my parents did and do, and I grew up from very young age used to doing so. Not only did we go back to India (from the UK where I was born after my parents emigrated here) and to the USA where we also had family, we also explored many other countries during my childhood. That wanderlust stuck, I think it’s in my DNA. So like you, I’ve been to many countries. But I don’t feel any less excited and there’s still so much to see. The Antarctic was a highlight for us in 2004, and we thought it would a once in a lifetime kind of thing but we went back in 2008 and then back again to just The Falklands for a few weeks a couple of years after that. More recently, we have “found” Japan and been three times in five years, and will certainly go back many more times – there is so much left to see. And there are still hundreds of countries we’ve not been to, despite all that travelling. IT’S SO EXCITING!

    • So glad to hear that your enthusiasm and motivation for travel stays strong Kavey! And WOW, Antarctica 3 times!! Incredible! I can imagine that’s probably one of those adventures which you could return for multiple times!! I’ll have to stalk your site for inspiration before we go :)

      You are right, there is always more to see, and it’s especially interesting traveling back to destinations we visited at the start of our travels and noting how they have changed.

      Can’t wait to follow your travels in 2017!

  9. Loved reading this perspective Megan as it is a journey I’ve been taking myself. I feel so lucky to be able to slow down and take things in on my travels. I think when I was younger I thought I needed to rush around and see all the highlights as I might never return to a place. Now,like you, am seeking those amazing experiences I can share with the family and friends I travel with. Wishing you many wonderful travel moments in 2017 and I look forward to reading about them on your blog

    • Hi Katy, thanks for reaching out – I’m glad to know that our perspectives and this point in our journey do resonate with people. It’s always nice to know you’re not the only one who feels a certain way!!

      Wishing you all the best for 2017 & an action packed yet laid back year of adventure!

  10. That was really motivating. The trip to Antarctica in Feb is really going to be great and can’t wait to read about what you find there. I am just starting up with my travels with my first Solo Trip outside my country set for Feb as well. Merry Christmas and Happy Travels ahead.

    • I’m so glad Gokul! Congrats on your first solo trip coming up! The first is always an incredibly exciting trip – and one you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Hope you have the best time!

      Merry Christmas & wishing you a happy new year :)

  11. So true! Seeking new experiences seems to be the way to cope with the lack of thrill. The more you visit the world, the more it gets harder to get impressed. I guess it just pushes the thrill further! Happy holidays and cheers to more travelling!

    • Absolutely – we keep pushing the boundaries and aiming higher still!

      Happy new year Nat!

  12. youth and trips. That was always a very exciting feeling. I also have traveled quite extensively and felt no remorse about his youth. Do whatever you like when you can

    • Very good attitude, I agree with you :) The worst thing to have in life afterall is regret!

  13. This is such a great post! Everything changes when you visit a place personally. Whether for good or bad, to experience something first hand is truly incredible. Sometimes that exotic dish that you really wanted to try doesn’t really turn out to be that exotic after all. But I sincerely do hope that you discover a new city. Once done, invite all your followers there and we will create our own settlement and name it, Blog! Then all we have to do is to ask people to visit our blog, literally!

    • Thankyou Gagan! I agree, that first hand experience is always key to any kind of knowledge or understanding, regardless of whether for the good or bad.

      Haha I will let you know if we find a new land to settle – would be a pretty fantastic settlement to have a community of world travelers actually!

  14. Great article Megan! I’ve even started noticed this lack of thrill for the new places we visit in my kids. We’re taking a step back this year and looking for new experiences and trying things we haven’t done in awhile.

    • Thanks Dana :) I’ve found it’s a delicate balance to living life to the fullest but still keeping things saved so it’s exciting in the future.

      Wishing you a Merry Christmas from our family to yours :)

  15. Too many continue to “continue” without discerning the new reason why each and every time. Whether it’s travel or performing one’s career, the considerations are the same.

    Good luck with your new focus.

    • Absolutely Roy – I think it’s important to take stock every now and then of why we continue (as you said, whether this is in our travels, or other areas of life like a career). It’s easy to get into a habit over time of just repeating the motions having lost our original motivation for doing so.

      Personal reflection every now and then seems to help with this :)

  16. Wow I can only imagine how many experiences and amazing opportunities you had during these years of travelling!
    Great resolution for the new year! Sometimes we get so concentrated on visiting many countries and exploring more that we do it in a hurry. Unfortunately, when you travel part time in between working or studying this is even worse. Wishing you an amazing trip to Antarctica! Sounds so exciting (and cold)!

    • Thanks Sia, yes, we’ve definitely been blessed with many amazing experiences over the past 10 years; absolutely no complaints, I’m extraordinarily grateful :)

      I can absolutely understand the temptation to cram as much of a whirlwind in as possible when you have limited vacation days in-between work or study. That was me for many years too!

      Wishing you all the best in 2017 – happy travels!

  17. I am motivated to travel for the same reasons as you, to experience and to see something different and something new. My problem is that I feel that a lifetime isn’t enough for me to experience all the things I want so I feel I ned to speed things up instead of slowing down.

    • And that’s fair enough too! If the excitement and motivation is still there, that’s awesome!

      Happy travels in 2017 – here’s to a wonderful new year full of adventures and new experiences :)

  18. This resonates very much with what I feel these days. I used to travel to a new country every single month, chasing after new sights and experience but after a few years, I decided to slow down and reflect more on each trip that I make. Regardless of this sentiment, I definitely wouldn’t change what I’ve previously done and experienced. I guess they make me what I am today. Anyways, looking forward to reading about your trip to Antartica! That surely would be an epic one!

    • I’m the same, I definitely wouldn’t change anything we’ve done to date. But at the point in our journey now, it’s nice to say we’re going to take it slower and settle down :)

      I can’t wait for Antarctica! Have been counting down to February instead of Christmas this year lol!

  19. I started traveling nine years ago, first as a student with no money, now as a married girl with a full time job. It’s nine year and still I can’t get enough.
    I also considered to leave everiything behind and start a new life somewhere else, because my desire to discover and taste new places and cultures is growing bigger day after day.
    Of course I can completely understand what you are saying, the world is your home, you have seen so many places that the unusual probably is to stop somewhere to rest!
    What is good for you now is not what it was the best for you 5 years ago and what will be in other 5 years.
    I am sure you’ll go through this topic again! :) Happy Antarctica!

    • Absolutely Alice, I think that as one lifestyle becomes normal to us, we then crave the opposite. The grass is always greener on the other side kind of mentality!! I wouldn’t change or trade the experiences we have had to date for anything, but I’m happy at the point we are now at to now experience a lifestyle which is a little more mellow! And then I’m sure in 5 years we’ll probably be all guns blazing again :D

      So glad to hear that you’re a fellow travel addict too – if you’re considering moving abroad I would urge you to do it; one of the best things we chose to do!

      Happy new year! & happy travels :)

  20. I was born into a travelling family – my father travelled with us all through my childhood and I honestly don’t think I could imagine anything different.

    Oh and I am REALLY jealous about Antartica!

    • How fantastic it would have been to have that kind of upbringing Fiona! I’ve always said that exposure to the world is one of the best gifts a parent can give.

      Watch this space for updates on Antarctica – I’ve been counting down to February instead of Christmas lol!

  21. I really think you summed it up when you said “To challenge my perspectives and renew my spirit”. I think traveling for me is about the people I meet and the cultures I can explore. Traveling really gives me a different perspective on the world. It’s great stepping out of your comfort zone, you truly do learn so much. Good luck with the Antarctica trip. I hope you guys get to hit the slopes sometime after that!

    • Thanks Mar! I agree that the perspective gained from travel is one of the most amazing things in the world – you can’t learn or experience anything like it in a classroom or from reading the news. Something very different about being there in the middle of everything and seeking out experiences first hand :)

  22. I agree that there’s no great rush to travel! I’ve been taking extended trips for most of my life but I love equally spending time at home on a regular schedule, being with family and friends. There’s balance and you have to see what works for you, then be open to it changing!

    • Absolutely Elaine – we’re always evolving and seeing personal development along the way. And each person’s journey is different from the next. Accepting change when it come and when it’s right for you is probably the biggest key.

      Happy travels!

  23. It is heartening to see your story of last 10 years. You have achieved so much and still counting. I think being a blogger your followers and their association and expectation from you also keep you motivated as it is our obligation to keep bringing new stories for them.
    I look forward to c how Antarctica unfolds for you.
    Keep challenging you self and surely you will evolve everyday. But trust me, we dont need to slow down as there is always so much to explore and experience in one life time.

    • Thankyou Himanshu :) I agree – I think having established this platform for telling our stories, means that it’s an extra incentive to continue searching for adventure, if not just to inspire and share with our audience too!

  24. Loved reading this Megan! For me, my motivation is to learn and to get out of my comfort zone. I think all too often we get too comfortable and need a bit of a shock which is probably why I went to India last year and am about had to the Middle East in a couple of weeks haha! I cannot wait to hear about your trip to Antarctica, it’s going to be amazing!

    • Thankyou Anita! I agree with you that it’s important to continue pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone. Sometimes it’s that shock which wakes us up from auto pilot.

      Enjoy the Middle East! It’s a region we haven’t really explored yet, but are dying to! You’ll have to report back & forward photos :)

  25. Such a great post Magan. I completely agree, travel is such an amazing experience and once that desire is in you I don’t think it ever leaves. When I had my son I had a slight blip and didn’t leave the country for about a year. Now though I just want to explore the world with him in tow and my desire to travel is probably stronger than ever. I took him to India for the first time this summer and it was amazing. Now need to plan my next big trip! Polly :)

    • Thanks Polly! I agree, having children shouldn’t stop you from discovering and exploring the world – just take them with you! I’ve always said that travel is the best education you could possibly give a child, especially in today’s day and age where we desperately need a greater appreciation of cultures and diversity.

      All the more power to you!

  26. That is exactly what I would have said when I was your age if I had the courage to do what you are doing. But I didn’t and lived a conventional life building a career to raise a family. So now I am doing it to relive my life, differently.

    • Never too late to live the life of your dreams Carol – you’re doing it now and that’s the main thing!

  27. It’s great to hear what motivates others to travel! Totally agree with you–my motivations for traveling were the same, first for curiosity and then the adventure became addictive! We are also trying to slow down more and make the trips we take epic in their own right. Have an awesome time in Antarctica and hope you can make it to Vail–both sound like amazing trips!!

    • It’s nice to hear that there are others on the same page too , that we’re not the only ones! Thanks Jenna … counting down to February for Antarctica for sure!!

      Happy travels in 2017 :)

  28. I totally hear you – I can’t ever imagine getting bored or tired of traveling! There are always new experiences, places, cultures, and people to meet. Antarctica is a total dream trip and it’s incredible that you’re going! Can’t wait to read about it! :) And Vail, too!!

    • Watch this space come February! And will let you know once we organize the Vail trip too :)

  29. Antarctica?! That’s awesome! I can’t wait to follow along. Your blog is definitely one of my favorites :)

    • Thankyou Carmen! That means a lot!! Watch this space in February for Antarctica updates :) Happy new year!!

  30. ” It’s a completely different experience to journey to the Pyramids of Giza than to watch it on a History Channel documentary. It’s a completely different emotion to watch the sun set over the African Plains while on safari than it is to see someone else’s photo and think “wow!”” This is my favorite part! Keep doing what u love! :)

    • I’m so glad that you could connect with the post Ollie! Yes, I always wanted to witness the world for myself – nothing beats experiencing it first hand!! Happy travels :)

  31. I do think you need to redefine what motivates your travel once in a while. I find that what motivated me 10 years ago isn’t the same as today. I get a lot of different type of enjoyment out of my experiences and I definitely choose my destinations differently.

    • Absolutely Laura – we all change, and our interests and personalities evolve as we grow, so I find it’s very important to take time for self reflection every now and then, and to admit that it’s OK that we’re not who we used to be!

  32. Adventure is addictive. Once your hooked, it’s hard to stop. But after a while, the challenge becomes finding “new” unfamiliar experiences.

    • Totally agree with you, we should never be afraid of changing things up and continuing to push ourselves … what was once outside our comfort zone becomes comfortable after a little while, so it’s definitely important to keep seeking new experiences.

      Happy travels Mitch, thanks for your comment :)

  33. An interesting perspective Megan; as I am much older than you I learned this a long time ago which is while I travel every year but not all the time. That being said we have 10 weeks in Yorkshire hiking next spring and then 8 weeks in Italy in the fall ended by 2 weeks in Germany.

    • Sounds like an incredible 2019! I hope you have an amazing time in Yorkshire, Italy and Germany :)

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