Exploration, Inquiry and Curiosity. Reasons Why We Love Traveling.

Exploration, inquiry and curiosity. Humans are explorers and inquirers. We have migrated across, and inhabited earth, we have built ships and traveled far. We have built airplanes and traveled long distances in a short time. We even built space rockets. What is it that is so exciting with traveling?

Let’s look at traveling from an applied neuroscience perspective. Here are a few reasons.

-To see what’s behind the next corner? ( dopamine )

-To understand people who live in other parts of the world? ( serotonin )

-To learn languages? ( communication )

-To admire architecture, design, art, music of different cultures than our own? ( self-expression and creativity )

-To eat food that tastes different than that from home? ( senses )

-To connect with others? ( oxytocin )

-To get inspired by each other? ( dopamine )

-To create a better world? ( problem-solving + collab skills )

-To simply enjoy and have fun? ( endorphins )

What is home? It can be the physical place where we feel a sense of belonging, a safe place, a beautiful place to come back to.

It is also place inside ourselves. Our core. Having lived in many places abroad, I came to realise that home is a concept we carry inside ourselves, if we have understood our values, our why, our essence.

When I was a teenager, growing up in – what I thought was – the end of the world, above the Arctic Circle, I was dreaming of living on a tropical island where they dance salsa. I was obsessed with traveling and learning about the world and it’s inhabitants ( authentic inquiry ). I had, at some point, 25 penpals from around the globe!

In 2000 I sold all I had, and moved to the Reunion island near Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. It was a crazy adventure, I was following my intuition. It was the right thing to do.

I guess you have seen those memes that say “If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?”. I don’t have anything to say to my younger self! I admire her guts! I fullfilled dreams, lived on purpose. I had my island, I skydived, I dived with a whale, did ULM, parapente, surfed, swimed with sea turtles- and in lagoons and under waterfalls, I saw dolphins in the ocean, on my way to work. When I went to sleep I could hear the waves of the powerful Indian Ocean.

I think my younger self could remind me of adventure. When the pandemic started and we couldn’t travel anymore I felt so starved of a big passion of mine. Traveling. I thought of what the plan B would be. Answer: travel at home. Luckily I live in a very beautiful area of Sweden.

I also traveled in my mind. Explored ideas and created scenarios of what would be possible to innovate in the footsteps of the pandemic.

I am now also thinking of how to travel more sustainable in the future.

I simply love coming to new places, and places abroad that I keep coming back to. I love to be a surprised, to challenge myself to communicate in another language, to walk around in Amsterdam ( where I am now ) for example and find treasures, to download music on Spotify with music from that country, to walk, explore, talk, admire, and be in awe of beautiful landscapes.

I crave novelty every now and again as I am a very curious person. I develop as a human when I travel and I can’t imagine a life without it. What about YOU?

Yvette Larsson, the Netherlands, November 2021.

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