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  • Writer's pictureMarjorie Perlas

Why Do We Travel, Anyway?

Updated: Mar 5

Traveling has been an integral part of human history since time immemorial. From the ancient Christian pilgrimages to the modern-day adventures of solo travelers, the reasons for embarking on journeys have varied greatly. But one question remains constant: Why do we travel? Is it to seek adventure, broaden our horizons, or simply to escape the monotony of everyday life?

The Medieval Period - Christian Pilgrimages

During the Medieval Period, the concept of travel was largely intertwined with religious fervor. Christian pilgrimages to holy sites, particularly to Rome, were not only acts of piety but also opportunities for believers to witness relics purportedly holding sacred significance. However, behind the veil of spirituality lay a more cynical truth. The encouragement of pilgrimages by the Catholic Church served as a means to replenish its coffers, often at the expense of unsuspecting devotees.

Renaissance Travel - 14th - 17th Century

The Renaissance era saw a shift in the motivations behind travel. As societies emerged from the darkness of the Middle Ages, a newfound curiosity for the world beyond one's immediate surroundings took hold. The affluent elite embarked on grand tours, immersing themselves in the splendor of foreign cultures, marveling at architectural wonders, and collecting souvenirs as tokens of their adventures. Yet, this privilege was reserved for the wealthy few, perpetuating social disparities.

1780s - The Grand Tour Era

The 18th century marked the dawn of modern travel, epitomized by the Grand Tour. What began as an educational journey for the elite evolved into a status symbol, with travelers flaunting their cosmopolitan experiences as badges of sophistication. However, beneath the veneer of cultural enlightenment lay a pervasive ignorance, as travelers often approached foreign lands with condescension and cultural superiority.

1920s - The 1960s: The Golden Age of Travel

The 20th century witnessed a revolution in travel with the advent of commercial aviation and increased leisure time. The allure of distant lands beckoned, fueled by the glamorous escapades of celebrities and the promise of exotic adventures. Yet, this era also saw the beginnings of mass tourism, characterized by overcrowded destinations and environmental degradation.

2024 - The New Era of Travel

In the contemporary landscape, a paradigm shift is underway. Travel is no longer confined to the privileged few but has become a realm of inclusivity and empowerment. Solo travelers roam the globe fearlessly, forging connections with strangers and embracing diverse cultures with open arms. In this new era, differences are celebrated, and curiosity reigns supreme, ushering in a vision of travel as a transformative force for all.


As we reflect on the rich tapestry of human travel throughout the ages, it becomes evident that our motivations and perceptions have evolved alongside our societies. From the religious pilgrimages of antiquity to the democratization of travel in the modern era, the journey itself has always been a reflection of our aspirations and values. As we embrace the new era of exploration, let us strive to make travel a force for good, fostering understanding, empathy, and connection across borders.

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