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Why I Travel

The Groundbreaker Roundtables: WHY I TRAVEL edition

Welcome to the Groundbreaker Roundtables, a regular series on The Mad To Live where a group of some of the most world-traveling, life-inspiring, dream-pursuing DO-ers from all walks of life share their personal opinions, stories and insights based on a question stemming from a quote, video, photo, etc. They get only 150 words to share something brilliant, and they always do.


Anthony Bourdain once said, “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves a mark on you. Most of the time, those marks on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.” Looking back on the marks of your past travels, and seeing the big picture of it all, why is it, that you, in fact, travel? 

The Story Behind This Edition:

This particular Groundbreaker Roundtable was inspired by a video I made for the Traveler Of The Year Contest. The challenge was to create a video about “Why I Travel.” Truth be told, while I’ve been adventuring my whole life, I haven’t left the country since my year living in China, and it seems crazy to say this, but I had began to get out of touch with my inner-traveler.

As I made this video, compiling all the photos and video for it, getting out to film clips on top of a 14,000 foot mountain, and writing the narration for it, it all came back. Whether I win the contest or not, I was meant to do this project, because it reminded me of who I am at my root, put me back in touch with one of my greatest passion, and let me celebrate memories that I’d put away.

(PS – You can vote for my video right HERE to help me win a 30 Day Trip to INDIA!!! THANK YOU!) 

This Groundbreaker Roundtable is to inspire anyone who of course, loves to explore this amazing planet we live on, but also maybe has fallen out of touch with their inner traveler, and needs a little reminder as to why they travel.

Without further ado, I present to you these amazing individuals, and why they travel. 

Phil Drolet – Feel Good LIfestyle

Our Souls, Lives, Thinking Expands

I travel because with each new adventure, each new friendship, and each new discovery, my soul expands a little bit. I get exposed to different ways of thinking, to different realities and this makes me a more textured, understanding human being. I realize that my way of doing things is only one of a million. I think, I ponder. I change.

When I travel, my eyes sprinkle with excitement and my heart bursts with gratitude. I feel like I’m only a little speck in the universe, yet that I can change someone’s life with a smile or a kind gesture. I travel because we live in a wonderful, wonderful world and I only have one lifetime to experience all of it.

Spencer Spellman – The Traveling Philosopher

The Change Only Travel Can Bring

I travel for change. But not just because travel changes me; something even deeper then that. I think the philosopher Seneca said it well when he stated: “Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” For me it’s about change of place, lifestyle, work, and daily routine. All of this change enhances the travel experience and brings new vigor, so that when I return, I’m not the same person who I left as. Travel has a trickle down effect that affects my home, work, and relationships. That’s reason enough to travel!


Caz Makepeace – yTravelBlog

It Comes Down To The Memories 

I believe that life is all about the memories. There is nothing else that permanently stays with us as we journey through life. Therefore I travel in order to create many beautiful memories. I’m 36 and I’ve been travelling since I was 21. I feel my life, even at my young age, is jam-packed full of living-life-to-the-fullest memories.

I feel most alive when I travel and as if I am living a purposeful life. It is where I feel most free and my dominate emotion is one of joy and peace, despite any challenges that arise. It is the experiences I have had and the people I have met travelling who have helped to shape the person I am today. My travel memories remind me always to be grateful, to be happy and that life is indeed beautiful and so are all the people who share the journey with us.


Melvin Boecher – Travel Dudes

Isn’t It Simply, More Fun? 
Wouldn’t I be bored, if I would just sit at home and do…??? Watch TV? Play computer? Go to work? Sleep in? Isn’t it more fun to sit on a pick-up truck and hitch hike through Thailand to get a night train in a 2nd class wagon with open windows and fans, which shakes you smoothly into sleep?

Isn’t it more fun to listen to crazy experiences other travelers share with you on the road or to meet locals, who open your horizont a bit more? Isn’t it more fun to have your own elephant encounter than just watching it on TV?
That’s why I travel… I like to live life!


Matt Long – Land Lopers

Travel Is My Teacher 

I was born with an insatiable desire to see and learn as much as I could. As a kid this meant reading everything I could get my hands on about foreign cultures; yeah, I didn’t have a lot of friends. As an adult though travel has filled this primal need and it has become a drug – one that rewards instead of punishing. Travel teaches me more about life and ultimately myself than anything else could ever hope to and it is for this personal journey that I feel the pressing need to see the world.



Erica and Shaun – Over Yonderlust

Learn Yourself 

There isn’t a single reason that we travel. It comes down to a few things. We love to eat. We love to meet people. We love to push ourselves to a breaking point. It is all about creating a new sense of self and learning about yourself and the world along the way.





Jason Castellani- 2 Backpackers

Travel For New Perspective and Understanding 

Travel for me is an escape, an education and a chance to connect with nature. A typical life working the daily grind in a cubicle can be debilitating to your body and mind. Our bodies are meant to do more, our minds to explore, of which travel satisfies. Most of us only know the world in which we live. That’s usually a closed world, immune to the sad realities of less developed nations, often influenced and bullied by Western worlds. We become more intelligent and better world citizens as we are exposed to new worlds. Lastly, I seek nature when I travel. It reminds me to respect mother earth and learn that we are only here because of her, and she will be here long after us. Nature has the most amazing wonders, complexity and challenges waiting for us to explore.


Jon Maiden – The Microadventuruer

To Get Back To What’s REAL
For me, travel is not so much about voyages to strange and distant lands, but a state of mind. I therefore remind myself to travel frequently – to wander, to explore, to discover – each and every day, both near and far.

Travel is an opportunity to break outside of the artificial world we can often create for ourselves at home, engulfed by technology and our too comfortable home surroundings. Travel allows us to get back to what is real – to experience the natural environment, to engage with authentic people and cultures, and remind ourselves of those who have journeyed before us.

So wherever I find myself, I will be continually wandering, constantly exploring, always striving to discover…

A Final Word From Lauren

All of these guys must be onto something, ya know? Travel has a way of opening our eyes, minds and hearts, and helping (sometimes forcing) us to grow into the person we’re meant to be. It helps us learn ourselves, creates memories in which we feel most alive, gives us a greater understanding as to how this world works, and changes us in ways only travel itself is able to.

If you haven’t traveled yet, I encourage you to book that flight or take a weekend roadtrip. Let wanderlust take over you.

If you’ve gotten out of touch with your inner-traveler, reread their responses as many times as you have to, until you’re reminded of why you travel.

And remember, there are all kinds of travel. Whether you want to emerse yourself in local culture or just hike the trails of your backyard, the key is to explore, to move, to experience. That is travel.


1.) IN THE COMMENTS: IT’S YOUR TURN!  Reread the prompt and share your insight, story, lesson, philosophy on why, in fact, you travel.

2.) VOTE FOR MY VIDEO: Head over to the Traveler Of The Year contest page and vote for my video! It’ll send me to India for 30 days – just what I need in the next step to getting back in touch with my inner-traveler! VOTE HERE


About Lauren Rains

Life gets pretty f*cking nuts sometimes, doesn't it? Every day I wake up more to myself and more to this world. This website is an expression of that.

Space Travelers is multi-layered exploration of our existence here on this rock we call Earth. We're going to talk about the matrix, UFOs, and astral travel, and explore our awakening into the divine masculine and feminine. We'll discover our bodies both the physical and subtle body. We'll contemplate the sacredness of mother earth and the concept of who/what the hell made this place in the first place?

I also aim to keep this website rooted and grounded, referring to topics that are effecting us in the here and now, such as fighting against the oppression of women worldwide, pealing away layers of social conditioning greedy capitalists are using to turn us into consumers, and navigating this insane technological revolution before the AI take over. I can geek out on consciousness up in space all day, but life happens here on the ground and this is the time we were born into.

This website is about integrating into our full human experience, aligning with ourselves and with each other, shedding skins and transcending into the unfolding layers of ourselves.

My wish for you, and for myself, is to unfold and evolve into our highest selves. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. We need not sell our souls to the status quo.

I'm on the journey too. I write this blog to speak to others who are waking up, or who desire to wake up. Because we can't do this alone.

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  • I always love your series Lo. Thanks for the inclusion!

    • Thanks Spence!!! These series are such a blast, and I love getting all the insights from such a wide range of people. 🙂 So glad you were able to be apart of it!

  • Thank you for including us Lauren! Great series and I l oved your video. Very inspiring

    • Hey Caz! Thanks so much for contributing and for the kind words about my video. Making that video was such a wonderful experience – I literally went through every last travel photo and video I had, and it took me back to so many places I’d been. As you said yourself, its all about the memories – and the video reminded me of just that. 🙂

  • Hi Laur,
    Excellent post and I commend you at bringing out the best from these seasoned travelers.

    • Hey Josie! Why thank you! This was such a fun post to curate – such amazing individuals right here! 🙂
      – Laur

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  • This is a great series Lauren. It’s inspiring to hear why others travel and it is great to see some of my favourite bloggers featured here.

  • The more time I spent in North America the more I realize that even the smallest road trip can open your eyes. There is so much diversity here that we can learn from.