Estimated reading time: 2 Minutes, 16 Seconds

comments 5

Why wander around in the distance? Here is why.

Some time ago, somebody asked me why young people like me travel as much – and as far as we do – even though there are so many beautiful destinations nearby. At that time, I was planning a journey to Australia. I could not come up with an answer. I did not understand the criticism that was implied in the question. But somehow, the man had touched a nerve.

It is remarkable that younger people travel farther – and that for some, the farthest is not far enough. The answer to why we do that is as simple as this: We do it because we can. Which was not always the case. But to us it is self-explanatory. There are a lot of great destinations right next to my home – even in my own country. But just as a lot of young people, I tend to ignore them in my travel plans.

Thinking about it, I would love to go on a road trip through Germany, drive across the country, and see where the road takes me. But there are a couple of reasons that keep me from doing so at the moment. Yes, I am relatively young. I am young enough to say that I do not mind crossing several time zones and getting accustomed to a completely different climate after a long distance flight. Jetlag usually does not bother me, and as of yet, I am not molested by varicose veins. I do not know if I still want to take the strains of traveling to Australia or South America in 30 years. Still, I want to visit Australia, South America, and a lot of other faraway places. Better do it today than tomorrow.

Additionally to that, I love to feel like a foreigner. The joys of traveling are closely connected to delving deeply into another culture. No matter how I look at it – Germany just is not exotic to me. I do not know every place – but in a way I know them all. I do not get a stamp in my passport and do not have to exchange any money. I can understand everyone and everyone understands me. I could probably run into a language barrier in Bavaria. But still, a holiday in Germany is a holiday in a familiar surrounding. That is – more or less – true for holidays in the European Union as well.

I like Germany. I really do. Berlin is a great place. Munich is a great place. There are a lot of great places. What I don’t like for example is the unforeseeable weather. The chance of rain also keeps me from going on a holiday in my own country. If I was planning a beach holiday, I would not necessarily opt for a holiday at the North Sea – for who knows if it actually is warm enough to go to the beach once you are there. Hamburg is a wonderful city which I have visited many times – in the rain. Last but not least, Germany is quite expensive. The price you pay for a holiday here or in Western Europe is not comparable to the price you pay in Southeast Asia or South America for example.

I have decided to travel the world before I get to see my home as a tourist. If I do not do it know, then when? How would you decide?

Photo of Hamburg Speicherstadt by Heidas.

About the Author

Anna loves travel, photography, and writing. All at once, everyday. She collects entrance cards, plane tickets, and old atlases and has been searching for the perfect globe for some years. Follow Anna on Facebook or Twitter!


  1. Ken

    Let’s face it, some of us have a voracious travel bug that has to be fed. You are fortunate to be able to travel while you are young, Anna. Some of us are just trying to catch up in retirement! 🙂

  2. I am also so tired of getting this criticism, as if one was not allowed to wander abroad unless one had visited all 16 states of Germany (which I haven’t).

    I have been living outside of Germany now for 5 years and I could – if forced – imagine to travel across Germany, mainly out of curiosity what it would look and feel like with the eyes of an outsider. But then I fear that this “outsider perspective” would wear off pretty soon and that it would simply be less exciting than a trip around Israel or Italy or India.

    I have nothing against Germany, but I lived there so long (33 years before I left), it’s enough.

    • Would be just the other way around if one had lived in India for 30 years I guess. Germany must be pretty interesting for all the Americans, Australians and Asians 🙂

Your thoughts are welcome!