This post is sponsored by our outdoor friends and experts Roads, Rivers and Trails.

I do not mind mornings, but I hate early mornings. Without exception, over the past five years, the only two reasons that I wake up before the sun are to go fishing or to watch the sunrise.

I’ve seen the sun rise in many places and each time it’s different and unique. It’s like seeing a friend again after many years, you can still recognize the face and personality but it has changed slightly.

“Whoever created the world went to a lot of trouble, and it would be downright rude not to see as much of it as possible.”Edward Readicker-Henderson

The one place, however; I never watch the sunrise is when I’m at home. I’m too comfortable there. In fact, I think I’ve seen the sun lighten the world everywhere but from home. It’s funny how something so commonplace is only appreciated when I travel. In fact, I have discovered that experiencing what I normally take for granted is one of the reasons I travel. Travel gets my head on straight.

I’ve always been fascinated with why people travel. We’ve explored travel as a restorative actfamous people who have traveled and even the art of travel. What drives us to endure the ache of exhaustion, the discomfort of the foreign, travel delays and bumps in the road? I asked this question to some professional travel writers and photographers, TED speakers, published authors, explorers and individuals who have made a life of traveling. Here’s what they told me.


We all have our own reasons for traveling. But, it turns out many of us are searching for the same human desires. (More information about contributors at the end of this article)

Seeking the New

I love meeting new people and seeing new places- Steve Davey

For the exhilaration of being on the road and exploring new life and people around every corner.- Laurie Gough

Seeking adventure, from the smallest thing such as trying to navigate to something as extreme as running with the bulls in Spain.- Joel Z.

To meet people, experience traditions, taste food, discover landscapes that are different from me and what I am usually surrounded by.- Judith Fein

To discover new things about the world, new things about my self, and to find familiar smiles on new faces.- Luke Armstrong

To get immersed in a different culture, such as eating at restaurants that are packed with locals and few tourists.- Kyle B.


I also travel because at home, I’m a control freak; travel reminds one there is no control- Edward Readicker-Henderson


I am driven and inspired to take pictures of the people I meet and the amazing places I have visited!- Steve Davey

To redefine reality- Chris Epting

To see something different, from the architecture to the landscape- Joel Z.

To remind yourself that the kindness of strangers can be found wherever you go.- Susan Griffith


Because travelling slows down time and lets you live in the present.- Laurie Gough


I find life in the UK boring and predictable, and love the chaos of being on the road- Steve Davey

To escape the everyday- Jason C.

To escape the Canadian winter.- Laurie Gough

To escape reality- Chris Epting


I’m hoping somewhere it will all make sense. Travel is the closest I can come to praying.- Edward Readicker-Henderson

The World is only as small as you make it.- Kyle B.

To participate, in some small way, in peaceful co-existence on this blue marble of a planet. If you meet people and connect to them, you are unlikely to want to bomb them.- Judith Fein

I travel for experiences, new foods and perspective- Andrew O.

Broaden horizons- Joel Z.

To learn, to experience, to meet different people- James Dorsey


Daily routines are great but everybody craves variety and novelty. I love the fact that travel guarantees that the unexpected will happen and that something will take you completely by surprise.- Susan Griffith


To be in the Zen state–in the now, alert to everything around you, not anchored in the past or projecting into the future.- Judith Fein

To appreciate other’s differences.- Kyle B.


Anticipating a trip is a large part of the pleasure, and figuring out where to find the offbeat things to see and do (and thereby persuade yourself that you are keeping boring middle age at bay).- Susan Griffith


Steve Davey, travel photographer and writer, who runs travel photography tours all over the world!

Laurie Gough is an author, award winning freelance writer, praised by Time as “one of the new generation of intrepid female travel writers” and founder of the travel writing life

Edward Readicker-Henderson has reported from over 70 countries, is an author and award winning travel writer and TEDxMaui speaker

Judith Fein is a travel journalist, speaker, author, and TED speaker.

Luke Armstrong is an intrepid traveler, author and managing editor

Chris Epting is an author, tv host and writer

Susan Griffith is a freelance editor and writer, author and guidebook writer

James Dorsey is an award winning author, photographer, fellow of the Explorers Club and former director of the Adventurers Club