Why I Keep Traveling?

KarFei Cheah

Every time when I got back from a travel, people will ask me this one question.

How much did you spend?

And this time, having just came back from a 15-days trip to Japan, I got this question.

How much did you spend on your skiing and snowboarding trip in Hokkaido?

This is how the conversation went.

Friend (F): It’s seems like you had a lot of fun in Niseko, skiing and snowboarding. I wish I can do the same. How much did you spend?

Me (M): Hmmm.. I think about USD $1000.

F: Whatttt?!!! That’s a lot of money for 3 days of skiing and snowboarding. You know I can use that money to buy a lot of things, right?

M: Yeah, but the experience is really amazing. Learning new things, and being able to do something different with my gf. Albeit we did suffer because of the ski and snowboarding boots (which is a real pain to our feet as first timer)

F: See! Why would someone pay so much to torture themselves? Lol!

M: Well, you have a point. But at least I’m happy at the end of it.

F: Yeah, buying new bags, watches, will make me happy too. And I can buy a few of them with that amount of money.

M: How long can the happiness lasts for you? Do you still remember the last time when you bought something and were really happy about it? Are you still happy about it now?

F: Well, few weeks maybe, or a few months.

M: Exactly. What I paid for my skiing and snowboarding experience can last me a life time. Or at the least, I can still recall that memory and laugh about how I fall on my ass or headed right straight into the 1-meter powder-like snow and can barely stand back up.

F: Hahaha!! Well, I can recall the time I buy stuffs too isn’t it?

M: You’re right. However, 50 years down the road, your grandchildren will not ask you how it feels like to buy something. But I’m pretty damn sure if my grandchildren ask me if skiing or snowboarding is fun, I will be able to have a good one hour long conversation with them.

F: ….

One of the value that I want to live by in the future as a role model to my kids is to experience life. And to me, traveling is an essential way to do it.

I made it a point to cut my expenses in various aspects of my life to cover for my travel. My girlfriend and I commit to travel to at least 2 countries a year. It is not that we are rich (that’s what a lot people say when they see us travel so much). It’s just that we have made a commitment to ourselves.

Go out and travel the world. Experience life. Live with a story to tell and then leave the world one day knowing you have shared a story.

P/S: the friend booked a flight ticket to Myanmar the day after our conversation.

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