Why I Travel: A Reflection

Grant KennedyReflections, TravelLeave a Comment


I’ve been in Japan for one year now. It got me thinking about why I travel in the first place.

People often ask me “Grant, when are you coming back?” And I never really know how to answer that. Do they mean “come back permanently” or do they mean “come back for a visit”? Maybe they just need to understand why I travel.

To me the question “when are you coming back?” feels like it implies that I’m running away from something or I’m trying to escape something. It’s the opposite. I’m running towards something and that something is my life. I want to experience everything this world has to offer. The sounds, the food, the smells, the sights… I need these things. I need to experience them. It’s not enough for me just to see them on TV or on the Internet. This is why I travel.
One of my favorite quotes is from Ashton Kutcher. He said “Everything around us that we call life was made up of people that are no smarter than you. And you can build your own things, you can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life-don’t live one, build one.” So that’s what I’m doing. I’m building my life. And I’m filling it with amazing experiences and amazing people.
halloween in Shibuya, a reason why I travel

Halloween in Shibuya. One of the craziest experiences of my life.

I know people ask me because they miss me and want to see me again. I also know I’m bad at keeping in contact with people. Sometimes, many years will pass before you get a random message from me to see how you are doing. Please understand that I am not neglecting you nor have I forgotten you.
I don’t need constant contact because every experience with everyone I know has become a beautiful tattoo on my soul. 
Those times we drank beers and played pool at Stix. Dropping acid at Bliss. Epic super smash bros tournaments and that one time we were stoned and tried to make an omelet with coffee creamer (don’t try it.) Freezing our asses off hunting at 4 AM. That techno dance party we had in the cave. That picnic we had after skinny dipping in that lake in Rioja. That time we tried to eat ALL the teppanyaki while trying to drink ALL the beer. Backgammon and nargile. Halloween in Shibuya. And “If Bar” Night… unforgettable experiences even if some of the details are a bit fuzzy.
This is why I travel. To me, this is a full, beautiful life… and it’s only just begun.
Grant Kennedy

From Japan, with love.