Reasons for Strange or Extreme Travel
Our hostess told me how she recently hosted a pair of CouchSurfers walking from Western Europe to India. This was their thing—their goal—to walk there.
My perspective on all this is that the younger you are, the more likely your zany travel is just to impress your peers. Oh, they may not think about it or admit as much, but trust me, more often than not, it is.
This goes doubly so for all these European kids running around doing 'wacky' travel trips all over the place. Riding a unicycle from here to there; seeing how far you can get with no money; using only one type of transportation, or transportation that doesn't use gas or isn't this or that. And of course most of 'em want to do book or a movie or raise money for charity.
The problem is that travel is such an old hat in this region of the world, that tripping around the place no longer holds much social value. When you can just jump on a train or a lost cost carrier flight and be in Prague for breakfast, who cares when the Dutch boy goes to Hungary or the French girl goes to Istanbul? That's right, no one.
Enter: The kooky travel idea.
I just recently came across entry number #120 on stuffwhitepeoplelike.com, and I absolutely loved it:
Taking a Year Off
Regardless of how a white person chooses to spend their year off, they all share the same goal of becoming more interesting to other people. Sadly, the people who find these stories interesting are other white people who are politely listening until they can tell their own, more interesting story about taking a year off."
Personally, I think the cutoff point when zany travel is less about impressing your peers and more about accomplishing something for yourself starts around forty. Teens and twenties? Forget about it. Thirties? Maybe.
Yes, there are always going to be people out there doing something odd in the world of travel to impress or get notoriety, just as there are always going to be people out there who seek no publicity and have no goal but to please themselves. I don't judge one way or the other, but I do try to understand it.
Travel is inherently selfish, no matter what type of spin you put on it.