The Indomitable Need for Travel


April 15, 2013.

The more I read about the aftermath of Monday’s horrific bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, I admit it: The more I feel part of me longing for a bubble.

A bubble for my friends, my parents, for Powerwoman, and our girls. A bubble to protect us from the haters, the misunderstood, and those who are just plain evil. A bubble to keep us safe from awfulness we can’t explain.

On many levels, it’s an intoxicating thought: A haven, a real-life Valinor, for everyone I love most. It’s also antithetical to all of the things I love about travel.

I travel for the unknown, the uncertain, the undiscovered. I travel to soak up more about our vast world and the people in it—for better or, in some cases, for worse. I travel to experience different cultural backgrounds, different foods, different perspectives.

Put simply, I travel because there’s too much out there not to see.

This philosophy is such a fundamental component of who I am as a person that it also has become a major part of how my wife and I have chosen to raise our daughters. Together, Powerwoman and I strive constantly to teach L and R that the world is a wonderful and magical place. The only way we truly can back up these claims is to show them.

Which, of course, means that bubble is never an option. As tempting as it is to internalize a tragedy by minimizing (what we perceive to be) risk, now more than ever we must look outward and keep traveling.

I’m not saying we can’t let the assholes win; it’s more fundamental than that.

For me, it comes down to perspective that echoes Patton Oswalt: Yes, evil exists in this world, but it’s a small and ugly part of a planet overflowing with good. We owe it to our children to keep exploring.

4 replies
  1. Elaine Schoch
    Elaine Schoch says:

    Great post! I would love to have a bubble to keep my kids safe. But there is just so much out there I want to see and experience with them. It’s those experiences that shape who you become and traveling has really been a part of shaping who I am. Seeing the world for what it is – good and bad – is something we do through traveling with our kids and something that will shape who they become.

    • Matt Villano
      Matt Villano says:

      Absolutely, Elaine. Thankfully we’ve never encountered something truly horrific on the road. If we ever do, I’d like to think we wouldn’t let it deter us one bit from continuing our quest to explore the world.

  2. Nina
    Nina says:

    Having been raised in a military family, travel has always been ingrained in me. Now that I get to choose where to go, it’s even better. Often the things I like most to do in other places are the things I would be doing at home. The simple change of scenery is very fulfilling! (as are all those other things you mentioned…) I will often allocate my resources around my rent and my planned travels. Everything else, will sort itself out. It’s been two months since my last trip, and I am ready to go! (next week: St. Thomas & St. John)

    • Matt Villano
      Matt Villano says:

      Have a blast in the VIs, Nina. Be sure to check out Maho Bay on St. Thomas. It’s my favorite part of that island.


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