After listening to a great story on SPARK radio, I figured out I might be a xenophile. Actually, I think xenophilia might be a character trait for a lot of Travelers, or in my case want to be Traveler. Some of the definitions I’ve seen are simply bizarre, however, I like the way Ethan Zuckermann has branded the Term. Listening to the story, I was reminded of how my world view has changed in the last 15 years.
Why do people develop an obsession for traveling? I think my passion has always been there, I just didn’t understand it or did I even realize it was there. I don’t remember anything specific, as a child, that would have fostered such grand ideals in my head. But I’ve always been attracted by the idea of just going on a trip, as I grew older, and business required traveling, My eyes became wide open. Contrast that with the fact now, that I live in the same town I grew up in, and have lived here the majority of my life.
Is it healthy to have such an obsession? Another question I ask myself all the time. We Americans, and perhaps other developed nations, have gotten very comfortable in our lives. You read about Weird people and their obsessions all the time. But Traveling as an obsession seems to be about something bigger, an idea that exploring is learning and Traveling the world is an amazing Classroom. It does boil down to some basic priorities, responsibilities to your children, debts, etc. I still struggle with this question everyday, what is important for my kids vs. what is life really about? Can I give them the things they need to become good members of Society, if I’m obsessed with my own Travel desires?
What affect is it having on my life? This is another deep discussion and related to the above question. I definitely changed my priorities as I’ve gotten older, and Traveled more. Now that I have figured out that I’m a Xenophile, I’ve really reduced the things I buy in an effort to save more money for some point when I will have the Freedom to just go where I want to go.