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Posted by on Jan 16, 2012 | 19 comments

Are you a different person when traveling?

The Travel and Adventure Show was in town this past weekend.  Well, it took place in Long Beach which is relatively close to consider it part of “town”.

My husband and I were really excited because Andrew Zimmern was one of the principal speakers.  Hope you know who I am talking about.  You know, Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods.  The TV show where this guy goes around the world eating all sort of nasty and repulsive dishes (if they can be called dishes at all).  Yes, that guy.

Andrew Zimmern at the LA Travel and Adventure Show


I have to confess we are complete fanatics of his show.  We have watched nearly every episode (except the ones that are not available in Netflix).

Well, it turns out half of the Los Angeles residents were also really excited about meeting Andrew.  When he got down the stage, a huge crowd jumped over him.  The lines to get his autograph were insane. So bummer, I wasn’t able to meet or greet him. Maybe I need to practice how to be a better stalker or something in between.

However, during his talk he discussed why he loves to travel.  His reasons resonated inside my head and I want to share them with you.

Andrew said he travels because he is a totally different person when he is roaming the world.  When at home, all he thinks is about how to make himself more comfortable.  He doesn’t really feel like exploring new restaurants, neighborhoods or sights because that is complicated.  It is easier to go to the same places he knows over and over again.  Those actions take him to a state he dislikes.  On the contrary, while on the road, he doesn’t have a lot of time to think about himself.  He is busy learning about other countries, eating new foods or meeting new friends.  These realities fill up his mind.  In summary, he likes better the man he is on the road.

Of course, this is not exactly what Andrew said but I think I captured the general idea.  This all got me thinking, am I a different person when I travel?

Maybe this is the reason why more and more people are traveling nowadays.  The challenges of dealing with a different language, navigating thru unknown streets or contemplating new places get us excited, get us pumped up, get us dreaming. People get addicted to these sensations and want to experiment them every day.

Andrew saying hi to the fans


For some reason (and for most of us), the adrenaline rush dies once we get home.  We call it routine. There is no reason to feel joy, motivation and/or enthusiasm. Our environment is so well known that we don’t really feel like changing it.  Comfort is all we think about.

All this reaffirms more what I have thought for a long time.  Travel by itself wouldn’t be so desirable without the feeling it gives people.  I truly believe we can get that travel feeling every day.  However, we need to make a conscientious effort to make the changes that would take us to the place we want to be.

I think I am a bit different when I travel.  Nevertheless, I don’t want travel to be an escape from a boring and unfulfilled life.  Every day I make an effort to get out of my comfort zone.  I want to be closer to the self I am when traveling which may be the real me (this does not apply only to travel, replace the word travel with the activity you absolutely love to do, that one where you feel most alive).

Thanks Andrew for giving me some great ideas to think about.  Also, many thanks for the jellyfish salad you brought for the audience.  I tried a little bit and have to say I liked it. Well, maybe that was my “out of the comfort zone” moment for Saturday.

Those are not noodles, that is jellyfish

What about you? Are you a different person when you travel?  If so, what does that means?  Let me know in the comments section below.


    • Cool! I wanted to see Samantha’s talk but I was almost done looking at the booths at the time of her talk. You know, actually, I have never watched one of her shows. I should start watching them.
      Ruth recently posted..Are you a different person when traveling?My Profile

  1. Would love to meet him! I think I am a different person in some ways while traveling. But I am hoping this long-term travel experience I am currently having will allow me to keep some of those things I like better about myself with me when I go home.
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..How To Survive a 28-Hour Bus RideMy Profile

  2. What an excellent question! Yes, I am different on the road. Sort of. I try to be more adventurous, but sometimes I still get freaked out and won’t do new things. But I’m definitely more laid back and willing to try things than when I’m home. Although, when I get back from a trip I think, “I like being that way (more adventurous) so I’m going to do that here.” Then I get into the rhythm of life again and go back to my old ways of doing the same old, same old. Excellent post!
    Courtney Mroch recently posted..To Question is To Jaunt: What Draws Me to the ParanormalMy Profile

  3. Love your reflections. To answer your question: I’m exactly the same person when traveling as when I am at home. Which may have a lot to do with the fact that I don’t really have a home. An expat in 4 different countries for th last 20 years and still searching, I have come to the conclusion that I am the eternal nomad and very happy with it.
    inka recently posted..Backpacker alert! Tree houses in Olympos/TurkeyMy Profile

    • In your case, where life and travel are so related, I understand why you are always the same. It would be interesting to know if some countries have made you act different.
      Ruth recently posted..Are you a different person when traveling?My Profile

  4. I don’t know how different I am when I travel other than spending more time exploring my environs or being more adventurous with food. I think we get too caught up in “life” when we are at home and don’t spend as much time exploring our local environment.
    Debbie Beardsley @ European Travelista recently posted..A Year at European TravelistaMy Profile

    • You are right when you say we don’t spend a lot of time exploring our local environment. There is so much we can learn and enjoy if we open up.

      I know I am a little bit different when traveling because my husband says so. Others can give us different perspectives.
      Ruth recently posted..Are you a different person when traveling?My Profile

    • David,
      Somebody asked Andrew about his opinion on Durian. He said he doesn’t understand why people are so obssesed with the fruit. I guess he doesn’t like it. I haven’t tried it (my husband neither). It was the off season when we went to Thailand. I guess it is on the “must try” list.
      Ruth recently posted..Are you a different person when traveling?My Profile

  5. I think traveling really opens you up to just BE a different person. You learn to live outside routines and comfort zones. I definitely think traveling allowed me to become a different person and, like you, hope to keep up with it even when I am not traveling.
    Rease recently posted..Argentina: I Love You But I’m Not In Love With YouMy Profile

  6. I’m absolutely a different person when I travel. Who that person is depends on where I am and why I’m there. If traveling didn’t change me, what exactly would be the point of it?
    Curt recently posted..Going places: January editionMy Profile

  7. I’m definitely different when I travel. Like everyone else, more adventurous. I mean, you want to do the things that’ll give you stories to tell. So I’m constantly saying, “When else can I ride a camel/zipline across a fort/get pencil skirts tailored for $15…” (OK, the last one isn’t really about being adventurous) I think also, if you travel alone, you HAVE be more adventurous (and less shy than I usually am) or else you’ll end up by yourself all the time, and that kinda sucks.
    Pauline recently posted..Yes-womanMy Profile

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