Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Part 2: Where do you want to go...and why?

As part of my "So You Want a Career in Travel" series, I decided to include a section on motivation. What drives you to travel? Do you want to simply see the world? See the world and write a book, a la Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray, Love fame)? Feed hungry kids? Save the environment? Spread the word of God via the Bible/Qur'an/Book of Mormon/any other text of a missionary faith? Sell products? Advocate for human rights? Tackle organized crime (drug trafficking, sex trade, etc)? Join the military and defend the interests of the U.S.? Enter the Foreign Service and practice diplomacy? Perform and give concert tours? Why?

Also, where do you want to go? Do you see yourself in mostly "developed" countries, such as the U.S., Western Europe, Australia, or Japan? Or do you see yourself spending copious amounts of time in other parts of Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, the Pacific or Africa (some of which qualify as "middle income" countries, other which are known as "low income" countries? Or do you see yourself doing a mix of everything?

Granted, a lot of the motivations can also apply to one's home country and I'm not labeling any of them as positive or negative (they all can have either positive or negative impacts on the nations you visit). Also, the motivations and desired places can intersect, depending on one's interests and language skills. I'll admit, I want to see as many places as I can and, while my language of choice through school was mostly Spanish (with some Italian and Kiswahili), I still ended up in Kenya. But I digress (and will elaborate on my choices in later posts). All the same, it helps to know what drives your desire, regardless of what or how many reasons you have. Traveling is a commitment of time, energy and money. Knowing what drives you may help you decide what tasks you're up for or even if you're up for the task to begin with.

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