It’s About the Destination, Not the Journey

It’s about the journey, not the destination.

This is one of the lines uttered famously by eyelash fluttering ladies and old men with lined faces and weathered hats.  It sounds nice.  It takes on a fabulously philosophical meaning when applied to life.   But when taken literally it is absolutely wrong.

The reality of travelling is that it’s all about the destination.  Because the journey sucks.

Take off those rose colored glasses for a moment and tell me, do you honestly enjoy travelling?  I mean the “ing” part of travelling – the hot buses, delayed flights and cramped train compartments that smell like the bathroom on the other side of the wall.

Why can't all travelling be this fun?

It’s ok, though, because the destination outweighs the journey. That means you choose the cheapest means of getting to a great travel spot.  The allure of climbing new mountains, eating new foods and struggling to communicate in new languages pushes you into and onto tiny boats, rickety carts and planes piloted by what may be epileptic children.  You red eye it in without (too much) complaint in order to stretch your bucks further while you’re in Belize.  You sleep in gray bus stations with your backpack for a pillow (that inevitably has your toothbrush positioned to poke you in the head all night).  You share seats with oversize bags, oversize people and the occasional chicken all in the name of “getting there.”  “There” is the operative word.  “Getting” is in its way.

Maybe getting there is half the fun for you.  Maybe you are one of those lucky few who nap peacefully in your business class world of wonder.  Maybe you are part of the smiling family that graces the covers of trans-American train brochures.  Maybe the buses you ride are temperature controlled and let you choose your own movie.  If so, well done.  You are in the travelling elite.  You are among the lucky few that associate plane rides with champagne instead of screaming babies.  We would all love to join your ranks when our bank accounts allow.

This looks like more fun than it is.

But for now many of us are stranded in the purgatory of budget airlines and windy bus routes that take five hours to cover ten miles.  Still we count ourselves lucky to be travellers.

The journey may be an obstacle, but the destination makes it worthwhile.

What is your craziest journey story?


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9 responses to “It’s About the Destination, Not the Journey”

  1. Tina says :

    sometimes travelling is nice but I have to agree that most of the time it’s a hassle. I wish they would just invent a transporter than can plop you into the middle of where ever you want to be. 🙂

  2. Tracy says :

    This is so true. But I’ve also found that (in retrospect), it’s much more fun to tell (and to hear) stories of running for buses/boats/trains, of chance encounters and personal connections made en route, of getting lost or stranded only to be rescued by some kind stranger–all muchour interesting and memorable than being served sushi in first class. Not that I would know…

    Thanks for another cool blog from the road.

    • beyonddisneytravel says :

      Thanks for the comment, Nancy. You’re right – the stories that come out of harrowing or unusual journeys are part of the fun of travel. It’s just so much nicer to remember running for planes or hopping on boats after it’s over!

  3. Sarah says :

    Don’t even get me started with overland bus rides. Ahh, couldn’t wait to get off the last one in Panama. I’m glad someone’s finally said the truth about the “ing” of travelling as you say.

  4. Nicky says :

    Aaaaaah give me the hassle of Travelling any day! I wish we could pack our back packs and endure everything that comes our way. Without the kids that is:) I feel like I could handle anything just Ryan and I, throw the kids into the mix and I’d just have to give it a miss for now! Hee hee:)

    • beyonddisneytravel says :

      Kids do make travelling a bit (read: a lot) more difficult. But I’m impressed how much of it you’ve managed to do as a family. I have a feeling Troy and Gabby will be world travellers one day!

  5. cooking a whole hog says :

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