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  • Writer's pictureKirk

Traveling with Purpose?

I'll warn you this is simply a philosophical post before you read.

Purpose is an odd thing to me. It suggests intent, and reason. We all want to believe in it, don't we? If we don't believe in purpose, then what is the point, right?

We, as humans, want to believe in our purpose. Why are we here? Why are we alone in the Universe as far as we know? Were we designed, and if so, what were we designed for? After all, when man designs a new tool, whether it be a hammer, a computer, or a watch, that design has a purpose to serve. So then we extrapolate that to ourselves.

The Christian finds an easy answer to this question. Man is designed to please God and do His will. We are here for the pleasure and servitude of the Creator. God has a purpose for us that He will reveal in His due time. Or perhaps never reveal it to us, depending on His pleasure. Those that want a purposeful life in servitude to the greater good, I'll call category 1 people.

Others don't become too concerned with the answer. They merely live their lives for their own pleasure. Enjoy this brief moment of their history for what pleasures serve them, oblivious to the question of purpose. I'll call these self-servers, Category 2 people.

Sometimes I think about my purpose of travel. Is it simply to satisfy a inner wanderlust? To travel to exotic places and stay in 5 star hotels at times for my sole pleasure? If so, then I'm no different than the category 2 people.

Or do I travel to be an ambassador of goodwill? Seeking opportunities to help others and bring some measure of joy and comfort to the stranger? That would fit more closely to the more altruistic Category 1 people.

I probably shouldn't investigate such matters as I likely wouldn't like the answer. The truth is, for almost all of us, we are mixture of people. Sometimes our purpose is self-serving and other times it is more noble. We hope to be Category 1 people but if we examine ourselves carefully we find more Category 2 than we like to admit.

The fact is I enjoy traveling. In retrospect, I even enjoy visiting the places I didn't like at the time. I enjoy five star hotels and flying business class. I enjoy even the 1 star accommodations because that means I'm in a new and beautiful environment.

Even if some of my posts seem altruistic, and it appears as though my travel includes interaction with foreign cultures where I'm trying to help, to make a difference, I enjoy that too.

So, when it is all boiled down to purpose, I guess it is just what I like to do. Even though it might appear I travel with elements of Category 1 purpose, really I'm no more than a category 2 type. My purpose may include a desire to make a difference in the world, but if I didn't enjoy it, I probably wouldn't do it.

Luckily for me, I suppose, as I age I get less concerned with purpose. I expect my purpose is mostly behind me now. The question of "why?" seems a more futile quest today. Like the conversation you might have with a child when they continue to drill you with the "why" questions. You finally resort to the trite response, "because I said so!"

Eventually we run out of answers and purpose becomes an item of obscurity. After awhile, we stop asking "why", because the answer never satisfies, or maybe there is no answer to the question.

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