Why I Love Traveling

Recently I have started to hate living in the city.

Don’t get me wrong I like the infrastructures the city brings, like a proper bathroom, shower, and general comfort but I have been thinking of giving it all up for the peace, quiet, and excitement (i get that its a bit paradoxical) that living or traveling to a new secluded place brings.

Since I could remember I have loved traveling and experiencing new things and perspectives. My first memory of getting out of Addis and traveling was the trip, my dad, me, and my brother took for his work at Debre Birhan. I have really vague memories of horse riding and hiking there, none I could really articulate any further, but I remember it being cold and exciting.

The next memories I have are Yearly trips with my family to Debre Zeit and Sodere, and these are one if not the best memories I have of my childhood. This was the first time I got into a swimming pool, the first time I played with a PlayStation 1, the first time I made friends outside of school and my neighborhood, It was a time of discovery and excitement.

After that, I traveled to a few places mostly for family graduations, weddings, and funerals but other than that I was mostly staying in Addis and the spark of traveling faded. Then forward a couple of years, when I got to 3rd year of campus it showed signs of glimmer when the whole batch took a 10-day trip to Northern Ethiopia, it was my first time taking a trip without family and it became one of my best campus and life memories.

I have taken a couple of trips after that but most of my traveling has been in these past 4 years when I caught the travel bug again after reading “The 4-hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss, it ignited a flame in me, and at that moment I made a rule for myself that I will always say yes to travel.

“Conditions are never perfect. ‘Someday’ is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.”

Tim Ferriss

It’s not that I have all the money, time, or luxury to travel but it has become a priority in my life. Even my recent trip to Omo Valley was funded by borrowed money from my friend.

One of the people I admire and envy in the field of travel is Aziz Ahmed. A man who is well known in Ethiopia for his travel/wildlife photography and Epic adventures. He has spent his whole life traveling all around Ethiopia living in tents and lodges, getting up close and personal with lions and wildlife while documenting his journey.

I was first introduced to Aziz when he came to my previous office for an event called “Inspirational Thursdays”. After giving a very short speech and showing a bit of his video work he was asked how he is not afraid of lions and wildlife, he answered “I am more afraid of people/humankind than I am of wildlife”, this coming from a guy who lost his dad to a lion attack was really inspiring and eye-opening.

Aziz has made it his mission and life to travel, which I don’t claim to have done but would like to do in the future. I have no clear reason why I love traveling and I have not made it my whole life like Aziz or any other full-time travelers but I have a couple of ideas that I think might be contributing factors for my love of travel and adventure.

  • Seeing and experiencing new and beautiful places
  • Creating long-lasting friendships and relationships through travel (It creates a unique bond)
  • Being able to go to places where no one knows you and being able to do whatever you want without caring what people will think.
  • Getting a timely dose of dopamine and travel high
  • Fear of stagnation & commitment and always seeking change
  • As a person with self-diagnosed ADD, having a short attention span and seeking things that don’t require concentration are part of the package
  • Wanting to avoid problems and responsibilities, even if it is for a short while

List of Places I have traveled to so far

North: Debre Birhan, Weldiya, Lalibela, Mekelle, Axum, Gondar, Semien Mountain, Bahir Dar, Debre Markos, Awash
South: Debrezeit, Adama, Sodere, Butajira, Dorze Village, Arba Minch, Hawassa, Konso, Jinka, Turmi, Omo River
East: Dire Dawa, Harar
West: Wonchi, Jimma

Tanzania: Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo, Zanzibar, Arusha, Moshi

Kenya: Nairobi

Italy: Milano

I hope to travel the world and go to a lot more places, though it might not be easy with an Ethiopian Passport. But, if that doesn’t work out I still have a few places to look forward to here in Ethiopia.