I would imagine that many hostel workers deserve an honorary PhD in Psychology. After all, how many long nights have you stayed up counseling a distraught backpacker, listening to their problems, and helping them cope with emotional hardships? Maybe we should charge by the hour, not by the bed.
One man actually studies and publishes papers on the Psychology of Travel. “Dr. Michael Brein is ‘The Travel Psychologist’ living on Bainbridge Island, Washington. He is an avid world-traveler as well as author, publisher and lecturer on a variety of travel subjects.”
There is no known, theorized body of psychology that explicitly addresses questions of the psychology of travel. Of course there are some fundamental psychology 101 concepts that do apply, and these you will read below. Psychology, although a social science, still remains today an 'art' by which lay and scientific practitioners weave and create their explanations. Below, I weave my own fabric of explanations of the psychology of travel as they apply to the pop psychology of everyday travel and adventure.
Some of the reasons Dr. Brein explores for why people travel are:
- Achievement of Higher Order Needs
- Seeking the “Peak Experience”
- Re-connecting / Re-validating Our Lives
- Excitement and Adventure
It's interesting that Dr. Brein makes so many references to following in the footsteps of other people in an attempt to be more like them. The recurrence of this theme makes me wonder if that is the driving force behind his own travels.
Do you see your own motivations for traveling reflected in any of the good doctor's explanations?