Why We Travel: 100 Reasons to See the World 

September 13, 2022

Do you wonder why we travel? Find 100 reasons to see the world in Patricia Schultz’s new book! I have been fortunate to meet her in Los Angeles at several travel events and always learn more from the author of the New York Times bestselling series, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die!

Why We Travel is filled with personal stories and anecdotes, quotes that inspire, and reasons to motivate-plus images so lush you can’t wait to be there. For years Patricia Schultz has been telling us where to travel, and we love listening. Now, in telling us why to travel, she reveals what makes her such a compelling guide and what makes travel such a richly rewarding experience. There’s the time she was on safari in Zambia yet found her most lasting memory in a classroom of five-year-olds. The comedy of mishaps that she and friends endured on a canal trip through southern France–and how it brought them together in an unexpected way. She quotes favorite authors and luminaries on the importance of travel and, in a series of memorable aphorisms, gets to the essence of why to travel. And gives us a few travel hacks, too. Travel is, as the writer Pico Iyer says, the thing that causes us to “stay up late, follow impulse, and find ourselves as wide open as when we are in love.” Why We Travel is all about rekindling that feeling. Just book a ticket, pack a bag, and dive headlong into an adventure. (Workman Publishing)

Why We Travel

(p. v) excerpt courtesy of Workman Publishing and Patricia Schultz

Travel teaches us empathy, humility, patience, gratitude, and how to enjoy experiences over things; it is the ultimate classroom without walls. But travel is also just plain fun. It’s a chance to cut loose, leave all the real-world stuff behind, and tap into your inner adventure seeker. On a recent trip to Southeast Asia, Elizabeth—a favorite traveling mate—and I were sailing down the Mekong River in Laos, and I felt a wave of contentment wash over me that I rarely feel at home. I felt both recharged and serene as we drifted through the legendary Golden Triangle, past scenery unchanged for centuries, a local captain at the helm of our polished wooden longboat. Children washing the family elephant on the sandy banks waved us on, their smiles contagious, while golden temples peeked out from densely forested hilltops. We stopped to visit villages stuck in time, explored a cave that had been transformed into a Buddhist temple filled with hundreds of statues, cooled off in hidden multitiered waterfalls, and eventually disembarked in Luang Prabang, a city whose name will always make me smile. Sometimes it is about both the journey and the destination.

Wherever you go, however you travel, allow it to enrich you, connect you to others, challenge your preconceptions, and open your head and heart. If you do, you’ll understand why we travel, and why we should never stop. It is an investment in ourselves and makes us better people. When we get home, home is still the same, but we have changed. And that changes everything.

Ko Muk, Thailand Photo credit: Marco Bottigelli

Embrace the challenge!

(p.14) excerpt courtesy of Workman Publishing and Patricia Schultz

THERE’S NOTHING QUITE LIKE THE SATISFACTION of meeting a challenge head-on and rising to the occasion. Here are a few ways to test your mettle.


Exploring a metropolis like Tokyo or New York City can be downright intimidating, but when you seek out its less touristy corners, you’ll understand its more authentic soul. One way to tap into the local scene is to use mass transit. Apps can make them easier to navigate and worth the effort. Once you do get the hang of the systems, you’ll find them efficient and well organized—and fellow strap- hangers are surprisingly happy to help.

Kyoto, Japan Photo credit: Hemis


Knowing another language will open up your world in countless ways and deepen your connection with others—whether you’re bargaining at the market or bantering with a barista—while stretching your brain. Find an app or an online program and pair that with a language partner. It’s also fun to immerse yourself in foreign films and books with easy story lines.


Of the earth’s various peaks, many require technical skill and experience to climb, but many others don’t. Explore Mount Temple in Canada’s beautiful Banff National Park (11,600 feet) and Mauna Kea in Hawaii, whose height is technically 33,500 feet, but more than half of that is submerged, making the above-sea-level mountain hikeable in four to five hours. Choose one that’s the right challenge for you and head for the summit.

London, England, Photo credit: Jane Sweeney


Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to just let go of plans or ideas you spent a lot of time on. Life on the road gets immeasurably easier when you realize that you cannot always be in control. Small obstacles can derail your itinerary, but if you relax and pivot, you may find that the universe has more interesting plans in mind than any you can arrange.

Get your own copy of WHY WE TRAVEL

Meet Patricia Schultz in person


Connect with Patricia on Facebook and Instagram

Learn more about her in my 2019 interview with her: Where To Go Next? Ask Patricia Schultz, 1000 Places to See Before You Die

Lisa Niver and Patricia Schultz Feb 2018 at the Travel and Adventure Show
Lisa Niver and Patricia Schultz in Feb 2018 at the Travel and Adventure Show

I loved meeting Patricia Schultz at the Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show and when she spoke for the JNTO.

Lisa Niver, Patricia Schultz, Richard Bangs and Andy Bender at JNTO event March 2016
Lisa Niver, Patricia Schultz, Richard Bangs and Andy Bender at JNTO event in March 2016

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