This post is the beginning of my journal entries from our six-week expedition to China this summer. If you didn’t read the introduction to this series, you can read it here.

Date: Day 1/2/3 | 6/29 – 6/30

Location: Onboard China Southern 328, Seat 66C

We all read Pico Iyer’s essay titled “Why We Travel” on our way to China. You can read it here. I took some bullet-point notes on some ideas that stood out to me in the essay. It’s the perfect reading before we leave our current lives behind in America begin our Off the Silk Road adventure to China. So, in true Off the Maine Road/Off the Silk Road list fashion, here are my notes (and some discussion questions) on “Why We Travel.”


  • Getting lost and then getting found
    • What does a journey/this specific journey mean to you?
  • Carrying our values wherever we go
    • What/who are we representing on this trip?
  • Live without a past or future
    • Living in the moment – how can we do this on our trip?
  • A quest – physical and metaphorical
  • The American Dream
    • As Americans, what can we embody on this trip?
  • Us moving around the world vs. the world moving around us
  • Travel is imagination
  • Carrying home and a destination
    • The journey is the destination!
  • Keeping our minds mobile and awake

Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for more journal entries from this summer’s expedition to China!

P. S. The picture below was our view on approach to Beijing at the beginning of the trip. Think travel! Where will your next adventure take you?WTBDCHN - 3