Is there some specific word for travelling, when the important thing is the journey rather than reaching your destination? For example it's more important to go slowly and see the sights, than reaching your final destination - so you walk, bike or drive car; rather than taking a plane, although that get you there much faster... It could for example be because the journey itself is supposed to teach you something important (about yourself?), and that is the real purpose of the trip...

(Sorry, I got the idea for this question after watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yqVD0swvWU ...and they're right, if just getting there and doing their stuff was what mattered, they could've trimmed the story down to 15 minutes rather that three movies... So obviously, the journey was supposed to teach them something.)

  • 2
    While regional and fairly specific, the Australian term walkabout has much of the same feeling. – bib Jan 19 '16 at 16:55
  • Your going on an Adventure! – TsSkTo Jan 19 '16 at 17:16
  • In LOTR, the journey is often mentioned as a quest but a quest implies a long search or an attempt to achieve something difficult. There can be spiritual quests also. – ermanen Jan 19 '16 at 17:54
  • "Life" is the usual answer. – user126158 Jan 19 '16 at 19:31
  • A road trip is often like you describe, and often even without a definite destination. – Drew Jan 19 '16 at 20:39

As defined by Macmillan, perambulate perhaps captures the flavor of this concept:

to walk around a place slowly or for pleasure

As far as traveling for the journey rather than the destination, Wanderjahr might also suit:

  1. a year or period of travel, especially following one's schooling and before practicing a profession.
  2. (formerly) a year in which an apprentice traveled and improved his skills before settling down to the practice of his trade.

I think tour is the general word for a journey where reaching your destination is not important as you visit several places for pleasure and you enjoy the journey. For example, there can be walking tours, cycling tours, couch tours etc.

If you don't have any destination at all, you can consider wandering or wanderings. OED definition:

travelling from place to place or from country to country without settled route or destination; roaming. Often in plural, sometimes denoting a protracted period of devious journeying.

Being a trekkie, the word trek comes to mind.

noun

trek; plural noun: treks

  1. a long arduous journey, especially one made on foot.

"Let's go on a trek to the beach."

I would say the focus is on the journey rather than the destination.

Consider odyssey .

an intellectual or spiritual wandering or quest
---an odyssey of self-discovery

If it is short journey, how about jaunt .

a usually short journey or excursion undertaken especially for pleasure
---a weekend jaunt to the coast.

  • Odysseus' odyssey was quite painful. He was separated from his wife and family for 20 years. – user83454 Mar 3 '17 at 6:57

A regional (specifically Irish/Scots) one, specific to walking, is dander.

Quoting Wiktionary:

Noun dander

(Ulster) A gentle meandering walk with no particular haste or purpose.

To go for a dander on the beach.

and

Verb dander

(Ulster) To walk along with no particular haste.

To dander along the beach.

  • I think most Americans only know "dander" as flaked skin. – user83454 Mar 3 '17 at 7:00

If you want to emphasize the journey, you can't do better than to use the verb to journey, which means "to go on a journey". See Merriam-Webster, which also provides the example sentence

She was the first woman to journey into space.

Here's another example of my own:

My experiences as a young man journeying across the steppes of Central Asia have shaped me as the wistful, taciturn man I am today.

  • The question is asking for a better word than journey... " the important thing is the journey rather than reaching your destination" – Skooba Jan 20 '16 at 21:48
  • @Skooba I don't see anywhere in the question where the OP specifies the word has to be better than, or different from, "journey". In fact it's not clear OP was aware that journey can be used as a verb. In any case, sorry you didn't like my answer. I humbly accept your downvote and will use it as feedback to improve my answers in the future. – Dan Romik Jan 21 '16 at 20:14

Walkabout pronounced walk-a-bout which the OED defines as

1) a journey on foot undertaken by an Australian Aboriginal in order to live in the traditional manner

2)an informal stroll among a crowd conducted by an important visitor.

3) a walking tour.

Over time it has come to mean, "A spontaneous journey of one's choosing in an effort to satisfy one's itchy feet, a need to be elsewhere, the craving for the open road". The phrase was (possibly, in the US at least) made popular by the movie Crocodile Dundee.

Ramble

to wander around in a leisurely, aimless manner: They rambled through the shops until closing time. (Dictionary.com verb #1)

Roam

to walk, go, or travel without a fixed purpose or direction; ramble; wander; rove: to roam about the world. (Dictionary.com verb #1)

There are a couple of options:

Excursion

A short journey or trip, especially one engaged in as a leisure activity. (Google)

An excursion is usually a pleasant experience, performed at a leisurely pace. Excursions are typically associated with vacationing. For example, a family or group of friends vacationing in San Francisco may take a day-long excursion to visit wine country. Indeed, the travelling is as pleasant as the destination.


Tour

A journey for pleasure in which several different places are visited. (Google)

If you're looking to describe a leisurely trip that's longer than a few days, you could use "tour," as a noun or verb. "Tour" implies you're taking in the sights and sounds and flavors of the region.

We toured the countryside.

We did the half-day museum tour.

We planned a tour of the Southwest.

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