The Truman Show is a great movie. It was released in 1998, yet it still seems relevant in today's world, where reality shows allow us to watch people attempt to lose weight, cook dishes, find a marriage partner, race around the world, or...whatever it is that "real housewives" do.
But there is one thing about the film that has always bothered me.
Seahaven exists for the purposed of this reality television show. Truman Burbank, played by Jim Carrey, has been filming since before he was born, but everyone in his life is playing to a script. Unexpectedly, he falls in love with a college schoolmate, Lauren. Lauren, you see, was just supposed to play a supporting role in The Truman Show. But she falls in love with him, too, and wants to reveal the truth to Truman. Before she gets a chance, she is forced off the show with the explanation that she's moving to Fiji.
And that's the problem.
In Truman's own words, he wants to go on adventure, to explore and see some of the world. Truman supposedly goes to Mount Rushmore on a family trip as a kid. Truman's childhood teacher shows the class a real map—oh, but there's nowhere new to discover, she says. His friend, Marlon, says that he "travelled all over" the summer he was off the island hauling chickens, but "never found a place like [Seahaven]."
Truman's world is completely fictional. The show's creators built this set in which Truman is supposed to live out his life. But they've built this world to be too similar to the real one: there are other places beyond Seahaven, and Truman knows it. Why, if the producers wanted Truman to stay in Seahaven, did they mention there were other places in the world? Why have a map that identifies places other than Seahaven? Why have a bus to Chicago? Why pretend that Mount Rushmore exists? Why say that Lauren moved to Fiji?
Fiji, Mount Rushmore, "all over"—of course someone is going to want to explore the world when they know the world exists.
Which is why I travel.
I know that there are other places in the world, and I, like Truman, want to explore them. I travel to learn new things, to see how other people live their lives, to try new things, to relax, to make new friends, to challenge myself, to get away from it all. But more than any other reason, I travel because.
Because the world exists.