Another question on this site deals with the question of interstellar trade without faster than light travel. I'd like inspiration for a related but more generic question. Why would people choose to take an expensive and years long interstellar journey in a world allowing ubiquitous fast, but sub-luminal travel?
Some useful scene setting information:
- Fancy soft science fiction engines allow small (<100 person) space ships to travel at 0.99c in intergalactic space.
- This travel can either be conscious, costing about 5 years salary per light year for an average worker, or in a sleeper state in which metabolic processes are slowed for two years salary per light year.
- Larger cheap/government sponsored generational & sleeper ships have existed for a couple of centuries and have been used to terraform and colonise a region of space near the home world.
- No alien species are known to exist.