For many of us, there are countless reasons to travel the world. Some people travel to discover new places, cultures, or ways of life; some travel to discover, or maybe even re-discover, themselves.
Traveling makes us realize how small the planet actually is. It shows us that although people share different beliefs, have different priorities, suffer from different trials and tribulations and celebrate different things, there are many things that we all have in common. We all have people who we love, and we are most likely surrounded by people that also love us. A smile is always beautiful, an unexpected stranger is likely more than willing to lend a helping hand. The people of Earth can, as mentioned, differ from one another on many levels; but, once you take the time to meet people from all different walks of life, on all different corners of the world, you begin to understand that we’re not so different after all.
I am a firm believer in the notion that to travel is the healthiest, most educational activity that one can engage in. Traveling will teach you things that you will never learn in school, it will give you experience that no job can promise you.
I believe that if all who are able would step outside of their comfort zone and experience another part of the world, there would be significantly less small-mindedness and bigotry.
So, I’ve compiled a list of the top five reasons to see the world, as seen by me, in the hopes that it will motivate someone to broaden their mindset by experiencing another culture.
1) Sometimes you need a bird’s eye view of your life
Unless you’re one of the lucky few who can take their work with them on the road, traveling somewhere new would most likely mean taking some time off from your day-job. I realize this isn’t easy for everyone, and that for many of us, vacation time isn’t a given. But, when we go about our daily lives and run around in the metaphorical hamster-wheel that is the juggling of responsibility, work and a social life, we can easily lose track of what we truly want in our hearts. So, taking a few days off to experience a culture that is different from your own opens up the line of communication between your subconscious mind and what you desire. By silencing the ”buzz” of the monotonous tasks in our daily lives, we’re more likely to hear what our hearts and minds actually have to say. Perhaps you have a lifelong dream that got put on hold because you were offered a full-time job with a decent pay, or maybe you rushed into a relationship because you felt the pressure to be with someone. Being somewhere new will help you find your way back to your own perspective, and help you make decisions according to what you want, instead of what is expected of you.
2) Travel turns you into a story-teller
Like the quote at the beginning of this article says, traveling will turn you into a story-teller. Imagine being able to share your travel experiences with your friends, family members, kids or grandkids. Every time a memory or a story is shared, you’re contributing to the picture they have of you, adding color to it. Whether you talk about drinking out of a coconut at the beach, backpacking through mountains or sampling exotic cuisine, you’re sharing a memory that is yours, and only yours. Story-telling is an ancient way to make a memory or lesson live on, even after we’re gone. Experience. Tell about it. Teach. Live forever.
3) The people you will meet along the way
Four years ago, I was in Rome with my boyfriend at the time. While touring the Colosseum we were stopped by some smiling, energetic students who were handing out tickets to a pub crawl that night. We were up for the adventure and signed our names on their list, promising that we would attend later that evening. When we stopped by the first destination on the pub crawl, we met another couple around our age and clicked with them instantly. The four of us carried on throughout the night as if we had known each other our entire lives. We talked, we laughed, we debated the big issues. Discussed our pasts, our futures, our hopes and dreams. That night, we exchanged numbers and have been in contact with them ever since. The girl in the couple is today one of my closest and dearest friends, and we connect on social media almost daily as well as in person whenever we get the chance. You never know who you will meet while abroad, and in my experience, I’ve had the honour of making lifelong friends on several occasions.
4) You gain perspective
Whilst running round in our hamster-wheels to no end, we sometimes forget to stop and think about what’s going on in the world around us. It’s natural, really, as most of the time, we have more than enough on our plates to keep us occupied. It’s easy to get caught up in our own trials and tribulations when we don’t see what others in other parts of the world are going through. Going out into the world and seeing how other people live is one of the most humbling experiences to mankind. A lot of times, we’re aware of the issues in other countries, but without experiencing them, we can never truly understand. To understand is to have empathy, and when there’s empathy, we’re more inclined to help make a change.
5) You’ll get to know yourself better
Traveling makes everyday tasks a little more challenging. When at home, you know exactly where to go when you’re hungry and how to order what you’re craving. You know exactly where you need to go to get the things you use every day, and most likely have a pretty good idea of how much it costs. When abroad, you need to use skills that you might not know you had to get your point across or to get from A to B. Perhaps you need to consult a map instead of activating your GPS; or maybe you need to dig deep to find the communication skills needed to order a meal in a foreign language. Either way, you’re more than likely going to use skills that you didn’t know you had, which will give you confidence and a great sense of accomplishment.
There are endless amount of reasons to travel the world. The best part? It’s easier than you think!
So, put your fears and excuses aside, grab a friend or partner (or don’t!) and start exploring. You’ll be glad you did.