Traveling takes effort in planning, saving money to pay for plane tickets, accommodations, and some activities, sometimes it involves a doctor’s visit for required vaccinations or preventative medication (such as malaria), often you have to arrange a babysitter or find someone to take care of your pets while you are gone, and yet…. the benefits of traveling far outweigh these temporary inconveniences (if you consider them that).
If you want to travel, stop making excuses! Let’s face it, you are only kidding yourself, no one else gets “hurt” by your decision not to travel, see the world, learn new things, get to know amazing people, and have long lasting memories. If you struggle with the excuses, you will like this post as well: 10 biggest Fears about Travel and how to Overcome them
1. Create unforgettable memories
Ask yourself this question: What have you done in the last 10 years?
2. Get to know great people
Believe it or not, but you will meet some of the greatest people while you travel – other fellow travelers whom you can share your experiences with and learn from. Moreover, once you start traveling (less being a tourist – and yes, there is a difference) and you get to experience local cultures in third world countries and see some things that are not emotionally easy to digest, your conversations will differ and so will the people that you want to have conversations with. And the people who have experienced similar situations will be those whom you will be able to identify with most, and ultimately build the strongest bonds and relationships with (on a much deeper level of understanding).
Then there is the other side of it – you will also get to know locals, especially if you stay longer in a place. During my month in Tanzania, there were to local ladies that lived and sort of managed the volunteer house I stayed with. I learned a lot of Swahili with them, taught them English, we had some fun nights, and many great conversations. I appreciate who they are, will never forget them, and in fact I am staying in touch with them. 🙂
3. Discover yourself
I believe that traveling is a great way of discover yourself. You will get to know so much about yourself, because at some points you will likely be dealing with brand new situations, get to know different ways of life, get to know new people, and much more. If you will be travelling to third world countries, you may also have to deal with some uncomfortable situations. In the moment, you may find those to be annoying and stressful, but ultimately they will enrich your life.
In Tanzania, I had to deal a lot with those types of situations as their culture is much different and things such as time and money are perceived in a completely different way. Now being back and thinking and looking back at those situations, I feel they are the ones that allow us to grow the most, learn, and gain experience and patience. So all in all, every annoying and/or stressful situation kind of helps shape who we are later in life 🙂
4. Build relationships
I know in the second point I wrote about meeting and getting to know people while traveling. This point is more focused on the relationships of the people you are traveling with. For example, if you go and travel the world with your spouse – you will really get to know them. Unless you choose to work abroad (at a job in that country), you will most likely spend 24/7 with each other sometimes potentially in a bit stressful situations (if you are trying to accomplish something in a rush, dealing with a huge language barrier, etc.), so you will most definitely get to know that person better than you would being home, spending the majority of your day apart at a job, possibly some other activities, and obligations.
While this is certainly not always easy, you either make it or break it. Eventually you realize that most things argued about are not worth the additional distress and you simply stop arguing about the small things in life that truly do not matter and learn to live in harmony with each other. Once you make it through a few tough situations, your relationship will only grow stronger and you will be able to manage any other tough situations in the future much better and smarter.
The same goes for your children – your relationship with them can become much closer. Whether you are home schooling them or they are immersed in a new culture in a great international school abroad, ultimately that cultural diversity and adaptation forces them in one way or another to mature faster and also become more respectful and appreciative.
Finally, traveling with a dear friend, sibling or other family member can lead to the same results. As a general rule, if you can make it through the first month without giving up after a few disagreements, you will get to know each other on a level you may have otherwise not been able to and they will also end up being that person that you will have these deep conversations with that I described in point 2.
5. Experience something new – You owe it to yourself
If you are like most, you work in a 9 to 5 job or even longer, being tied to the same routine day in, day out. And eventually, you may just get so used to doing the same thing that it becomes more or less robotic. The only bad thing about it is, time seems to pass fast and before you know another year is over and you try to remember what you actually did that year… give yourself a break from that routine and your daily habits and experience something new.
If you are traveling to Southeast Asia for example, you can treat yourself to a massage or a Garra Rufa Fish treatment (those are small toothless fish that nibble away your dead skin (on your feet for example) very inexpensively. Try some new food, dare something that you are afraid of, be open to meeting new people and socializing, and just live life.
6. Change your perspective on life
Once you will see and get to live in an environment, where the natives have to live off the land, live in mud houses, there is no or very little healthcare, and people live in poor conditions (according to our standards), you will quickly learn to appreciate what you grew up with and humble yourself. The next time you travel home, you may also change many of your old ways and stop letting the water run while you brush your teeth, not waste so many paper towels, appreciate the constant access to electricity, and the fast internet connection.
When you visit HIV positive communities where the people have to escape to because they have been shunned by their family members and friends and see the conditions they live in; when you have to walk a mile to get a bucket of water from a public well every time you want to cook, take a shower or boil the water to drink, when you have no electricity at night or you sleep in a mud hut with the water leaking onto you when it rains, then trust me, your life thereafter will change, you will change!
7. Expand your Knowledge
8. Try New Food
Wouldn’t it be exciting to try something? Say you have eaten fried grass hoppers in Mexico or try cuy (what we know as guinea pig) in Ecuador? When you travel, you should certainly keep an open mind and embrace the culture and customs of the place you are visiting. This is part of a successful trip experience, read more about this here: 9 Trips on Travelling with an Open Mind
9. Visit the World’s Natural Wonders
There are so many beautiful non man-made sights in the world that, in my opinion, are more amazing to look at than the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Taj Mahal (okay, I won’t lie, I’d love to see the Taj Mahal someday, but only if my route will lead me close to its location).
Instead, consider seeing the Pulpit Rock in Preikestolen, Norway with one of the most amazing views or the Uluru in Australia with its spectacular colors and impressive look (it’s impressing to me anyway).
10. Live an Adventure
When was the last time you experienced an adrenaline rush? Don’t you love the feeling you get after you have accomplished something you were scared of and thought it was impossible for you to do? Your heart is pumping faster than you can count, your legs are wiggely (<- unstable, shaking), and you have an instant drastic increase in self confidence. In many ways, it is a great feeling and you will never forget what you just did!
Think of something you didn’t think you’d ever do… here are a few things to inspire you: Sky diving, bungee jumping, holding a hairy spider, go diving under water, enter an underground cave, zip line above alligators…
And now… incorporate that into your next trip and just go do it. Don’t think about it too much, because you will naturally develop all kinds of logical reasons not do it, just go and do it 🙂 And have fun!
What are some of the reasons you can think of why everyone should travel? Why do you like to travel? What have you done to experience an adrenaline rush that you didn’t think you’d ever do?