Why should I travel?
If you’re asking yourself that question, you’ve probably been tempted recently, by the wanderlust travel Gods and it’s probably time to just do it. Jump in. Grab that next travel special by the balls and go, even if it’s local. Local “staycations” can offer up some of the best travel adventures and provide a new perspective on home surroundings. And if it’s a longer journey that you crave, you’d be amazed at the ways in which you can save. So without further ado, let’s get started on the why…why do we think everyone should travel?
Get out of your comfort zone
Traveling to mysterious Countries forces you to embrace a variety of lifestyles and cultures, especially when others don’t speak your native tongue. New religions are presented, philosophies debated, and a wider spectrum of what matters to each society becomes clearer and clearer. Problem-solving and getting around forces you to listen and absorb societal expressions. Naturally, due to the disrupted routine that you may have been used to at home, you’ll then start to feel the disconnect from your comfort zone. It’s challenging but it’s good for you. It can be frightening but also completely inspiring. And once you engage it, it’s hard to stop. It’s like tasting your first adrenaline rush. As you conquer your fear, you grow and learn exactly who it is you are. As your exploration of borders widens, your boundaries become more and more narrow.
Be in the moment
You may have laid out your itinerary months beforehand but it could always change. In travel, you cannot count on routine. I remember our car breaking down in Italy, right in front of a painted wall, aggressively tagged with “Americans are Nazi’s!” We were way off our itinerary at that point and filled with nerves but knew we had to fix the problem before nightfall and couldn’t get distracted with the overwhelming negative. It was time to breathe, go with the flow, and move on to the next chapter, working as a team and with as little stress as possible.
That lesson is practical to our every day: our jobs, kids, daily dramas. It’s always best to approach with ease and not work against the grain. Create a plan but then if curve balls are thrown at you, you simply move with it and through it. Traveling forces you to be this way. Anything can happen because everything is new and unfamiliar. Challenges are thrown at you on a daily basis and often provide a few great stories to tell later. Self-confidence thrives and when you allow the Country and its people to lead you, all roads lead to happiness!
Meet new people
Whether it’s people native to the Country or fellow travelers you meet on the road, traveling often creates numerous friendships. Some you’ll keep in contact with on facebook or Instagram while others become your BFFs for life. The people you meet, while on the road, become some of the most priceless names in your list of contacts. They embody the places to visit next or the addresses that you will now dedicate your snail mail to, enrich your life and turn it into an eclectic ride. They give you a glimpse outside your hometown circle and force you to take in new perspectives. And though everyone will look different culturally, ultimately you begin to realize that everyone is very much the same.
It’s the best education, in my humble opinion. A complete hands-on experience. If you were to take all of the paragraphs above and mix them into a giant travel cocktail, you’d walk away with a wealth of knowledge. Between the people that you meet along the way and the situations, you’re forced to suss through, that in and of itself is a great education. That aside, you’re also immersed in history and culture. Stories are boldly told and folklore lightly whispered. I’m always inspired to pick up a book or two, from the Country I’m visiting, to immerse myself as I go. Because I’m a visual learner, I like to identify with the stories mentioned and local references. It’s then easier for me to maintain that history.
The politics are also quickly soaked in once you enter a new Country. What is their presence? How do they govern? Are they green? Socialistic? Are the people able to freely speak their minds or are their opinions hushed? The politics of each Country quickly make themselves known. By silently observing them, you quickly get a feel for how the society around you then reacts to that presence and by being an active part of it, you learn. This kind of education is impossible to attain in school.
It’s Easier Than You Think
It’s so much easier than you think! I wish I could scream this from the mountaintops. People often psych themselves out from living a life of travel. “I just don’t have the time or the money,” are two of the most common reasons I’ve heard. But you’d be surprised how little your travel budget needs to be. Flights out of the States are getting cheaper and accommodations are now more competitive, offering up many more options outside of the regular hotel stay.
You can also start small, go somewhere for a few days at first, see how it goes and then step into a longer vacation. Travel doesn’t need to be stressful and the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Sometimes you just need to book it and then figure out the how. Our minds often hold us back, often creating a much more traumatic “what if” situation than what actually occurs. Just give the brain a rest and book it. Drive it. Fly it. Train it. However you decide, do it. Force yourself to taste it just once. I promise you, you won’t be sorry and it won’t be just once.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
― Mark Twain