When you Google the word “travelling”, the first definition that shows up is “the act of going from one place to another”. This is exactly the lifestyle I would like to lead, without having to worry about paying rent, taxes, grocery bills, and other miscellaneous expenses. Although this is a really far-fetched thought at the moment, I was fortunate enough to travel to over 10+ countries over the past few years. Personally, I have witnessed a shift in the mindset of people where priorities have changed from collecting things to collecting experiences. Supporting that statement, here are my top 10 reasons on why you should invest in travel rather than things:
1) Expand Your Horizons
Travel helps us in identifying that the world is a much bigger place compared to the little corner of the world we live in. Authentic travel experiences can open your mind to how other people live and why the people there might act in certain ways and do certain things. Through this process, we learn to appreciate things about our own culture and other cultures that we didn’t realize were special or unique. Travelling also helps us to find common ground with a diverse population around the globe. It provides a better perspective on life, by doing away with social evils like ignorance and prejudice in order to connect with people more empathetically. The greatest takeaway from travel is that strangers are, more often than not, willing to offer help when you ask them for it.
2) Make New Friends
Being a social person, making connections with different people all over the globe easily holds one of the top spots in my list of why people should travel. Befriending a diverse group of people will help you see things from an unconventional point of view. Usually, when you ask people the question, “Why travel?” , the answer, meeting new people always tends to come out on top. If you build strong connections with the people you meet, they might even let you stay with them the next time you come visit. More importantly, you will get to witness their home turf and experience their way of life like no other tourist would. Always remember that every person you cross paths with has a story to tell, so make sure to indulge them in sharing their life stories with you. This practice must be mutual, where you also share your tales with them. This builds mutual trust and will go a long way in forming a long term bond between both parties.
3) Boost Your Confidence
If you are still contemplating or asking yourself “Why should I travel?”, here is another good reason for it. Placing yourself in a new environment, without the necessary comforts of home will help you adapt to the changing conditions. You will be exposed to new and interesting people every day, confusing bus or train routes, strange food, and a multitude of languages. Through this, you will discover a lot about yourself which will enhance your confidence and your decision-making ability in the real world. This experience might also help you determine what you are truly passionate about, and change the way you view the world.
4) Experience New Food & Culture
This one is for all the foodies out there, including me of course. We all know travelling is a lot of work, so locating great restaurants and trying new dishes will be your new forte. A great way to exercise your taste buds and discover dishes you did not know existed. Travel is also a great way to immerse yourself and learn about the cultural diversity that exists in the world. You will learn that there are numerous kinds of festivals, weddings, and other traditions thanks to the multicultural world we live in. This experience will broaden your mind to trying and exploring the road less travelled.
5) Learn New Languages
Language has always been the most powerful tool ever invented. There is a famous saying, “every new language you learn, you live a new life”. I firmly stand by this statement, as travel is the best excuse to learn a new language. Having you learn even a few phrases like “please” and “thank you” in the local language will definitely go a long way with the natives since they recognize the effort you put in. The more time you devote towards learning the language, the more you can test your language skills with an entirely new group of people. In a sense, you would be experiencing a feeling you never knew existed within you. More importantly, you would be surprised to notice how quickly you can pick up the language with everyday interactions.
6) Acquire New Skills
Along with learning a new language, or languages, you could also develop other skills while travelling. You learn how to stay mobile and live happily with the resources you currently possess. On a personal note, I got a lot better at reading people, avoiding scams, and learning how to trust (or not trust) people. All of these skills have helped me grow and mature as an individual. Thanks to my travel adventures, now, I can read a map (even if it’s in a foreign language), I can haggle for a discount, I can function on less than two hours sleep, and most importantly, I can write about all of it and share it with you. I’m particularly proud of the last one.
7) Travel Builds Character
The more you travel the world, the better chance you have at understanding how it works. During this adventure, you will discover so much about yourself and gain experiences like never before. You will be tasked with various challenges along the way and how you navigate through them will determine how you can handle anything. Travel provides a change in the way we think, lifestyle choices in order to build a well-rounded character and personality. Personally, travelling has helped me be more confident and helped me make more rational decisions in life. It also taught me not to be influenced by a myopic vision but to have a look at the larger picture in life.
8) Increased Awareness
You may think that you have a great understanding of a country’s history or politics until you actually pay a visit to the place. Although, you may have a basic understanding, when you meet with the locals, you will get a better sense of what is actually taking place. Through this conversation, you will develop an increased awareness of your surroundings and the world. Being placed in a new environment engages the dormant part of your brain to learn more things, make quick decisions, and familiarize unfamiliar territories. All this new information will demand your brain to welcome this workout resulting in you being more informed and aware.
9) Discover Happiness
Travel is the ultimate source of happiness. If you want proof, the next time you ask someone about their vacation, watch their eyes light up as they share their story with you. The reason travel makes you happy is because it nurtures the curious child in you. Perhaps, you could say it is the freedom of being in a new country with no deadlines or chores, or, just the journey of discovering new destinations, food, culture, and friends. Travel is a great avenue to realign your life, which ultimately results in a happier and healthier you. The trick is to set off for your first trip and I guarantee you will be hooked enough to do it all over again.
10) No Regrets & Never Wonder — What if?
This may seem a bit morbid, but the truth is we are never truly guaranteed opportunities to explore a particular destination more than once. We must always make the most of the opportunity placed ahead of us. Do not wait till you are retired, have kids, or until your kids are grown to travel as you will never regret crossing destinations off your bucket list. Although, if you do decide to put it off until later, the thought of “What If?” will always linger in your brain. This question more often than not results in you being disappointed and upset that you did not utilize the opportunity when presented. So make sure you grab every opportunity to travel until it’s too late. Carpe diem.
I hope these reasons are good enough to convince you to pack your bags, get on that flight and explore the world. Life is an adventure, you just have to go out and live it.
Ensure you make it count!