Looking for a little inspiration to walk out your front door, either with your car keys or luggage to do something different? Here are 10 reasons why you should travel. But seriously, come on man, do you even need 10?
1. It’ll Broaden Your Mind. When you live in a life of routine, it is easy to lose perspective on your ‘problems’. You forgot to buy that new vanilla body scrub while you were at the shops and you feel frustrated. The power blacked out and you missed your favourite tv show and the world might as well end. When you travel you are surrounded by people of different cultures who have their own lifestyles. You experience situations that really make you feel something; whether it be overwhelming excitement and complete relaxation in a five-star resort or sympathy, shock and amazement in a 3rd-world country village. Traveling the various places of the world reminds you of the ‘bigger picture’ and puts your forgotten body wash into the ‘who even cares’ pile.
2. Challenge Yourself. In your comfortable life back home, you know your safety zone. You have a favourite restaurant where the curry spice is perfect and the drive to the cinemas gives you just the right amount of time to listen to two songs on your playlist, even with a red light. These habits that we learn and love are only human, but when was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone? When you travel you often need to make quick decisions – which train to board, what foreign food that you can’t pronounce to pick from the menu, how to say hello to the nice person smiling at you in their own language. These challenges are generally an everyday occurrence when travelling abroad and they build a confidence in you that you may never had known existed. When you rush to make the train, pick some odd looking food that tastes incredible and make a memorable acquintance in the smiling stranger; you grow more able to deal with tough situations in everyday life. Dare to challenge yourself with the unknown and who knows what amazing courage you can find within yourself. It’s always been there, you’ve just never had to use it.
3. Because Watching A Documentary Isn’t The Same Thing. Don’t get me wrong – I love a good doco. David Attenborough is one of my favourite humans. You can learn a lot of facts from watching a documentary. You can learn that Hadrian’s Wall ran 73 miles from sea to sea across some of the wildest and most dramatic country in England. But a dvd doesn’t let you feel the rough, ancient brick ruins with your fingertips. You don’t get the blast of fresh country air on your face and if you get down on the ground and smell your tv, it does not smell like two-thousand year old stone and moss (though if it does, you should probably buy a new tv). When you travel, all of those amazing things that you felt go with you as a memory. When you watch a dvd, you go to bed that night and remember a couple of good facts the next day. Documentaries and educational films are a great source of knowledge and by all means enjoy them. I just hope that one day you get to see the real thing with your own eyes.
4. Delight Your Senses. There are so many incredible things in the world to experience. Have you ever strolled through a food market? The delicious smells get up your nose and make your stomach grumble. The sizzle of fresh marinated meat and the perfect colours of fine deserts surround you. How do you feel about sunshine and crystal-clear water? Your skin is so clean and refreshed after soaking in the water and sun rays. Have you ever stood on a mountain and had clean white snow fall around your shoulders? Laid on your back in the snow and have looked up to a perfect blue sky? Boarded down a mountain at full speed with the world on display like lego-houses far below? Travelling is the ultimate wake up call to your senses.
5. Realise Your Passions. Traveling exposes you to all sorts of new experiences and knowledge. You meet people who work in careers that you never knew existed and who spend their weekends creating, living and inspiring. There are things happening out there right now, amazing, exciting things, that you don’t know about. If you are trying to work out what you want to do with your life or would like to find something new to excite you – then seeing the world will help you find it.
6. Make Life-Long Friends. Sleeping in hostel dorms and sharing a cupboard-sized shower with a group of strangers (not at the same time) can be interesting for reasons that you might not instantly realise. When you’re travelling, you’re usually the most true version of yourself. You’re generally not stressed from work and everyday you are being inspired. You’re happy, alive and excited about life. Interesting conversations come up quickly when ten strangers are crammed into a small room. There are people from all over the world in one room who share one definite interest – travelling. If you’re a shy person, asking a couple of basic questions will get the conversation going: ‘Where are you from?’ and ‘Where are you off to next?’. These strangers love the same thing as you do and are probably more than willing to share their ideas with you. Travelling creates a certain bond in humans. Spending large amounts of time with a person allows you to see every side of them – the good and the bad. Before you know it, you’ve found a friend that you won’t easily forget. Whether you’re staying in a hotel, hostel, resort or, sleeping in a van… you will meet people that you’ll share stories of and with for years to come.
7. Because You Need A Break. Sometimes life can get really hard. Everyday we are surrounded by negativity from either the media or people in our communities. We study hard, we work hard and we get dealt a bad hand from time-to-time. When you’re coming home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and unhappy then it may be time to make a change. Perhaps it’s an opportunity to reconsider your lifestyle and what it is that is making you feel this way in the first place or maybe you know what it is that’s making you unhappy and you simply need to get away. Working is important of course, it funds our lifestyles and our health; but even your perfect job can wear you out over time. Book a holiday, whether it be a weekend away or a long life-changing trip. Take a break, have an adventure, rest, relax and remember what it feels like to be you again.
8.Because You Can. When Kyle and I chat about our next adventure, there is always a moment when we take a step back and think about how lucky we are. Yes, we work hard to save the money to do the trip, but the fact that we live in a country where it is that simple is pretty amazing. It is just a matter of working to save money and booking flights. What a blessing that simple truth is. Sometimes it is hard to believe the unfairness of the world, that there are people who do not have the health or money to get out and see the world. Some people don’t like thinking about disadvantaged humans because it’s too terrible to imagine, but I find it an incredible motivation to live my own life well. We are so lucky, and I cherish that everyday.
9. Support The Global Community. We come from different places. We look different and speak different languages but in the end, we’re all the same because we call the same planet home. We breathe the same air, and need food and water to survive. When you buy a meal at a small family-run cafe here, and pay for accommodation at a private hostel there, you are usually directly funding that town. You are helping pay people’s wages. You are feeding their children and giving meaning to their lifestyle. You are helping other humans and their communities.
10. Because… Well, Why Not? Sometimes I find that instead of asking myself ‘why’ I want to do something, I ask ‘why not’. Each person has their own individual goals and desires. If you know that you would like to do something but you’re still not 100% sure, try asking yourself why you shouldn’t do it. You’ll know if the reasons are important enough to hold you back. For Kyle and I, seeing the world just makes sense. We can’t always explain the feeling we have about it. It’s simply important to us for all the above reasons and many more. If you feel that way about something in life, it is an amazing thing. You have found something that is special to you and in the end, that is what makes life so great.