Almost everyone puts it on their bucket list or New Year’s resolutions, but many people never get around to traveling. It’s hard to take time out of your busy schedule to get away, but it’s absolutely worth it when you do. Here are 10 reasons you should get out there:
1. It gives perspective – A hugely important thing you can gain while traveling is perspective on your own life and self. You get to see who you really are when away from all the trappings of your day-to-day life and all the people who know you and have an idea of who they think you are. Self-discovery in travel may be a cliché, but sometimes clichés exist for a reason.
2. It’s relaxing – Let’s face it, you’re not going to stop worrying about work when you’re in your apartment attempting a ‘staycation’. But when you’re in a foreign country and your phone’s not getting service and the Internet goes down? Suddenly all your cares can melt away because, well, they have to. Even without such extenuating circumstances, though, changing your surroundings can help you to emotionally and physically disconnect from the things giving you all those knots in your back.
3. It introduces you to new people – As well as the whole thing about experiencing new cultures and gaining empathy and understanding – which we’ve all seen enough movies and read enough books about that I will not expand upon – traveling is a great way to force you to meet new people, often people that you would never otherwise meet, whether they be from the other side of the world or down the road. Being in a new place can help you to open your mind to new people, by will or by necessity. And doesn’t everyone want more friends?
4. It can reconnect you with old friends – Many of us have friends, old friends, even old acquaintances that have scattered across the world. With the advent of social media, it is much easier to find out where they are and, in fact, many of them would love to see you if you’re going to be on their home turf. Isn’t that nice? Get out there and go see them!
5. You can learn new skills – Not everyone can or will pick up a new language to go traveling but, hey, it doesn’t hurt to learn a few phrases, and in fact will usually serve you quite well. Showing an effort is more important than succeeding in many cultures (not the French, generally, but… many). That said, languages aren’t the only skill you can learn abroad. You could take a scuba diving or surfing lesson now that you’ve got time, or simply learn how the New York subway works. Any new information will make you feel alive and expand your mind and knowledge.
6. It makes you worldlier – You know how there’s always that one guy at a party who wants to talk about his 6 months in Rome and then there’s the girl who spent a year in Thailand and so on and so forth? Be that person. Sure, they can be annoying sometimes (don’t be that person), but wouldn’t it be more fun if you could participate? Even if you don’t have leather-bound books and a crushed velvet smoking jacket, it can be fun to feel a little worldlier every now and then.
7. It makes you braver – Going to a place you’ve never been is a risk. Talking to people you don’t know is another one. Being surrounded by a language you don’t speak and your laptop won’t turn on? Now you get to find out just how good a problem-solver you are. Pushing yourself to find out your limits will make you stronger and more confident.
8. It doesn’t have to be expensive – There are so many options out there right now for travelers, and you don’t have to go all that far to exit your comfort zone.
9. It can introduce you to new things you didn’t know you liked – Having a new favorite food or drink or clothing item or music genre or poet or anything else is something that can wake you from your doldrums, make you a more interesting and engaged person, and give you something new to talk about. It’s also something that almost definitely will happen each time you travel. Changing up your surroundings in the short term is one thing, but finding things that can change your habits and interests in the long term is just as valuable if not more so.
10. It’s fun – Perhaps the most important thing of all, having fun is something we forget to do sometimes. Just because you’re a grown up now doesn’t mean you can’t giggle and play and let your heart be full. Travel is one great way to bring some fun back to your life.