Need some convincing before you christen your travel junkie soul? We present to you our top 11 reasons to travel.
The travel community is madly alive and ever-growing as more and more discover the joys of hitting the road. If you have ever wondered how there can be so many people who excitedly froth at the mouth at the idea of travelling, this blog post is perfect for you.
Here’s why you should travel:
Reason #1: To lose yourself
Travel brings the occasional escapism which so many of us desperately need. No matter where you go, you slip into sweet anonymity and leave your worries and stress at home – you don’t need to be sipping margaritas and lying on soft white beaches to be freed of redundant labels and stripped down to your barest.
Reason #2: To find yourself
As romantic as it sounds, many do travel in search of self. Travelling spurs tremendous personal growth and breaks you out of your one-dimensional shell. You learn new things about yourself with every trip you make.
Reason #3: People
You will encounter a smorgasbord of personalities, and eventually learn that despite the miles between us, people all over the world are fundamentally the same. Everyone wants the same thing – happiness – and we are all in pursuit of it. Following that is simply a matter of what constitutes happiness to each person and the different ways we try to attain it.
Travel also helps you make new friends, with travellers and locals alike, as you bond over goulash or through trekking in Nepal. Some of the friendships you form will even be lifelong and almost impossible to come by if not for travel.
Reason #4: Pretty money
Gotten bored of collecting stamps and bread loaf tags? Start a currency collection!
Many countries have such beautiful and intricately designed dollar notes and coins that it will be silly not to leave at least one or two pieces as keepsake and for your viewing pleasure. Your collection can even serve as a record of the places you’ve been to.
Reason #5: It’s good for your resume
Oh, yes. Bet you didn’t expect that climbing the Great Wall of China can help you climb the corporate ladder as well.
Travel trains you to be more independent and resourceful, and you become a better communicator and negotiator – whether it is through haggling at Moscow’s Izmailovsky Souvenir Market, or persuading locals to share with you non-touristy information about the place.
You can also pick up practical skills, e.g. teaching or building (from volunteer-based travel), a new language, or something like a scuba diving certification.
Reason #6: Tons of stories to tell
While we can’t guarantee that sharing a story about your worst public toilet experience in Tibet during Sunday Brunch will make you the most popular kid there, we do know that travel will help you gather many interesting stories.
While we don’t recommend this to be the way of making friends, your recounts of swimming in the Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls, swallowing wriggling octopus tentacles in Korea, or that harrowing taxi ride in Cairo, will have people clamouring to live vicariously through you.
Reason #7: Time travel
Well, kind of.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll get a kick out of moving through different time zones and getting the chance to proclaim, “I am travelling back in time, baby!” It’s a little childish, yes, and it will soon get old after more travelling, but – hey, you’ve got to admit it is pretty cool.
Reason #8: Zero laundry days
When you are travelling you get to wear the same few clothes every day, and no one but you will know. Well, not unless your travel buddy picks up on the smell…
(Caution: It may also look just a teeny bit suspicious if all 800 of your photos from your recent trip feature you in the same outfit.)
Reason #9: Food, glorious food!
Tickle your taste buds with the countless types of food you can find on your travels. You get to see and sample what goes on the dinner table for people around the world, which can be either nightmare-inducing or extremely yummy. Every country will have its unique foods, such as Thailand’s sticky mango rice, Japan’s ‘fugu’ (blowfish), Scotland’s haggis, and Australia’s kangaroo meat, just to name a few.
This is why one of the practical benefits of travel is likely to be a stronger (or more pampered) stomach.
Reason #10: To get away from an ex
You’ll be astounded by the number of people who travel just to put some distance between an ex and themselves. Travel can be surprisingly effective for getting over a break-up or simply running away from an ex-lover (à la Chandler in TV series Friends – flying to Yemen to escape Janice)!
P.S.: For the more passive-aggressive bunch, you may also gloat about your awesome trip by sending postcards back to him/her.
Reason #11: To learn
And finally, it needs no rehashing that there is so much more to travel than plain ol’ sight-seeing. Travel can be said to be the best educational experience one can have: you pick up life lessons, debunk your assumptions and prejudices, and gain new perspectives when you least expect it.
Perhaps the essence of travelling is captured best by T.S. Elliot:
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
Here’s wishing all of you many great travels ahead!
(Image taken from upn18.com)