I’m sure that you’ve felt -at least once before- the longing to leave everything behind and go on an adventure. I’m sure you’ve lied awake at night thinking about going to places you’ve never been before, having a bonfire with strangers, sleeping under the stars, having a midnight swim…
But I also know that you’re hesitating a lot about making those daydreams a reality. After all, so many things that can stop you: studies, work, family, money…The truth is, there will always be something that prevents you from doing the things you want. But if you prioritize traveling, you’ll find a way to do it.
Usually, people don’t need reasons to travel. But just in case you are still not sure if leaving your comfort zone and traveling is worth it, here is a list of 8 reasons why you should pack your bags and go:
Traveling Opens Your Mind
There is nothing that opens up your mind and broadens your perspective the way travel does.
You may read books from all over the world. You may get exposed to all sorts of cultures on social media. But nothing beats being in the middle of a foreign city, amongst people you don’t know, and soaking in the experience.
Traveling exposes you to different cultures, religions, and ideologies…and it teaches you to accept that difference and adapt to it more easily.
“Travel has a way of stretching the mind. The stretch comes not from travel’s immediate rewards, the inevitable myriad new sights, smells and sounds, but with experiencing firsthand how others do differently what we believed to be the right and only way.” – Ralph Crawshaw.
Traveling Makes You Grow as a person
Traveling –especially alone- is an amazing opportunity for personal growth.
Traveling gets you out of your comfort zone and puts you in situations you probably would never face at home. It forces you to face your fears and proves to you just how capable you are of navigating difficult situations and coming up with creative solutions to the problems that pop up.
“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things –air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky- all the things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” –Cesar Pavese.
You Get to Meet People
If you’re an introvert, this is probably not the best argument to convince you to travel. But stay with me, I’m an introvert too, and traveling has proven itself to be the best way to genuinely connect with people.
The thing is, when you’re traveling, most people skip the small talk and dive directly into the deep conversations I know you love. There’s something about being far from home that makes everyone more open and vulnerable and accepting towards others.
You will meet plenty of people who are ready to open their hearts to you, listen to you, make you discover their city or country, and even become your friends.
“What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do –especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold it against you. No yesterdays on the road.” –William Least Heat-Moon.
Traveling Allows you to Connect with Nature
Whether it’s a swim in the ocean, a hike in the mountains, a picnic in the fields, or anything in between, traveling is a great way to connect with nature and its elements.
When you travel, you get to contemplate the beauty of the world and meditate on the elements of nature. Don’t hesitate to walk barefoot on the grass, feel the wind on your skin, and watch the beautiful sunsets -or sunrises, if that’s what you prefer.
“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach of us more than we can ever learn from books.” –John Lubbock
You Have the Coolest Stories
When you’ve been traveling for a while, it’s easy for you to become the one with the most interesting stories.
The places you see, the people you meet, and the experiences you have are all great topics for conversation.
Traveling is one of those things that you can’t help but share with the world. Just think of how many travel books, blogs, and YouTube channels there are out there.
When you travel, it becomes almost a necessity to give others a taste of what you had through storytelling.
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta.
Traveling Enriches Your Culture
Traveling is a great opportunity to visit historical landmarks, hear new languages, taste the local food, and discover other people’s lifestyles.
You can learn a lot about a country’s culture when traveling, but for that, you’ll have to be flexible, open-minded, and willing to get out of your comfort zone.
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid people, you might better stay home.” –James Michener.
It’s a Great Source of Inspiration
Whether you’re into painting, drawing, making music, dancing, writing, or anything else, travel will always be an inexhaustible source of inspiration for you.
Being exposed to a variety of smells, colors, sounds, and sceneries is guaranteed to stimulate your mind and soul and make the art come out of you.
“An artist is an explorer.” –Henri Matisse.
When You Look Back, You Don’t Regret a Thing
Traveling is one of the things you can never regret. A bad experience teaches you a lesson, a good one gives you the best memory, and both make for the most entertaining stories.
It is said that we regret the things that we didn’t do more than the things that we did. So, don’t let traveling be one of your regrets.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. “–Mark Twain.
I hope this article inspired you to start planning your next trip. If you don’t have the money, start saving. If you don’t have time, go on a weekend trip. And if you don’t have a travel buddy, go alone! I promise it’s not as scary as it seems.
“No one realizes how beautiful is it to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” –Lin Yutang.
Cover Photo by Holly Mandarich via Unsplash.