11 Reasons to Travel Right Now!

 

“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

 

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The first time you find yourself in a foreign country you are probably hit hard with the realization that you were living in a bubble. No amount of reading, education or knowledge about the big bad world could have prepared me for that feeling. A feeling that I had a birthright to the world, I am a citizen of the globe and it took me stepping onto foreign soil to realize that the world was very much mine to see.

Escaping to adventures found in books or living through the imaginative stories and histories of movies was not enough, is not enough and will never be enough. Not for me, and neither for you and here is why!

  1. Experience new cultures

    If you live in a multicultural major city then you have no doubt been exposed to some differences in culture. You might get a taste of tradition while walking through Chinatown or a dose of culture while hearing two people communicate in a foreign tongue while on the train heading to work. However, a dose and taste is all it is, what about the main course? What about dessert?

    Until you place yourself in a country where you are the foreigner or “odd man out” can you begin to understand exactly what culture is. Seeing how people eat, live, work, love, talk, commute, celebrate. Discovering families, friends living their everyday lives, not just once but a hundred times all around you. You will see and feel things that simply cannot be explained second hand or seen through another’s eyes. The only way to truly indulge in the tastes of another culture is by filling your metaphorical plate with it.

  2. Better understanding of people

    I am an avid people watcher, I feel there is no better way to understand people than toparis sit back and observe them. (In a noncreepy way) I have discovered that we are all very much the same, despite our history, culture and geographical location. We have families, hobbies, friends, desires, jobs, and dreams. We cook our supper and socialize after a long day at work, we blow off steam with friends.

    When you do not openly expose yourself to the world or go out and experience it in its raw forms, it can become very easy to see people from foreign places as completely different from you. But once you are the outcast, it’s easier to find the similar ground. This is one of my favorite reasons for traveling, I get to observe and understand other people a little better, something that in turn helps me better observe and understand myself.

  3. Renewed perspective of the world

    When I first traveled to Europe I felt a profound connection to my own history. I could see the footprints of the world and how they lead to me today. How did it all develop? Those feelings and connections are not easily forgotten and while exploring my history I was able to better explore myself in the process.

    Follow your own history to some place in the world, feel the roots within you reach out to the broader globe and gain the perspective of the world that is yours to discover. Your own history and origins are closer than you think.

  4. Experience the uniqueness that is found in nature

    I live in the cold north Atlantic. It is windy, foggy, rainy, and majorly depressing at times.  However, I can drive past cliff sides that I have seen a hundred times before and there are still moments when the sky paints things 12004150_10156101634440051_2642636119861803675_nperfectly causing me to pull over and think… wow! I can walk in the woods behind my house and smell the trees that old familiar smell, or go fishing on a summer evening and watch the way the fish dance on the surface chasing hidden insects as the sun’s reflection makes the quietest ripples on the water.

    Home sweet home and beautifully natural. But what of those unfamiliar places?

    What tiny secrets does an Asian mountain range hold? Or a desert oasis, or tropical seaside? The world is filled with the most elegant of natural wonders. Smells, sounds, animals all living their own foreign lives. Travel is the only way to discover these secrets for yourself.

  5. Develop patience as a skill

    Being a somewhat detail oriented in personality I find comfort in plans and I can become irritable when confronted with a change of those plans in my everyday life. Travel has helped me let go of the reins and has helped me to go with the flow of life a little easier. When traveling you are constantly faced with the unknown. This has taught me patience and will teach you the same. Even the most impatient of people can be shaken out of their bad habits when embracing the moment in a new place. And now my “plan” acts as more of a guideline or a wish list. Enjoy the moment people!

  6. See the big picture

    I see my life as not just the job I have, the car I drive, the friends I keep, I am much more than that as a citizen of the world and so are you. Taking regular trips has taught me to remember this during my more material day to day living. The big picture is much bigger than your own back yard and you can be a part of it all. There is more to you and everyone else than what you see on a regular day, it would be wise to remember that.

  7. Develop new communication skills

    Communication is a huge factor while traveling. Everything you previously knew about people can drastically change when you are thrown into a situation where you need to ask for directions and the only person who can help doesn’t understand you and you don’t understand them either. Not only does this situation help you have more respect and appreciation for those who have learned English as a second language but it also allows you to open the doors of your brain to nonverbal communication. I have had some great “conversations” with people using no words at all. It is a beautiful experience communicating in a non-verbal, purely instinctual and emotional way. It breaks down our own personas to the core allowing us to remove the face we sometimes hide behind through our words.

  8. Experience minimalism

    I know many people that value things over anything else. I am happy to not be one of those people, although I admittedly my own set of materialistic tendencies. Who doesn’t?  However, travel has helped me change some of those opinions about the material world and helped me release attachment to objects. I am not saying that being less material means you have to live in poverty or with limited belongings. What I am saying is travel has pushed me to give back to those in need and cut down on the things that I don’t. Simple and effective living.

  9. New appreciation for home

    When I return home from travel no matter if it is a few days or a few weeks I feel a
    deep happiness and appreciation for this windy, foggy, wet, cold rock that I DSC_0391call home. I feel such a deep connection, a connection that screams your home! This is your little corner of the world and you are so lucky to have it. After all there a people all over the world this very minute fighting for the same freedoms, for the right to come home to their own places in the world and feel safe and at peace.

  10. Appreciation for family and friends

    While sitting in a European cafe watching people as they pass I see friends laughing together, mothers and fathers eating with their children and it fills my heart with joy to know that I have people of my own somewhere in the world waiting for me. Travel helped me understand that although you may not always see eye to eye with the people in your life they are nonetheless a part of your life. And how special it is to have people who you can call your own, sometimes it takes a change in scenery to help put the importance of those things into perspective.

  11. You might regret not traveling when you are older

    Who better to listen to then to our oldest generation? According to an article by Forbes Magazine many of our oldest generation share this common regret, they wish they had “Gone on more trips with the family/friends. You only have one life to live. Spend it how you want to, experience it in every way you can. There will rarely be a “perfect” time for anything in life, sometimes you just have to make the decision and go for it.


 

 

 

 

COMMENT

  1. lorigreer | 9th Mar 16

    Beautiful, well-written post!

    • StephJ | 9th Mar 16

      Thanks so much!

      • lorigreer | 10th Mar 16

        Thank you for your well-chosen words!

  2. the happiest pixel | 9th Mar 16

    Beautiful post!! I love travelling!! And I always learn something when I do it. After my trip to Lisbon, I learned how to make this sweet and nice pastries: https://thehappiestpixel.wordpress.com/2015/11/16/pasteis-de-belem/

    Love, thp

  3. lakeafton | 9th Mar 16

    all I need is the money and a ticket. I love experiencing other countries and cultures.

    • StephJ | 9th Mar 16

      awesome! who doesn’t love a good adventure 🙂

  4. Lynz Real Cooking | 9th Mar 16

    Very nice post! Such good points!

  5. rfdumais | 9th Mar 16

    Couldn’t agree more, that’s why we’re going to Ireland this summer!

    • StephJ | 9th Mar 16

      Awesome! My family are originally from Ireland and it is on my bucket list for sure. I hope you enjoy your time there!

      • Nena | 9th Mar 16

        Ireland is also on my bucket list. Looks so gorgeous!!
        All are very valid points:) Great post, love!

        • StephJ | 10th Mar 16

          Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Nena | 30th Mar 16

    Hi, Steph!! Hope you are doing well! I wanted to stop by and let you know that I recently moved to a self-hosted site and the following is the latest post:
    http://www.younfolded.com/2016/03/20/younfolded-temporary-maintenance/

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  8. Doug Jentzsch | 20th May 16

    Reblogged this on Doug Jentzsch and commented:
    Next months I have two trips planned, one to Florida + the Bahamas, and the other to The Dominican Republic. In November I want to go to Spain for my 20 Year Wedding Anniversary; and I’m still trying to figure out how to pull off a trip to Dubai. *sigh

    I planned to write about reason why you should travel, but this article was written so well I thought it best to simple reblog it.

    • StephJ | 24th May 16

      Thank you so much! I hope you have a wonderful adventure! Spain is next for me also I think. It is a beautiful place 🙂

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  10. khansana1000 | 2nd Aug 16

    loved it 🙂 my thoughts in your post 🙂

  11. Hannah Grace 2001 | 7th Oct 16

    Weirdly enough, I was going to write something very similar to this, about what I have learnt by travelling, about cultural tolerance and understanding and stuff! I loved it! 🙂

    • StephJ | 8th Oct 16

      Do it!! I gained a lot of my inspiration and courage to travel from people sharing their stories and lessons. I would love to read it 🙂

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  13. josypheen | 6th Apr 17

    Yes. I agree with everything here. 🙂

    I think memories of travelling are more important than possessions could ever be. But we also have to realise that we are incredibly privileged to be able to travel.

    • StephJ | 6th Apr 17

      Its so true. I feel so lucky to be able to travel, who knows maybe the world wont always be this way so we need to take advantage while we can.

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