Here are 10 reasons why traveling is SO important for me, and why every one of us should schedule at least one trip to a new country every year.
1. Acceptance of others and their cultures
The world that we live in today is made mostly of people who are intolerant. They are intolerant toward other people, their opinions, their values, their traditions, their religions, and their sexuality. This intolerance gives rise to hatred in our hearts because we feel unloved and unaccepted. This hatred in turn gives way to negativity toward our own life and all the people in it.
When we travel, we learn to accept (initially, it is because you often may not have a choice but to accept things the way they are). However, when we travel more often, we learn to accept the differences happily and often try to imbibe the good in our own lives. This acceptance enhances our hearts and our minds and brings new peace and love in the world.
The greatest gift travel gives us is that of open-mindedness. It allows us to expand our minds and look beyond what we know. It compels us to try new things, new experiences, new food, new clothes, new languages and when you are able to find the beauty in this newness, you become a better person, because you have finally stepped out of your comfort zone. You have opened the locks of your own bound and limited thinking and are willing to accept what you don’t know. This open mind is certainly going to help you make the most of all opportunities that life will present you with.
3. Watching the sun set in a distant part of the world
Travel is happiness. Period. There is no other feeling that you experience when you are watching the sun set in a distant part of the world. There is no greater joy than when you see foreign people smile at you and welcome you with warmth. That plane ride thousands of feet above the ground—that is happiness taking you to places you may have never even dreamed of.
That is happiness.
4. Time off from the mundane routine of life
It is evident that life is essentially just routine for most of us. We wake up, go to work, clean our homes, eat more food than required, and sleep fewer hours than required. We function like robots, day in and day out, unwilling or unable to move past the monotony.
However, when we decide to take time off and travel, we allow ourselves to break that dullness and we invite a fresh change in our schedules. This break helps us appreciate our life when are back from our holidays and even increase our productivity at work and at home.
5. Confrontation with the inner self
When we travel, we are often confronted with the feelings of our heart that scare us. We worry about our safety and well being, because it’s a big step out of our comfort zone. We may not have our parents to care for us, and we may not know how to converse with the people there, or we may be afraid of getting lost. It’s absolutely normal to feel that way. Because only when you are facing these fears is when you will learn to overcome them.
6. Independence & Confidence
Following the previous point, when you rise above your insecurities, you experience an exhilarating feeling of independence and confidence which isn’t worth trading for anything! To know that you can do anything you like, that feeling is priceless!
7. Friends from all over the world!
Whenever I have traveled, I observe these people sitting at coffeehouses, or pubs, or restaurants just being themselves. Sometimes they may not want to be spoken to, but almost always, they reciprocate my excitement when I strike a conversation with them. And by the end of the evening, I have found a new friend from Argentina! I mean, can it get better than that??
OK, maybe it does get better than that, but only because we are now talking about FOOOOD! Yes, I am a food/health freak, but I love, love, love food. And I love international cuisines even more! I remember someone once told me, “Food is culture that you can taste.” When you enjoy and try new kinds of food, you find a new level of culture and tradition, because people cook with their hearts, often reflecting the beauty of their cultures and ancestors.
Whenever you are lucky enough to travel, try as much new food as you can! It’s the best way to spend your money.
I firmly believe that travel is a phenomenal way of educating yourself and your family. When I plan a trip, I do extensive research about the city, its heritage, its food, where to stay, where to go, etc. This research adds value to me as a person, and when I actually go to that destination, I learn so much more. Travel enriches us, our minds, and our hearts.
10. Appreciation for life
Finally, I will sum up a very long post by simply being grateful for my privilege that has allowed me to travel to the places I have been to. I have a treasure box full of memories that I hope someday I will share with my children, and I hope that I will add more experiences and memories to my treasures. They will always be worth way more than any diamonds and jewels.