They say that the “world is your oyster” but for too many of us, it is something we see glimpses of on the nightly news (and usually for the wrong reasons). But for those who opt to travel all over the world, it means endless opportunities to discover, learn and better themselves.
Traveling offers you exposure to the diversity and beauty of people and landscapes across the globe and helps many find meaning and purpose in their lives. From finding your true career calling to a sense of mental wellbeing and facing your fears, here are just five reasons why you should travel all over the world
1. Discover your true calling when you travel all over the world
It’s really easy back home to get stuck in one focused direction. At high school, we need to choose the subjects we want to study to get into the college course we want, then hopefully into a successful career in that field at the end of it all. But what if you change your mind or want to explore different areas along the way? Often it feels like it’s all “too late” or counterproductive to achieving the career goals you have set for yourself and are expected by those around you.
That’s where travel comes in as it gives you a break from that one path direction you were headed on and time to explore your other interests. You’ll meet people from across the world with a huge range of passions and talents, including some who left stressful careers behind to enjoy a life of travel. You’ll meet people who upended themselves and moved to the other side of the world to live within a completely different culture and those who have decided to commit themselves to making the world a better place through NGO or volunteer work.
You might discover that having a steady 9-to-5, a mortgage and only a few weeks annual vacation each year is not for you. You may be inspired by the stories of those you meet along the way that there is another way to live. Instead of working long hours and planning for retirement, you can opt to get out there, travel all over the world and see as much as possible.
2. Immerse yourself in the diverse beauty of the world
For most people, the first time they travel abroad exposes them to that unique sensation and thrill of discovering that people don’t live the same as you back home. They eat different foods and practice different religions, their architecture contrasts dramatically and the landscapes are like nothing you have ever seen before. Then consider there are almost 200 countries in the world, home to people of different ethnicities and distinct landscapes, and it’s easy to see that travel can be a never-ending addiction.
There is always something new and fascinating discover and countless reasons to travel to all over the world. You might want to immerse yourself in the buzz of cities, discover unique arts and architecture, and wander world-renowned museums to learn about the history and culture of your destination. Or you might be more interested in heading to the great outdoors to stay in rural villages or trek to wild natural places. For some travelers, it’s about staying in one-of-a-kind boutique hotels or homestay guesthouses, while for others travel means carrying their tent and everything they need on their back, with the flexibility to stay where they want and when. No matter how you choose to travel or what you want to see, the world is a bottomless pot of discovery just waiting to be tapped into.
3. Discover the simple life
With your world on your back (or in your roller suitcase) when you’re traveling, most people suddenly realize how little they actually need to live a happy and fulfilling life. The excesses you may be accustomed to living with back home suddenly seem indulgent and there is a beauty in pairing down your belongings to the absolute essentials. You realize that no-one is judging you on what you have (or don’t have) and it is your character that is really important.
While back home garbage often ends up hidden in landfills, in other countries you may be exposed to the reality of waste and its impact on the environment around us. Garbage littered throughout the streets is not uncommon in many parts of the world and recycling can be unheard of. It may serve as a wake-up call that the way we live our lives with objects being so disposable can have devastating implications and living simply with a reduced footprint is the only way forward.
4. Face your fears
Whether you like it or not, travel will yank you right out of your comfort zone and have you face-to-face with situations you would never have voluntarily put yourself in. But that’s not a bad thing! Facing your fears is an important part of developing as a human being and back home it’s all too easy to avoid them or wriggle your way out of uncomfortable situations.
But when you’re traveling, you may be exposed to them within a completely different cultural setting and it’s up to you (and only you) to handle them. You’ll probably find that when it comes down to it, your fears are unfounded and you can actually deal with situations you didn’t expect. As a result, your confidence as an individual will grow and you may discover an independence that you can really go anywhere and do anything you put your mind to.
5. Find a new appreciation for life
One of the biggest discoveries of those who travel all around the world (particularly across the developing world) is a new appreciation for their life back home. The challenges and struggles of everyday living around the world can be profound and things we take completely for granted (such as clean drinking water) may be an obstacle for others.
Appreciating what you have in life is an essential ingredient for a stable mind and can be a strong counteraction to depressive thoughts or feelings of worthlessness. Seeing people who live in far more challenging situations than your own embrace and celebrate their lives through music and dance can be a wake-up call that this is what life should really be about. Family, friends, community and culture are strong elements for ensuring each and every person feels enriched and money should not be the be-all and end-all to our existence.