I figure it’s appropriate for the first post of this blog / travel guide to talk about what motivates me to travel as much as I do. People have often asked me, “Why do you travel so much?” or better yet, “Why should I go travel?” Depending on who you talk to you will get very different reasons but this is my personal Top 10 List as to why you should get up and experience the world…
1. Travel Broadens The Mind – This is a very clichéd statement but it could not be more true. When I began this journey I was a bit of a home body. I could never imagine myself traveling as much as I have now, or being so far away from home for such long periods of time, let alone living abroad for years now. Travel opens your eyes to the rest of the world. It helps you pop that bubble that you live in and step out and experience life. It gives you a new perspective of life and a new appreciation for the world we live in. It may be difficult to do at first, but not only does it get easier but it brings out a greater emotion inside you and truly does open up your mind.
2. Travel Can Be Felt Through All Of Your 5 Senses – When you are somewhere new, all of your senses are heightened, and when that place is somewhere that you’ve always wanted to go to, those senses will get even more pleasure as they are bombarded with what is around you.
- Seeing is truly believing and when you witness something that takes your breath away, there is no parallel to it and travel can make that happen. There are very few experiences I have had as breathtaking as the moment I walked into the Cathedral of Notre Dame and gazed at its grandeur.
- Every time I travel I try to touch every landmark I go to. I remember how hard the cold steel of the Eiffel Tower felt in my hand the windy day I stood underneath it, and how rough the pitted stone felt on the walls of The Colosseum. These help me to remember what it was like when reminiscing about that day, and how thankful I was to experience it.
- I always enjoy the first deep breath I take when I get off the plane in a new destination, even though most of the time that smell is jet fuel on the tarmac. But in all seriousness, the deluge of different spices that flooded my nostrils inside the main bazaar in Istanbul is rekindled just a bit each time I open my spice drawer.
- Listening to the country you’re in is a huge part of the experience. If you’re anything like me you love languages. I make a point to know how to say a few commonalities in a language before I go to that country (like how are you, please, thank you etc.) it helps with the experience and locals always appreciate when you make an attempt to speak their language. But I have found there is a subtle joy in sitting outside of a coffee shop in Croatia and listening to the slow relaxed voices of people as they sip their espresso followed by chuckles and laughter.
- Finally, and probably my favorite, trying a sample of every kind of local food I can get my hands on. Taste is such a dominant sense and travel can help you electrify your taste buds with the variety of cultural dishes you can try while you’re on the road. Break out of your comfort zone with food and at least sample local dishes, it is well worth it.
3. The People You Get To Meet – Travel can either be done solo, with a friend, or with groups of friends. Any way you experience it, it will be a memory you cherish. The people you meet in each of your journeys will factor in to that as well. For example I travel almost exclusively alone. For this reason I make a point to stay in hostels, because they are a great way to meet other like-minded people from all over the world. It’s a great experience to sit down and have a drink in the country you are now experiencing together and swap stories about where you’ve been and awesome things you’ve done (or hope to do). Locals can be just as influential to that too, like the restaurant owner in Venice I befriended who, along with a friend of his, sat with me for three hours after he closed the doors while we sipped on a bottle of scotch and discussed everything from politics & healthcare to photography.
4. You Have Fewer Regrets – So many people I have spoken to over the years have all said to me, “I wish I did what you are doing now…” Later on in life, things are put into perspective a bit differently than you may view them now. Don’t get me wrong there are times I am very jealous of my friends who have catapulted their careers and as a result of their hard work now own beautiful condos or houses back in the states. But thankfully these humble friends gently remind me, the grass always looks greener on the other side. I have the rest of my life to get a 9-5 job and be a home owner, but that time can come after I’ve experienced the joys of travel. Ideally I would like to think 30 years from now when I meet that wanderlust traveller, I’d say to them, “GO! I did. I never regret a second of it and neither will you.”
5. Travel Gives You Something To Look Forward To – I don’t travel every day or even every month. Just like any normal person, I have job that I need to fund my excursions. So when I book a trip, I then have time to get excited about it, research it, decide what attractions I want to go visit or what restaurants I want to eat at. Reading up about somewhere before you go can provide tips that could prove to be invaluable during your trip. Whether they are related to safety, time-saving, money-saving, or can’t miss sights, you should learn from mistakes other people have made or special finds they have uncovered. We are all in this journey of discovery together.
6. Lets You Slow Down, Relax & Get Away – So many of us live fast paced lives and are so preoccupied with the burden of every day life that we forget to take some time for ourselves and enjoy what is around us. I’m guilty of it too. When you travel it’s as if you turn down the volume of life, listen to your surroundings, and be in the moment. You experience things better, you aren’t as rushed to get around, you take the time to eat and enjoy the meal in front of you instead of rushing through it because you have to race back to work. Travel helps break that cycle of monotony and remind us how to enjoy life.
7. Helps Us Learn & Experience History – Don’t be afraid but you might actually learn something during your trip! It is one thing to hear about it in history class or watch a television show about it, but to experience a place first hand and walk where it happened can be a very powerful thing. A prime example of that for me was when I visited Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland. When I was there it was just over 96 degrees, and there were hardly any trees for shade. just walking around (and that was with a bottle of water) I could feel the sun wearing me down. I could only imagine what it must have been like to have to do hours of manual labor under that baking sun. This, among other things I saw there, made it all so real for me, it made history real and tangible.
8. You Can Make Travel Your Own – One of the awesome things about travel is that it is completely and totally yours. You go where you want to go. Want to see South Africa? Sure go ahead. Want to go to a remote island off the coast of Fiji? Done. Can’t stand hot weather? Great, Siberia is 5.1 million square miles. Travel is completely customizable. Few things in life will cater to you that much, and with the endless possibilities of this enormous and beautiful world, that is a pretty impressive thing to be able to do.
9. Travel Has No Societal Discriminations – No matter what point you are at in your life, travel is something that can always be cherished and enjoyed. From the very young to the very old, travel has no gender, age, race, or cultural discriminations. It is open to everyone across the globe and can be enjoyed on every level imaginable by every type of person imaginable.
10. Travel Is Limitless – No matter how much you see, I guarantee you there will be more places to explore, more culture to experience, more foods to taste, and more people to meet. It is a never-ending journey that only builds more happiness and incredible memories.
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