Why I Love To Travel, and Why You Should Too: The Top 8 Reasons to Travel
For many, traveling can be daunting, and is only done when necessary. Whether it be a family event or a business trip, there are people who simply do not enjoy traveling. On the other hand, there are people like me, who are obsessed with the idea of seeing the world. Our planet is filled with so many different cultures, traditions, and ways of life, as well as beautiful scenery wherever you go. I dream about all of the places I want to go see, because I love seeing how different the world is apart from my small town in Massachusetts. Education is one of the most important aspects of human life, and I truly believe that by traveling, you can obtain an endless supply of knowledge that cannot be provided by any school. As they say, "The world is a book, and he who does not travel only reads one page." There are many reasons to travel, but in this article I will highlight what I believe to be the top 8 reasons to travel:
Reason to Travel #1: Meeting New People!
If there is one thing I have learned from traveling, it is that you will meet people from all walks of life, from many different countries. While on a European cruise, I met kids from all over the world; they were from Spain, Scotland, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, and more. While talking with these kids, I got the opportunity to learn about what life is like where they are from, and what it is like to grow up somewhere besides Massachusetts. In Mexico, I met a family from Minnesota. It was so interesting to learn about how their lives can differ from mine so much, even though we live in the same country. For example, they were intrigued by my love of fresh seafood, while I was puzzled by the fact that they owned 10 cows! Regardless of who you meet, traveling will introduce you to people you likely would never have met. They will teach you and open your eyes to things you would never have thought of. And I can say from experience that when you make friends while traveling, whether they are from other countries or not, you will miss them when you come home. An added bonus is that you will gain friends from all over the world. This way, no matter where you are in the world, you may be able to find a buddy to grab dinner with. You never know where these connections may come in handy!
Reason to Travel #2: Food!
Ahhh, how the lovely smell of fresh bread in France, or the sweet taste of Sangria in Spain can make our taste buds tingle and our stomachs growl. Food is one of the most significant reasons to travel! Sure, you may be satisfied by the food in your own country, but there is a whole other world of flavors waiting to be eaten by you! Go have some pasta in Italy, tacos in Mexico, pho in Vietnam, and some pierogies in Poland! One of the many benefits of travel is that you get to experience a whole new culture just from eating their food. And lets be real, who doesn't love food? Now get yourself out there, and eat your way around the world!
Do you enjoy traveling?
Reason to Travel #3: The Experiences!
In my home town, you can go downtown and visit some shops and restaurants, go see a movie, and maybe go mini golfing or bowling with some friends. While this is nice, it is much more fun to out and explore new places! Traveling allows you to have new experiences, other than what you are used to back at home. Personal examples include air-boat rides at the Everglades in Florida, going tubing along the Caribbean Sea in Mexico, watching how fresh mozzarella is made in Italy, and getting to see the largest soccer stadium in Europe- in Barcelona. Some of the greatest stories I have are from when I was traveling, since everything I did was a new experience! Having these experiences allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and learn about life outside my home. I'm not saying you have to go out and bungee jump off a cliff or go swim with sharks, but you should make an attempt to truly immerse yourself in another culture. Trust me, you will be surprised at how much you learn, and how much you enjoy it!
Reason to Travel #4: Language!
Habla español? Parlez-vous français? Well, going on a trip can sharpen those language skills you began to develop in high school! However, no experience is necessary. Learning even a few words or phrases can be a fun way to chat with locals when traveling, and can be a life-saver if you need help to getting directions. When I was in Mexico, everyone at the resort spoke both English and Spanish. But, hearing people speak Spanish to each other was a great way to learn more. I took Spanish in high school, but by the end of my stay I was nearly able to hold conversations in Spanish due to being immersed in the language for a week. Aside from being helpful and fun, scientists have said that being bilingual has positive effects on the brain!
Reason to Travel #5: History!
Even if you are not necessarily a history buff, it is completely awe-inspiring to be in a place of great historical significance. Picture yourself at ancient ruins like the Colosseum, Pompeii, Chichen Itza, or Machu Picchu, or even at more recent historical places such as the Liberty Bell or a WWII Memorial. I find it so fascinating to imagine myself at these places before they were tourist sites, when they were full of life. I believe that it is important to educate ourselves on the past, so we can see how people used to live their lives. The world changes so fast, and with many historical sites becoming damaged through climate change or tourism, it is best to go before it is too late! You can also travel to discover the past of your family. Maybe you are Italian, and want to discover the life of your ancestors who lived back in Italy. It can be life-changing to go back to your roots and learn about how your ancestors lived way back when!
Reason to Travel #6: Global Awareness!
Through traveling, you will learn about many different cultures and types of people. And by learning about these cultures and people, you will build a greater understanding of them. The world today is filled with so much hate, including racism, Islamophobia, or antisemitism. By traveling to different parts of the world, you will discover that there are good people everywhere! Do not fall into the stereotype traps presented to you by the media about different cultures. One of my favorite travel bloggers, Drew Binsky (@drewbinsky), recently went to North Korea for three days. While there, he was able to see and talk to real North Korean citizens about their lives. And guess what he found? North Korean people are not all that American media makes them out to be (you can find his North Korea video on his Facebook page- I highly recommend watching). They are just like us: they have passions, aspirations, quirks, special talents, etc. My point is that by traveling, you can see the world for what it truly is! Traveling can also give you foreign perspective on different global issues. For example, when I was in Italy I met an Italian man who was concerned about the Greece Euro Crisis because of the implications it would have on his own country. As an American in high school, I did not think very much about how these global issues would affect every day people in other countries. Traveling will help broaden your perspectives on global issues, and will help you to better understand the world.
Reason to Travel #7: Challenge Yourself!
Traveling can be hard when you are in a new place. You may not speak the language or know how to navigate the area, which can cause a lot of stress. However, traveling can allow you to grow as a person and let your true skills and talents shine. You may find that you are really good with people, or that you can pick up a language pretty swiftly. In my case, I found that I could effectively read a map (a paper one, not Google Maps!) and navigate cities on my own. This inspired a confidence in me when I travel to new places. I no longer feel nervous or intimidated when traveling, because I challenged myself, and overcame obstacles. So go and challenge yourself to get out of your comfort zone and explore the world! It may not be easy, but oh boy, is it worth it.
Reason to Travel #8: Because You Can!
We are fortunate that in today's world, traveling is easier than ever. Through different airlines, multiple types of accommodations (hotels, hostels, Airbnb, etc.), and endless tour companies, you are bound to find something that appeals to you. Traveling on a budget is not easy to do, but it is definitely possible! Using websites like Kayak, Priceline, or Booking.com, you can find the cheapest ways to get around. Don't worry too much about costs or when you have the time to travel; one of the biggest regrets in people's lives are that they didn't travel as much as they wanted to. There may never be a "great" time to travel in your life, especially if you don't make time for it. And as they say, there's no time like the present, so go now while you still can! Traveling while you are still young and able is truly a blessing, so take advantage of every opportunity!
As you can tell, I am very passionate about traveling. It has enriched my life like nothing else. It has broadened my perspectives on life and changed the way I think about the world. I believe that traveling has educated me in ways that school never could, especially when it comes to people. My goal is for you to become enriched by travel, just like me. I want everyone to see the world for what it truly is, instead of basing opinions off of what is seen in the mainstream media. In my next article, I will share with you how to experience the world, without leaving the comfort of your home! But, beware: a strong feeling of wanderlust may occur! Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!