Traveling is more than just visiting places and taking pictures, it brings out new ideas and perspectives and is a true investment in yourself. Here are the top reasons why traveling is important.
In today’s data-driven world, the world is (literally) at the tips of our fingers. But while technology allows us to stay connected, it is also more isolating than ever. With a 24/7 news cycle that often paints a dreary scene, it can be hard to challenge the status quo and understand the world for what it truly is. I find that one of the best ways to overcome this barrier is to travel as much as you can.
Traveling, as they say, is food for the soul. While you get to unwind and explore the destination, traveling has so much more to offer. You get to immerse yourself in the culture, cuisine, and nature of every place you visit. This provides new ideas and perspectives on different subjects as you learn more about the place (and maybe even yourself).
Reasons Why Traveling Is Important
While travel is definitely an indulgence, the returns (although not monetary) are definitely worth the cost. Let’s jump into the reasons why travel is a worthy pursuit.
1. Get out of your comfort zone
While social media gives you virtual access to the world, you also become increasingly comfortable with your surroundings and miss out on forming connections in the real world. Traveling to new places allows you to break out of your comfort zone and take on new experiences and challenges as you learn more about the world around you.
They say we learn the most when we are uncomfortable and this could not be more true when it comes to traveling. You empathize with the people around you as you understand different cultures and societal norms. This makes you more confident and independent with time.
2. New cultural experiences
One of the most important reasons why traveling is important is getting to immerse yourself in the local culture. Very often it becomes easy for us to form judgments and opinions on different races and cultures based on what we read online. But our world is vast and diverse and we are just a small part of it.
Each place has its own unique culture and getting to experience this helps us grow psychologically in a way that no classroom or book ever could. Learning about the culture is more than just seeing the sights and eating the food. It also involves talking to the locals and understanding their perspective on the world we live in. This helps you challenge your preconceptions and change them for the better.
3. You get to relax and unwind
In today’s world, we often find ourselves trying to climb up the corporate ladder and get ahead in the rat race. While having a successful career is important, you also need to take a break from the grind to relax and rejuvenate. As they say, one step back, two steps forward.
This is an important reason why traveling is important. Whether it’s lying on the beach in Costa Rica or going on an adventure hike, a break from your 9-5 can do wonders for your mental and physical health. If you ever feel like a bag of nerves, pack your bags and hop on a flight to a new destination to recharge those batteries. Your future self will thank you!
4. Create some great memories
Some of my best memories are from my travels. Whether it was hiking up Angels Landing at Mt. Zion National Park or taking a boat ride in the Venice canals, traveling has helped me create memories that last a lifetime.
Visiting the sights is great but as they say, it’s about the journey and not the destination. The people you meet along the way and the experiences you have with your friends is what sticks with you long after your travels. When visiting a new place, stay curious. Live as the locals do and forge those connections with the people around you. Your travels will take you on an adventure and help you create those timeless memories.
5. You learn to live in the present
The word ‘busyness’ has become a buzzword these days and a mantra for the way we live our lives. With overpacked schedules and a never-ending to-do list, we become so addicted to ‘what’s next’ that we forget to live in the present.
Traveling is a great way to break away from this hamster wheel of life and embrace the beauty of the world we live in. While travel involves a constant state of motion, it helps you focus on the adventure ahead. When looking upon the serene Parisian landscape while standing on top of the Eiffel tower, you learn to appreciate the moment and stop obsessing about the future. As they say, there’s no time like the present.
6. You meet new people
Traveling to a bucket-list destination is not just about seeing the sights and eating the local delicacies but also a great way to meet new people. Whether it’s the locals or a group of like-minded travelers, the memories you make through your interactions with others could either be fleeting or life-changing.
Meeting new people can introduce you to a whole new way of life and thinking. This helps you challenge your perceptions or misconceptions while creating a sense of community. Although we may differ in our culture and appearances, we all strive for the same goals and aspirations.
There are a limitless number of ways to meet new people in a city. You could stay in hostels, visit the local bar or restaurant and even take a tour of the city to immerse yourself in the culture while you meet new people. GetYourGuide offers a variety of guided tours in cities all over the world.
7. You’ll have exciting stories to tell
Everyone loves a good storyteller, and your experiences from your travels around the world are guaranteed to make your tales more interesting. As you experience new cultures and meet new people, your perspective starts to evolve.
Your learnings can shed new light on social situations and bring new ideas to those who have preconceived notions of a place or country. You can even put your stories on paper and start a blog to share your experiences with a larger audience. A funny anecdote or a life-changing experience will make you quite the conversationalist.
8. Eat local delicacies
Food has the ability to satisfy your taste buds but also provides an insight into the culture of the place. When I was in Italy, gorging on bowls of pasta cooked in rich Bologna sauce, it taught me the importance of food in the Italian culture and the amount of soul and effort that goes into each meal. The country, although known primarily for its pasta around the world, actually has a unique cuisine that is authentic to each region.
Each local dish is a reflection of the place (for instance and Napoli-style pizza from Naples) and carries its own history. In this sense, food isn’t just a means for sustenance but a way to immerse yourself in the local culture. Next time you visit a place ask the locals about the history of a certain delicacy, you’d be surprised by what you learn.
9. Helps you stay healthy
In addition to the excitement and adventure that travel brings, another reason why traveling is important is its ability to lower stress levels while improving your physical and mental health. Traveling doesn’t just mean involve visiting exotic destinations, even taking a road trip to in your own country can do wonders for your well-being.
When it comes to physical health, traveling to a new place means that you’re always on the move. With new places to see, this is a great way to burn those calories while doing something fun.
But the mental health benefits of traveling are just as great. Your mind is constantly challenged when you learn new things. As you expand your horizons, it keeps your brain active. This has proven to have long-term health benefits.
10. You know what’s important
When things get hard, you often feel like the burden of the world is on your shoulders. But we need to remember that the world is large and we are just one small part of it. Traveling has the ability to help you realize the true value of living life to the fullest.
When you look back on your life, it’s not the material possessions that you will remember but rather the experiences you’ve had, the people you met and the incredible places you saw during your travels. Although wealth and success can seem like the end goal, the experiences and memories you make are just as important.
11. You’ll see incredible places
Our world is filled with breathtaking destinations, both natural and manmade and one can wonder if a single lifetime would be enough to see everything. St. Augustine once said that “the world is a book, those who do not travel, only read one page.”
The power of wanderlust is real and almost every place in the world has something unique to offer. Whether it’s climbing the highest mountain range or enjoying a drink on the beach, you will be inspired by the beauty of each destination. The experience of seeing a stunning place is something that can’t be replaced by material possessions- and you’ll even get a great Instagram picture out of it.
12. You learn new languages
Language is an important tool that has the ability to shape your view of the world. Even if you’re not fluent in the language of the places you visit, even learning a few local phrases can have an impact on your experience. Certain words in languages like German and Japanese don’t even have an English translation.
Knowing how to say a few phrases in the local language is not just incredibly useful but can also give you a greater perspective on the culture. You can even make friends with the locals and show off your language skills.
13. You appreciate your home
They say that home is where the heart is but this might not be the case if you never actually leave home. What makes your house a home is that you have somewhere to go after your time on the road. While your return to normalcy can seem underwhelming, this is actually far from the truth.
When you come home from your travels, you’re filled with new thoughts and ideas- maybe even a whole new take on life. This helps you see things differently in your day to day life and may be just the change you needed. People that don’t have a change of scenery can often take what they have for granted. While traveling is great for exploring your wanderlust, it also helps you appreciate home.
A few final words
There are a number of reasons why traveling is important. While it gives you the opportunity to unwind and see the sights, traveling also lets you immerse yourself in the local culture and learn more about the world than you could from any book. Having the ability to use the information around you to break barriers and common misconceptions is a powerful thing.
Media and books can give you all the information you need about a place but visiting a destination and speaking with the locals is the most effective way to learn and comprehend societal issues. Traveling gives you the ability to form decisions and opinions based on your views and is a true investment in yourself.
We hope this article on the reasons why traveling is important will inspire you to visit your bucket-list destination this year!
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