I’ve spent lots of time travelling and have been to many countries, and all of those experiences have been incredibly insightful. For that reason, I believe that travel is a fantastic thing that everyone should do.
Keep reading as I will share 15 reasons why travel is essential to life.
1) Travel helps you discover who you are
The first time I travelled by myself was a huge learning experience, and I discovered things about myself that I had no clue about before. For me, one of the biggest realizations was that I wasn’t shy but instead enjoyed spending time on my own.
Sometimes we have personality traits that we don’t realize, and we use our surroundings to come up with excuses or explanations that aren’t necessarily true.
If you’ve not spent a lot of time travelling, you might discover that you can learn a lot about yourself over a couple of weeks in a place you’ve never been before.
2) You discover how different people live
We get used to the world we live in and the people we see every day, and while those examples are good, they are also limiting. When I was a teenager, we often travelled to the Caribbean and stayed in resorts. While there, I always had the impression that we were getting a filtered look at the world. It wasn’t till I spent some time in India that I got to see how other people live.
A fantastic thing about travel is that it gives you a chance to discover how other people live. Whenever we see something on TV or elsewhere, it is curated and controlled, but when we go somewhere, we know the truth.
3) Travel helps you see everything with a new lens
While we often think of travel as an experience in a new place, we tend to forget about what it means for us when we get home. After spending a year in Korea, I forgot a lot about the world back home, so when I returned, I could see everything with new eyes, at least for a while.
Travelling to different places is essential because it refreshes our perspective and gives us a new lens to see things through. While this lens might not last forever, it does help us see things in a new light, providing us with insights into how we live and how we can improve.
4) When travelling we learn to make friends quickly
I’ve always been reserved when it comes to making friends, but I’ve been quick to connect with people during some of my travels. Making friends can often be a slow process, but your time is somewhat limited when you travel, so it pays to make quick friends.
When I travelled to India, I met a British guy on the train, and we quickly realized that we had gotten along. Over the next week, we hung out quite a bit and did things I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise because he had rented a car.
While you might make temporary friends while travelling, you will be able to make it happen quicker, and those relationships will improve your travelling experiences.
5) You will discover what you like and dislike about your own culture
While I was living in Korea, there were foods that I missed and looked forward to having when I got home. However, once I returned home, I realized that those foods weren’t as enjoyable as I remembered and instead, kimchi was great food. Our cultures aren’t just about food, but food plays an important role and is a good example, but there are many other cultural lessons to learn with travel.
Travelling is important because it gives us a chance to see our culture in a new light, enabling us to discover what we like and dislike about it.
6) You are forced to pay attention to your surroundings
Before I travelled to India, I spent a lot of time reading forums and blogs about preparing and what to expect. While I felt well informed about India, I was also overly cautious and, as a result, was always on high alert for scams or pickpockets. And while none of those things happened to me, they might of if I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings.
When we are in a new place, everything is unique and requires our focused attention; this is good because it helps us with our awareness and encourages us to be present in the moment.
7) Travel will make you more resilient
Sometimes travel can be difficult when plans don’t work out or change, but those set back also provide us with an opportunity to build resilience. When travelling, things are constantly flowing, so we need to adapt quickly to our surroundings and be ok with that. While it can be annoying at times, it is also encouraging us to develop valuable skills.
If you are used to living an easy life, travel is meaningful cause it will challenge you and force you to adapt to new situations and environments.
8) You see yourself outside of your typical context
As I mentioned before about discovering that I wasn’t so shy, travel allows us to see ourselves in a new way. This means that often who we are is a result of our surroundings, either the people or the things. But those environmental factors play a prominent role in who we are and how we see ourselves.
Travel allows us to step out of our context and see ourselves with different eyes.
When I was growing up, I always felt so constrained by my environment and the people in my life. Travel allowed me to realize the problem and enabled me to solve it when I returned home.
9) Travel will broaden your horizons when it comes to food
Not everyone is super curious about eating new foods, but I am and always have been. Interestingly, when I moved to Korea and taught English at a school, I quickly adapted to the diet and ate Korean food all the time. At the same time, my sister, who also tried to live in Korea, hated the food and had a huge problem finding things to eat and had to leave early.
For me, I was not too fond of rice as a kid, but after spending a year in Asia, I became obsessed, and now ten years later, I’d feel lost if I didn’t eat rice for a week.
10) You are forced outside your comfort zone
So much of what we take for granted about our worlds comes from the fact that we haven’t stepped outside what we know. For this reason, travel is a great way to force ourselves out of our comfort zones, which makes us challenge ourselves and grow faster than we would otherwise.
Being willing to make new friends, try new foods or go places you haven’t been before can be difficult without getting pushed. However, this is where travel plays a vital role as it forces us outside our comfort zones.
11) Helps you discover who you truly care about
While we might get along with the people in our life, travelling for a while will give us a chance to discover who we truly care about. When I moved to Korea for a year, it wasn’t easy to keep in touch with all the people I knew back home, as I had to put in a special effort.
As a result, I quickly discovered who I wanted to keep in touch with and who didn’t matter much to me. While this insight could have happened otherwise, travel made it much more manageable.
Travel is necessary because it allows us to reflect on who we care about and where to dedicate time. When it is difficult to chat, we learn to prioritize our conversations, which helps us discover who we care about.
12) Travel will give you stories and experiences to share
The truth is that travel makes you a more interesting person because you have experiences that other people can’t have at home. When I am going to work, my life is pretty much the same every day, I might have some chance meetings with different people, but generally, things are consistent. While this is ok, it doesn’t give many opportunities for unusual experiences worth talking about.
Whenever you travel, you give yourself a chance to have previously unknown experiences that will provide great stories later in life. Travel is essential because it gives us something to talk about.
13) Travel gives you a break and a chance to get refreshed
Life can get stressful at times if we are busy with work, our choirs and other responsibilities, but when we travel, we get a chance to step away from all of that and refresh. Taking a break while keeping up with the rest of life is difficult, but stepping away from it all by travelling to a different place ensures that the rest of life has to go on hold.
Travel is necessary because it gives us a chance to temporarily step away from everything and get into different routines. Even if our breaks are short-lived, we will always come back feeling refreshed.
14) Travel helps us live a meaningful life
Living a meaningful life is all about finding our purpose and doing important things. This is where travel plays a vital role as it clarifies who we are, what we like and where we want to go. Often if we are stuck in a routine, we can’t think clearly about what is important and worthy of our attention, but travel does a great job of showing us those sorts of things.
Travel is important because it allows us to see ourselves in a new light; that fresh perspective gives us a chance to readjust our values and refocus our energies.
15) Traveling is fun
Finally, travel is fun, and in some ways, that is what it is all about, getting out there, doing something different and enjoying yourself. I know that when we travel, my wife gets stressed out, but at the same time, when we arrive at a ryokan, all that stress flows away, and she truly relaxes and has a good time.
I always feel like a new person while travelling, and life kind of opens up to me. I tend to make discoveries about myself or my world and gain new perspectives that I can carry on with me.
Travel is always an enjoyable experience, even if it can be stressful at times.
If you have been holding back on travel for whatever reasons, reconsider and commit to doing it because you won’t regret it, and you will become a more interesting person as a result. While there are many things you can do with your time, travel should be near the top of your list.