Travel intimidates a lot of people, and I honestly kind of get it (emphasis on kind of). There is a lot left to the unknown. What will happen if I get lost? Planes/cars/trains crash all the time, so what happens if mine does? What if I forget to pack XYZ? What if I lose my phone? What if I spend more money than I should? There’s a lot of planning required and what if I don’t want to do all that work?
The frenzy of concern and lack of motivation surrounding travel is often what causes people to stick to their couches and TV screens. The idea of things going wrong, even the minor, irrelevant things, can be so overwhelming that it’s easier to choose the safe route, and sometimes the immense planning required for certain trips is exhausting (and let’s be honest, it can be somewhat tedious). But this idea that you can control the happenings of your life down to the last minuscule detail is what’s ruining you from making a life at all. It’s your unwillingness to try that’s causing you to miss opportunities.
Travel is cool.
And it’s good for you.
1. It gets you out of your comfort zone.
This one goes without saying. When you travel, you’re moving, seeing new places, and trying new things. You’re not going to your favorite coffee shop because you’re trying out a new coffee show. You’re not sleeping in your own bed, since you’re sleeping at a friend’s, in a hostel, hotel, or guest house. You have plans, but you don’t always know what will happen, and it teaches you that maybe your comfort zone isn’t all that comfortable after all.
2. It challenges you.
When you don’t travel, you get used to your routine, your things, and your rules. Traveling is playing in an entirely different court and it’s up to you to adjust to the new way of life. You have to put in the effort to get food, find a place to stay, drive through new cities, and go on a new adventure. And sometimes it’s quite the challenge.
3. It humbles you.
Sometimes you end up going the wrong way down a one-way street, ordering pig’s cheek for dinner, or walking into the wrong gender’s bathroom because all the words here are in foreign languages. And yeah, that sucks. But try knocking the chip off your shoulder because you’re going to be fine.
4. It teaches you new things, always.
How other people live, what they eat for lunch, how other governments operate, history, geography, languages, and more. There’s always something to learn. The world is bigger than your corner of it and travel will educate you on it all.
5. It will give you a different perspective.
Gas prices, taxes, food, morality, and people. You’ll come away from time spent away with an entirely new perspective of normality. What is normal, anyway? What is good food? What is fair? What is the right way to (fill in the blank)? You’ll have an entirely new understanding of life in general after you’ve seen more of it.
6. It can help you move forward, improve, heal, and grow.
“Finding yourself” is common and cheesy, I get it, but traveling to clear your head works. It helps you get yourself out of whatever rut you’ve been in for (insert how long you’ve been in a rut). Sure, it’s cheesy, but it’s really effective! If you’re hung up on a bad break up, feeling trapped in an unwanted career, or just struggling with yourself, give a healthy dosage of travel a try and pitch the pills.
7. It introduces you to new friends.
Whether you’re in an all-inclusive resort chatting with people from your home country or some bar in a foreign country chatting with the locals, finding someone to talk to and swap stories with isn’t overly difficult. The things you’ll discover about them, yourself, their country, and yours is actually really cool.
8. You’ll make some rockin’ awesome memories no matter what.
Good and bad. One day they’ll all be memories and you’ll laugh about them. Don’t be afraid of making memorable adventures.
9. You’ll have some rockin’ awesome stories to tell no matter what.
This goes with the last. And the more embarrassing the event, the better the story, I’m sorry to say.
10. It will give you a sense of accomplishment.
You’ll start checking off places that you’ve been and seeing how much life you’ve lived. You’ll be able to come up with ideas of places you want to see in the future and know you’ll make it there one day. You can do anything now!
11. You’ll get to eat a lot of different foods.
Branch away from the American burger, please. Try the food you can’t pronounce. Get the dessert you’ve never had but the waiter recommends. You’ll find new flavors, some you’ll love and some you might hate, but at least you’ll try it and have the experience. And eating is good for your health, so that’s cool.
12. It gets you moving.
Literally. From hiking opportunities to city sightseeing to walking from one side of the airport to the next. You’ll get your steps in.
13. It promotes a healthy heart.
Not only are you moving around a lot when you travel (hiking, sightseeing, and airports, man), but you’re excited about what you’re going to see and do and find and experience. You’re invested and that gets your heart pumping.
14. It promotes a healthy brain and keeps you sharp.
You have to be able to use your brain to travel–how to get to the destination, how to find a good restaurant, exchange rates, different languages, solving situations, preventing issues, and more. You keep your brain active and thinking.
15. You get away from the everyday life stresses.
Forget the 9-5 job (at least for a little while), all the other day-to-day chores, and adult requirements. Right now you’re traveling and that’s all you need to worry about. The everyday stresses are on vacation, too. Leave them there.
16. It causes an increase in thought generation, conversations, creativity, and more.
Of course, you want to talk about the city you just walked to. You want to think about the history you just learned. You want to know how to make the food you just ate. You want to paint like the artists that have their work hanging in the galleries, play music like the concert you just attended, or write like the words you just read. Travel is inspiring and it makes you want to live more and do better.
What’s your list?