Whether its 6 months backpacking Europe or a few weeks holiday in a tropical location, travel has many intangible benefits beyond just rest and relaxation. Here are my top 5 reasons why everyone should travel, feel free to add yours in the comments below:
- Learn about other cultures – when you travel to other countries with a different way of life, it opens your eyes and makes you realize that not everyone lives like you do. Try the food, pick up a new article of clothing and meet the local people. The world is smaller than you think and no matter where you work today, having an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of other cultures is bound to be an asset.
- Learn about yourself – you may have a hidden talent you discover while travelling overseas. Or maybe it’s time to conquer your fear of heights by skydiving, or walking over the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Taking time away from your normal routine gives you the opportunity to branch out and try things that you usually wouldn’t.
- Learn how to budget both time and money – there’s nothing like an upcoming vacation to force you to re-examine your spending habits. How you plan to save for the trip and then how much you actually spend while away are great lessons to learn earlier in life than later. I have seen a lot of sad faces of backpackers going home halfway through their trip because they’re not quite sure where all their money went (hint: you probably drank it all away). As for time, if you only have the opportunity to travel for a few weeks at a time, and want to cover a lot of ground, you’ll need to plan ahead. Try and pick your must see’s for each location and leave extra time for things that come up along the way.
- Adventure and exploration – since the beginning of time, people have explored the world in search for new place, new ideas and adventure. It’s in our genes to get out there and explore. Watching a National Geographic documentary on India, is not the same as actually going to India. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new, you may even discover that you like it. It’s not called the “Travel Bug” for nothing.
- Appreciation for home – there’s no place like home, especially after being away for an extended period of time. As beautiful and diverse as your holiday might be, there’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed, with your own favourite brand of tea or coffee. Depending on where you travel, you are bound to run into poverty ridden areas. Reminding yourself that most of the world lives on only a few dollars a day will (hopefully) make you thankful and inspire you to give back in whatever way you can.