I started my travel fund at the age of 12. Apparently I was born with a desire to explore everything everywhere. What a blessing! My adventures have taught me way more life skills than all of my years of high school and university. For those who are not so convinced here are 20 reasons and some incredible images to change your mind.
1. The ‘Wow’ factor, it makes you feel alive and so grateful for the experience.
2. ‘The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page,’ said St Augustine. So go experience different cultures that are eye-opening and fascinating. Reflect on how you live in comparison.
3. The possibilities are endless. So many countries to visit, so many things to see and so many activities to do. Better get started.
4. Improve your social skills. You have no choice but to constantly interact with new people. It can be very draining but incredibly useful in all aspects of life.
5. You will acquire many new friends from all over the globe and get to hear their stories. Then have places to stay for your next adventure.
6. Learn a language. I picked-up so much more Spanish in one week travelling Spain than 3 years of studying it in a classroom. And it was way more fun – no grammar books in sight.
7. Switch hemispheres at the right time and have two summers.
8. Realise that you don’t need much to survive. Think about all of the things in your home (and garage and storage unit if applicable) then look at a backpack. It’s very liberating to see how little you really need and how much of our lives are consumed by consuming.
9. The food. Every country or even town has their own delicacies and signature dishes. Broaden your culinary horizons on an expedition of deliciousness.
10. If you are travelling solo it can get lonely and you will probably feel home sick. Doesn’t sound very fun, but it’s another useful lifeskill learned if you can handle these emotions positively and not let them eat away at you.
11. Become more street-wise. You will encounter an endless stream of scum trying to take advantage of your touristy-ness. You’ll get more in tune with your gut instincts trying to spot these predators.
12. Rock the improv. When travelling most plans don’t pan out as expected use it as an opportunity to learn yet more great skills – resourcefulness, adaptability and patience.
13. Get a confidence boost. You will constantly have to make decisions and trust your own judgment. There’s no room for doubting yourself.
14. Break a habit. Without your daily triggers it is much easier to break a mental, physical or emotional habit.
15. Travelling can be cheap, unless you only want to stay at 5 star resorts and defeat the point of travelling. My most hilarious stories come from staying in bizarre small hotels and freaky hostels that were dirt cheap (the teepee hostel was my favourite). Also street food is part of the experience, costs pennies and is usually amazing!
16. Overcome your fear of the unknown. Go get lost it’s the best way to find yourself.
17. Not relying on technology. Think about your average day, how often do you use your phone, computer, tv? When you are travelling you just don’t need it. Maybe a phone for safety and the odd email to your mum.
18. Freedom! Not having a routine, not knowing where you will be tomorrow, just doing what you feel like. It’s incredible.
19. Be more interesting. Think of all the conversation starters you’ll have. Just don’t become a travel bore and recount endless tales accompanied by your extensive photo collection. People aren’t that interested.
20. You will see things from a different perspective and have a chance to reflect without the distraction of your everyday routine. Combined with inspiration from new places and people, it might just make you reconsider your priorities and goals in life.
That’s just 20 reasons do you have any more to add? Where was your favourite destination? Got a crazy experience to share?
published April 9, 2012