(What are the benefits of travel and why are people so passionate about it.)
If you’ve never left the country that says a lot about you as a person.
It says that you probably lack imagination, will, and a sense of adventure. If that statement offends you, that’s probably because you’ve never traveled. You either get it or you don’t, and the only way you’re going to “get it,” is if you travel. So what are the benefits to travel and why do people feel so passionately about it?
You learn about yourself
Learning about yourself is the greatest thing you will take away from travel. There’s nothing like the feeling of being completely alone in a foreign country. It’s like you’re a newborn baby again except this time you don’t have any parents, you have to learn how to face the world by yourself. Maybe it’s all that time to reflect, maybe it’s that you’re forced to talk to complete strangers for guidance and interaction, or maybe it’s that you see how little you need when living out of a backpack for a couple months. You will grow. Your communication skills will develop and that will help you in every aspect of life, from dating to business. You will learn how to connect with other cultures and people, even when you don’t speak the same language. You will learn how to be alone and how to navigate a foreign land. You will learn how to read a scam and how not to get hustled. You will learn how other countries eat their pizza. You will learn the influence America has on the rest of the world, both negative and positive. You will learn that maybe you should move out of the current town you live in, or maybe you should go back to the one you came from. You will learn so many tiny things about yourself that you will never consciously remember them all, but they will all exponentially benefit your overall experience with your life.
You learn about other cultures
When you’ve only lived in one place or have never left your comfort zone to travel, your view of the world is provincial. The world is vastly more than where you grew up. You may think America is the greatest place in the world, but how can you be sure unless you’ve ventured outside of it’s safe secure walls. All you may know are the freeways of Los Angeles, the cornfields of Iowa, or the humidity of Alabama. When you go to another country, you get to see a new culture and experience more than the tiny bubble of where you’re from. You get to see how different people around the world live and this makes you more open and tolerant to others. You see cities like Venice, Italy where there are no cars and their main transportation is by foot or boat. You visit deserts like Egypt where they get around by camel. You will see the profound poverty in third world countries and start to appreciate how much you truly have. You also get see the history of where you came from, and the years of civilization that it took to get to the very point where you’re sitting today.
You learn how to be inspired
We’re all creative in some capacity may it be writing, cooking, photography, computer programming, fashion, etc. And travel is a muse. It forces your brain to think differently. The things you see every day are mundane and regular because you’re used to seeing them. That’s why a little flair like fresh flowers, holiday decorations, or even art itself will add spice to your life. When your brain is forced to think differently about things such as “which train to I need to take to get to this monument”, “how many Turkish lira are there to the US dollar”, “is this camel meat or beef” your brain will start to think differently. At the same time you’re also immersed in new architecture, people, and world views. When I travel, everything is photographically inspiring to me from a puddle to a bench to a building. When I’m home in Los Angeles I have to force myself to bring out my camera. When you travel you wake up that creative part of your brain that creates inspiration. Travel is a muse for all disciplines of your creativity.
“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page” – St. Augustine
On the topic of travel you either get it or you don’t. You’ve either experienced its vast benefits or you haven’t. Travel is the greatest muse for creativity, change, adventure, and self-exploration. With each stamp in your passport you become more worldly, cultured, and complete as a mature and compassionate human being. So if you haven’t traveled yet in your life, then it’s about time you do.
[Photo: A dog with a better view than you a top the cliffs of Santorini, Greece.]