One of the things I often hear people say in response to my travels is, “I wish I could travel, but [Insert Reason Here].
Look…I get it. Life is tough. It’s complicated. Travel can be expensive. You’ve got other priorities. I totally understand all of the reasons you may not be making travel a priority in your life. When faced with a mountain of bills and responsibilities, it can seem frivolous and luxurious. I understand, I really do. But the thing is, no matter how many reasons you have NOT to travel, there are also a lot of reasons why you should absolutely make travel a priority in your life. I’m not talking top priority. Obviously you need to feed yourself, take care of your kids (if you have kids), pay off bills, etc. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be responsible, but I am saying you should travel if there’s any way you can. Here are some reasons why….
It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
I cherish every trip I’ve been on. I cherish all my photos and memories from each and every destination. I’ve learned things about the world that I never could have learned from a book or the internet and it has changed me as a person…for the better. The funny thing about travel is you never know what you’re going to learn, but you always learn something. Yes, it takes away the US vs. THEM attitude, but there are more subtle things you learn when you travel. Just understanding things in general. For example, I’ve watched anime and Japanese media before, but it wasn’t until I traveled to Japan and experienced the place firsthand that I truly understood some of the things I had thought were quirky about Japanese media before. I feel like I get it now. That’s the thing about travel…it teaches you things you never know you’ll learn, and I love it.
You get so much more out of travel than other things you could spend your money on.
There’s a funny thing I’ve noticed with some people I know. They tend to assume I’m rich because I travel. I’ve been to four continents…I must be rich! NOPE. The thing is, I get so much out of travel that I sacrifice other things in my life in order to travel. While some of my friends are buying fancy cocktails at a rooftop bar on a Saturday night, I’m at home, sipping on a $10 bottle of wine from Trader Joe’s and watching nature documentaries on Netflix. While some of my friends are out shopping for new clothes on the weekends, I’m sewing up that pesky hole that keeps reappearing in the butt area of my jeans. I don’t really go to too many concerts and while I do enjoy dining out, I mostly save it for once or twice on the weekends and prepare the majority of my meals at home. I only go to expensive restaurants for special occasions and I brew my own coffee at home every morning…coffee shops are for fun outings, not for my morning fix. I’m lucky to live in an area with great weather most of the time, so free activities like riding my bike, lounging around like a bum on the beach, and checking out a local hiking trail are always an option.
The thing is…you can save A LOT of money by making some simple tweaks in your life and if you put away the money you save, it adds up pretty quickly. I do this because I get so much more out of travel than I get out of coffee shop coffee, a new pair of jeans, or a drunken night at the bar. Traveling allows you to make incredible memories that will last the rest of your life. When you’re old, you’re not going to look back on your life and cherish the memory of those small little expenses, but you WILL remember the amazing places you’ve been and the unique experiences you have had.
It doesn’t have to be expensive.
Ok…so it’s great how travel can open your mind and make your life so wonderful and all, but….money is tight. I’ve been there! The thing is, you don’t necessarily need to drop a ton of cash to experience the benefits of travel. I recommend that everybody gets away at a MINIMUM once a year for at least a week. I sincerely hope you can get even more than that, but even those of you with the strictest vacation policies at work can probably swing a week. If you don’t have the money to fly to some far-flung destination, take a road trip. Go camping. Visit some relatives in another state. Hit up some national parks. It’s amazing to visit the far corners of the globe and experience different cultures and languages, but if that’s not an option, that’s ok…the most important thing is to take the time out to recharge and do something fun for yourself and your family. Spend some time enjoying life and connecting with those you love. You’re still going to get a lot out of it, and there’s nothing more worthwhile than taking time for yourself in this hectic life we’re all living.
Travel is fun!
Treat yo’self! Travel is a lot of fun! It’s amazing to explore a new place and experience something new. Everyday life can get pretty mundane, but travel spices things up a bit. It’s fun! Who likes fun? Everybody!
Honestly, I could go on and on with reasons to travel, but I won’t. (For now).
The thing is…you just have to do it. You just have to make it a priority in your life and make it happen. There’s nothing in life like experiences to enrich your time here on this planet. Let’s all enjoy it.
Travel. Do it.