Traveling is something that means a great deal to me. When I was in high school, my friends use to talk about wanting to travel the world, and I always remember thinking to myself, “Why would anyone want to leave the country? We have all that we need right here.” I just didn’t get it. I didn’t own a passport until I was 16 years old, which I found out is very uncommon in other countries besides the US, and the only reason I got it was because my parents were taking me to Italy to see where my grandparents were born. Now thinking back, I am so grateful for that trip because it seriously opened my eyes to the world. Not only did I find that I was proud to tell people that I’d traveled to Europe, but I realized that there’s so much the world has to offer outside of what I was use to.
With that being said, for those of you who are still skeptical about traveling to new places and seeing other parts of the world, or if you’re just looking for more reasons to love travel, then here are some reasons why I feel traveling is always a good idea:
1. It opens your mind to new cultures.
There’s only so much you can grasp about other cultures from reading about them or watching them on TV. Nothing provides knowledge like experiencing something first hand, and there’s no better way to learn than seeing something with your own eyes. When I went to graduate school in London, I traveled to so many new countries that I’ve only just heard of. I went to some countries not even knowing what language they speak there. The world is huge, and there are so many cultures out there that are different from mine. What I learned is that just because the way they live is different doesn’t mean its wrong, it just means that its different, and sometimes different is exactly what we need.
2. It inspires you.
I don’t know about you, but when I see something beautiful that I’ve never seen before, all kinds of inspiring ideas come into my mind. I don’t know what I would do if I had never seen the Eiffel Tower, the Parthenon, or Machu Picchu live with my own eyes. I honestly think that I am the person I am today because of all these beautiful sites and experiences I’ve had throughout my life so far. I remember walking into La Grand-Place in Brussels, which is still to this day the most beautiful main square I have ever seen in my entire life (and I’ve seen quite a few), and I literally stood there for a good couple of minutes with my mouth wide open. Seriously, go Google image search “La Grand-Place Brussels” and look at the buildings (if you haven’t been there yourself, of course)! There’s only so much you can see in an image, and I am so grateful for all of the amazing things that I was able to see throughout my life.
Although all of the things I mentioned above are very important as well, my favorite, favorite, FAVORITE part of traveling is the food! If you do your research (Tripadvisor is one of our favorites), you can find really amazing food while traveling! Over the past few years, I’ve travelled to A LOT pretty amazing European countries, and European food is something that I’ve grown up loving because my family is from Italy. So, this was something that I was use to. I expected to find good food while traveling around Europe. However, I also found that when I traveled to places like Peru or Morocco, I also really enjoyed experiencing their food as well. Although it was new to me and a bit out of my comfort zone, experiencing the food of their cultures is some of the most vivid memories I have of those countries. Tasting the stewed meat & vegetables of the tajines in Marrakech or the chicha morada, sweet corn drink of Peru were some of my most treasured memories from those places.
4. It puts things into perspective.
Looking back on my travels and the experiences that I’ve had, it really helps me to put my whole life into perspective. Before 2012, I had only really been to 6 countries including the one where I was born. I had no idea of what I would learn or who I would become over the two years to follow. I had no idea of what my life was missing, and all of the things that I had no idea even existed! I feel that even though my life up until that point was a pretty great one, and don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for every bit of it, but my life was definitely a lot smaller. The reason my life was smaller was because my mind was smaller. The knowledge that I acquired while traveling to 17 countries over the course of 2 years was honestly far more than I learned through four years of college and 2 years of graduate school combined (although I am very proud of my degrees, don’t get me wrong). It really just put everything into perspective for me. Its difficult to describe it without experiencing it first hand, but when you do experience it for yourself (or if you have already), you will know exactly what I’m talking about.
There are so many other reasons to travel that I didn’t write about in this article! If you’re still on the fence about the benefits of traveling the world, then check out these two awesome travel blogs that I often read:
I also got a lot of travelspiration (travel + inspiration= travelspiration!) from watching Samantha Brown on the Travel Channel during the year before I left for London. I love her, and I think that she really helped me to bring all of that wonderful traveling into my life!!
I hope you enjoyed my article on reasons why traveling is ALWAYS a good idea! I also hope that it inspired you to get out there and see someplace new! You’ll always find excuses as to why you can’t travel, but once you set the “excusitis” (as Dr. David J. Schwartz likes to call it) aside, you can make anything happen!
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