Top 10 reasons to travel
If you’re an avid traveler, coming up with reasons to take off to a new destination isn’t hard. Explaining why you do it to those who don’t share your passion can sometimes be challenging. When simple “I love it” doesn’t suffice, here is my list of top 10 reasons to travel and why travelling is good for you.
1. Because you can
Travel is something we take for granted, but until recently it was a leisure activity reserved for the wealthy and of certain social standing. In the past, it was a rite of passage for wealthy young men who traveled before assuming their place in society. Unless you were a soldier, pirate or an adventurer, seeing the world was pretty much out of the question. Traveling for pleasure, especially for women, was not a wide-spread concept and a rather onerous task.
Thanks to modern advances, travelling became not only quicker and cheaper, but also more accessible to the masses. Planes, trains, boats and automobiles made travel more attainable and convenient, turning it into a lifestyle not limited to the rich and privileged. Why not take advantage of it?
2. Step Into History
The world is an old place where cultures and civilizations have come and gone, leaving behind a whole slew of must-see structures and places with significant importance. Being there, seeing them and touching what has been there for centuries is an experience no book can provide.
I’ve walked the ruins of the Roman Forum, stood in the cell where Marie-Antoinette spent her last moments before losing her head, drove in the crater of an ancient volcano and visited what used to be a Viking village. Those are just few examples of one of a kind places you have to visit to appreciate.
3. Take Your Breath Away
There are many places in this world that have the power to amaze and take your breath away. No picture or video can fully convey those moments and share them with those who weren’t there. Sometimes the beauty and sheer splendour of those places is so awesome that it makes you breathless and at a loss for words. When you find that place for the first time, you try to capture the moment, but find that you can’t. When you come across another one, so different yet just as powerful, you realize why you got there and just sit back and enjoy that moment until the next one.
4. Create impressions
Travels create memories and make for great stories. At the same time, there are scents, images and sounds that have the power to bring you back to a particular spot and time when you first experienced them. It’s not something you can always explain or share with others. It becomes your own, unique and special impression of a time and place that can make you smile or cry, depending on the moment.
Those impressions are hidden in our memories and often forgotten until that special moment when they briefly re-surface. Shouldn’t everyone have at a least a few?
5. Meet new people
When you travel, you meet new people. Sometimes those people live in the same area as you, sometimes they live in other parts of the world, but you wouldn’t have met them if you didn’t go somewhere together. Those people, thrown with you by chance, can become good friends and future travel companions that can lead to new places you wouldn’t have ever considered. So why not get out there?
Guide books are great sources of information and can make your trip planning a whole lot easier. But there are times when tourists stumble upon places not in the guides and discover their own special favourites. Other times, it’s the locals that can open your eyes to something wonderful that you can’t find on maps or in travel books. Why not feel like an adventurer and discover your own gems?
7. Embrace other cultures
As the saying goes “When in Rome do as the Romans do.” No matter how authentic something is, unless you’re getting it from the source, it’s not the same kind of experience. Being surrounded by the culture and customs of a particular country offers an insight to how the locals truly live. Doing so, let’s you discover obscure and interesting nuances that form another culture.
8. Fulfill your dreams
Most people have a bucket list which can include places they want to see before they die. I think everyone should have such a list. Identifying desired locations makes it easy to plan vacations and provides an excuse to get out there. Every time you check off a line off your list is a step closer to achieving your goals.
Bucket lists are not always about places. They can also include experiences such as swimming with sharks, running with the bulls or climbing a mountain. Whatever your bucket list includes, why not get started on it?
9. Get away from the ordinary
No matter where we live, our lives can become mundane and we yearn to see what else is out there. You can live in a town full of historical architecture and colourful past and yearn to see modern cities with sky scrapers made of glass and concrete. You can be surrounded by green hills and rivers and yearn for the desert. No matter what you call home, being there day in and day out becomes your reality. Visiting areas vastly different then what you call home not only helps you experience the different, but also appreciate what you got even more.
10. Feed your addiction
If you’ve done any of the above, chances are you’ve become addicted to travel. Learning about different countries, seeing natural wonders and places with cultural significance is no longer a reason you travel. Now you do it to feed your addiction and quench your thirst. You have an inane sense of curiosity that pushes you to learn more and experience things first hand. Need I say more?
Now you know my top 10 reasons to travel. Why do you travel? Let me know in comments.
Note: I actually wrote this blog back in 2010. It still is one of my fave pieces. Not sure why, but it is. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it.