“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door…”
So begins Bilbo’s warning to Frodo on the dangers of wanderlust. But that never stopped the adventuresome hobbit, who shared his passion for travel with the over 1 billion tourists who travel every year.
But why do people spend so much time and money on traveling? And why should people travel?
Let’s take a look at 7 reasons to travel the world and why it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do.
1. Expand Your Worldview
When you see and do the same things every day, your mind wears grooves into itself. The familiar forms the pattern of your thoughts, and vice versa.
But opening your mind and expanding your worldview demands that you break away from those patterns. You give yourself a chance to absorb and come up with new ideas.
Traveling is a fantastic way to do that. Travel is like a blast of cold water for the mind. It plunges you into a new and exciting way of seeing the world, shaking loose the cobwebs of the familiar. Your mind reverts to a state of openness and learning — a state many of us haven’t experienced since we were children!
2. See New Sights
One of the most obvious benefits of traveling is also one of the most memorable: the opportunity to see the world’s greatest sights.
From the Pyramids of Egypt to the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal, the world is replete with sights both modern and ancient.
But seeing them in person is much different from seeing them in a video or a Google search. It’s an enriching experience, one that gives you a sense of awe and perspective. All of them are monuments to the history of the human race.
Even the world’s great monuments aren’t the be-all of what you’ll see. The many local sights and sounds of traveling can be just as rewarding, from the dramatic location of a Tibetan monastery to a crumbling European castle, even down to the local architecture of a seaside Italian village.
3. Do Good Deeds
Traveling isn’t just an opportunity to improve yourself. It’s also a chance to improve the world — to leave it better than you found it.
And you don’t even have to interrupt your vacation time to do that. You could volunteer now for sea turtle conservation efforts, turning your beach time into something that gives back to the world.
Volunteering can be just as fulfilling as seeing the sights and sounds of a country, so seize the opportunity as you travel. When you’ve volunteered abroad, you may also come to spot opportunities to volunteer at home, as well, bringing some of your newfound community spirit back with you.
4. Taste the World
If there’s one thing our global world still hasn’t made small, it’s the world of cuisine. Even if you head to your local Thai or Italian restaurant, you’re still getting a version of that national cuisine tailored for local tastes.
The only way to truly sample a country’s cuisine is to go there. That’s how you’ll discover the dishes the locals keep for themselves, sample someone’s home cooking, or buy local ingredients you could never get at home.
A love of food is fundamental to the human race, so this gives you a chance to connect and even share ideas with other cultures — and maybe bring a few of them back home with you.
5. Make Memories
When you’re old and gray, it’s not the minutiae of your daily life that you’ll remember. You’ll instead look back on the stand-out moments of your life. These are the moments so removed from your baseline that you can’t help but remember them, even when other memories have disappeared with time.
Traveling is one of the most powerful ways to make memories that will last a lifetime. Unlike our conscious mind, the subconscious marks time in events and experiences, not dates. Even when the dates are long forgotten, those events will stand out, providing you with something you can look back on your whole life long.
6. Push Yourself
It’s a common adage that life starts once you step outside your comfort zone. And it’s true. The ability to push yourself into strange new territory is how you’ll keep learning and growing as a person.
This is one reason why travel is important. By definition, it puts you in unexpected and unfamiliar situations. But you’ll discover that each of those situations is something you can handle, which boosts your confidence for future challenges.
In comparison to traveling, moving into new areas at home will seem a breeze, whether it’s relocating to another town or taking on a new job.
7. Learn New Languages
Our older minds may have forgotten, but as babies, we knew that the way to learn a language was to immerse ourselves in it. Traveling to another country is the ultimate way to do that as an adult.
If you’ve been studying a language, a visit to the appropriate country can help you apply and finalize your knowledge, turning you from a student into a speaker.
You may not even visit a country with any intention of learning the language, only to get bitten by the language bug while you’re there. More than a few travelers have continued to expand their knowledge of a language after getting home.
Even if traveling doesn’t cause you to commit to learning a language, it still broadens your linguistic horizons. Knowing how to tell one language from the next, deploy useful phrases, or read basic signage can still impressive and useful skills both abroad and back home.
Powerful Reasons to Travel the World
These are just 7 reasons to travel the world, but you can already see how powerful an act it can be. There may be no better way to promote your growth as a person than by traveling.
“And if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
Looking for some travel tips to get you started? You can find some here.