Travelling doesn’t only put a stamp on your passport but also on your heart (urgh that has to be the cheesiest thing I’ve ever said. But who cares? It’s true.) Every place I have been has left an impression on me and made memories for life – mainly good, sometimes not so much but either way there are always lessons learnt and I am always pleased I’ve experienced a place at least once. People often find themselves stuck in the routine of life meaning lack of money, time and commitments become a reason and excuse to leave travel on the back burner for too long which is a real shame. I don’t think travel is a luxury; it’s a necessity.
People have their own reasons for travel, here are a handful of mine:
1) Open your mind, learn and break out of your bubble
Immersing yourself in other cultures and lifestyles can really make you think differently; it broadens your mind and the pockets of your brain you didn’t even realise existed, start to grow. Learning from others’ and seeing alternate ways of life, different customs, values, beliefs and traditions can not only be fun and fascinating but you can gain skills to carry through the rest of your life. It’s all very well reading about a destination or watching a documentary but I can assure you seeing and learning things first hand is priceless. You can hop on a plane to the other side of the world for a full on culture shock or just go on a short trip more locally in the country in which you live; either way I can guarantee things will open your eyes and people will show you a thing or two.
I mean really relax. A lie in on a Sunday morning of course is sweet when you’ve worked all week but that isn’t the kind of relaxing I’m talking about. What with that chore list that just gets longer, people wanting your time and trudging along with the same old routine saps energy. There are studies all over the internet showing the links between travel and relaxation, especially when taking the time to be at one with nature. Take time out for yourself, you only get to do this living thing once after all.
3) It can put your life in perspective & allow you to appreciate what you have
Some of the happiest people I have ever met have very little financially and live simplistically. They may be living in a tin shack and working 17 hours a day to keep food on the table, but they have their family and a roof over their heads and that keeps the genuine smile on their faces. It makes you think and almost resets your brain back to basics so to speak. You learn that you don’t need all the materialism that seems to make its way into the rut of daily life. I learnt a long time ago not to take life for granted, what we have is precious. I used to spend a lot of money shopping for clothes or furnishings but Thailand was a turning point for me; something lodged into my brain that trip that I didn’t need all this nonsense I was buying. Ever since then I have been really frugal when it comes to spending for the sake of it and really think hard about if I actually need something and what value it would bring to my life. It also leaves me more money for travel which is THE most important thing 😉
‘Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life…’ Renton, Trainspotting 1996
Ok, so he chose heroin, but everyone can make the end of the story their own. Yeah sure, I have chosen some of the above such as friends and health and rightly so, I’ve even chosen the DIY on a Sunday morning (yuck), but I’ve chosen the experience of travel over a fucking big television…
The excuse of no money to travel when you have the latest gadgets that frankly you don’t actually need will never wash with me!
4) Meet new people
This is quite an obvious one and pretty self-explanatory. I have met all sorts of people when travelling, it can be for 5 minutes or 5 weeks but most of them have added to my life in some way. Some I am still good friends with years down the line, others I haven’t spoken to since. You can learn so much from people you wouldn’t otherwise meet when at home and people like learning from you, too. Likewise, the whirlwind of life often means you don’t spend much time with your current friends and loved ones. Take the time, go on holiday and make priceless memories.