Pack your bags and travel as soon as you can. Stop making excuses. You should travel alone if nobody else wants to go with you. Don’t travel for luxury. Screw a 2-week vacation. Don’t do it to pad your Instagram account with selfies or make your Facebook friends jealous. You should travel to travel now. To immerse yourself in the experiences, the cultures, and the moments that travel brings adds to your life.
Here are the reasons travel makes you awesome.
1. You’ll be more independent
Whether you travel alone or with a partner or a group. You’ll become more independent just by being in a different place far away from home. You’ll rely a lot less on others to decide and be more sure about your own decisions. Want to have lunch with the person you met at the hostel or by yourself? Want to see the La Familia Sagrada while others go on the group tour in Barcelona? Sure! You make your own decisions; there are no bosses barking orders to worry about here. You’re the boss.
2. You will rock Minimalism
The car that you own and the house that you have is now the proverbial ball and chain, the limiting factor to a life of experiences and adventure. “Stuff” becomes a lot less important the more you travel. These are just things that weigh you down. Things that cause more stress in your life. Travel is a lot easier with just a backpack vs. carrying the kitchen sink with you. You’re accumulating experiences, not things after all. Things that will excite you are the intangible moments that you will enjoy and appreciate the rest of your life.
3. You’ll be more creative
Long-term international travel opens the mind to new experiences and new ways of thinking. The creative types, like writers and thinkers, have long used travel to gain inspiration. Just check out Ernest Hemingway, he drew much of his inspiration during his time in Spain and France. Mark Twain, sailed around the coast of the Mediterranean and wrote in his Innocents Abroad that travel is “fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” Many studies support this: Here, here, and here.
4. You will become a problem-solving superstar
Problem-solving is a vital skill in daily life which is why and travel allows you to nurture or learn this skill. Problem-solving is all about using logic and imagination, to make sense of your situation and come up with an intelligent solution to the problem at hand. What if you ran out of money during your travels? Well, how are you gonna get back home? How are you going to support yourself? How are you going to continue with your travels without money? Being out there with enforced problem-solving skills will only make your life and your travels easier.
5. You’ll appreciate home more
Absence makes the heart grow fonder right? Your experiences from abroad will make you appreciate all the little things you took for granted back home. The convenient stores that are open for 24 hours don’t exist in Salerno, Italy while it’s on every corner back home. You can’t just pay with plastic everywhere and not every place has a flushing toilet.
6. You’ll be more open to new things
Eating boiled sheep testicles in Basque Country or playing with venomous snakes in India is not something you do regularly. But when you get the chance to do crazy stuff, you do it. You’ll have epic stories to tell your grandkids, scars to make you look sexier, and just fun memories you can recall when the rest of your days are spent in a cubicle.
7. You can reinvent yourself to be a better you
Some people travel to gain a new perspective on life. Some use it to escape the misery of their current situation, to escape the corporate rat race, or just to be away from the cubicle walls. Traveling can help you a find meaning in your life. To find out what matters to you most and what you want to do with the rest of your life.
8. You’ll be more spontaneous and adaptable
Nothing will is set in stone and it shouldn’t be. Spontaneous adventures gain traction as you travel long-term. There will be a surprise in every corner, some good and some not so good. But that doesn’t matter. It’s all part of the greater scheme of living life and you should make the best of them.
9. You’ll be a Zen master
There’s no rush. No need to get to the office at 8 am. No need to beat the traffic jam. You’ll be taking it easy and enjoying the moment, you’ll go slow. Remember you’re not in a rat race anymore. You’re smarter than that. You will reach an inner calm and peace that you haven’t before from being in a constant state of work and stress.
10. You’ll be a happier person
Think about it. You can get up in the morning and not have to go to the office and be stuck in traffic. Drink beer if you want to for breakfast and not get in trouble. You can do whatever the heck you want and whenever you want within the confines of moral standards.
Check this out, there’s a study out that points to that just anticipating an experience like a vacation or activity makes you happier than anticipating getting “stuff.” The researchers studied peoples’ moods when they were waiting an experience or activity turned out happier than those waiting for stuff. It’s all about accumulating experiences, not things.
11. You’ll be more humble
Travel makes you very modest. It shows you how tiny you are in the scheme of things, with yourself and others, and just how vast our beautiful world is. It makes you wonder where you are and how you fit in the vast universe we live in.
IF NONE OF THESE CAN MOTIVATE YOU TO PURCHASE THAT PLANE TICKET, I DON’T KNOW WHAT WILL. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
PACK YOUR BAGS AND SEE THE WORLD!