Why is traveling important?
Mark Twain wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
With today’s political climate, we can’t help but think now is a particularly excellent time to travel. First, because Mr. Twain is right, it does help shift our perspective by broadening our awareness of other people and cultures. It also puts our own life into perspective as to the space we fill on this planet. And additionally, because everyone could use a time-out right now from social media, the news, and technology!
Travel makes you healthier.
This may seem counter intuitive if you think of airports and airplanes and the germs we share there. That’s understandable. But that’s a micro part of travel. It’s really about the bigger picture- the long term benefits. Studies have shown that men and women who take more frequent vacations (think, once or twice a year) have a lower risk of heart disease. It makes sense since traveling reduces stress and clears your mind, so you come back feeling refreshed. It’s like a spring cleaning for mind and spirit. If you don’t reset often enough, the heaviness of everyday stress will weigh you down. We all need to take some time to enjoy life before it’s too late.
Travel helps you grow as a person.
Any time you put yourself into a new situation, you develop new skills and strengths. It could be navigating unknown streets, figuring out train stops, achieving a physical challenge like hiking or climbing, or learning new phrases in another language. By moving out of your comfort zone, you give yourself an opportunity to shine! And you feel good when you tackle a new challenge and succeed. Additionally, you can learn about a different culture, architecture, and new foods! Maybe you’ll try a new dish that you never knew you liked. Or realize you’re good at something you had never tried before! It enhances your knowledge, and makes you a more interesting person. This kind of hands-on experience isn’t something that can be taught. It’s an investment in yourself.
You make new friends.
A lot of life-long friendships have been made while traveling. There’s something about sharing new experiences with people that creates a special bond. Whether it’s during the adventure of an excursion, a conversation on a train ride, or over cocktails at the bar, there are so many opportunities to connect with people along the way. And if you’re on a retreat, even more so. Retreats are a great way to get to know other like-minded people from different areas of the world.
It helps you appreciate what you have.
It’s fun and interesting to experience new ways of life. But no matter how beautiful, relaxing, or fun another place is, it always feels good to come back home. Your family may seem a little less annoying. Your bed or your favorite spot on the sofa will feel extra cozy. Or depending on where you travel to, maybe you’ll be grateful for a nice, hot shower. No matter how happy you are with your life, stepping out for a bit and coming back with a fresh attitude is always a good thing.
Make it happen.
Don’t miss out on all the fun and other great benefits of traveling. You deserve to have these experiences. And, you’ll be a better person for it. Don’t let your responsibilities hold you back. We promise they’ll still be there when you return. When we get too rigid, we break. You’ll come back feeling refreshed and ready to take on life with a new and improved attitude! Go ahead and book that trip you’ve been thinking about for years. You won’t regret it.
I totally agree – will be traveling for the first time in over 2 years next month, and I can’t wait!