On the surface, travel is about seeing new places and (if you’re heading abroad to volunteer) giving a bit back at the same time. But underneath it is so much more, opening your horizons to experience completely different cultures, cuisines and landscapes. While photos are proof that you went and saw, it’s the transformation that takes place within that is often the strongest evidence of why travel is important.
Some argue that it’s an indulgent expense, spending money to travel that could be spent saving for a home loan or “building for the future”, but travel addicts would debate a strong case against this. It’s not about ticking off the “bucket list” and being able to recount all the countries you’ve visited, but the way travel impacts you as a person, your interactions with others and your humanity towards the rest of the world.
So if you need a little help convincing yourself or others why traveling is a worthy pursuit, here are ten reasons why it’s important.
1. It gets you out of your comfort zone
Whether you travel independently or as part of an organized tour or volunteer placement, you’re stepping into a completely new world that may be well out of your comfort zone. Perhaps you’ve never traveled alone before or being around people other than your close family and friends makes you feel intimidated. But once you take the plunge, you’ll probably be surprised at the transformation that takes place. Chances are you’ll find a confidence you never knew you had and be able to take on challenges you never would have tackled previously.
2. It puts life in perspective
If you’ve grown up with all the comforts of the modern world and had the opportunity to go to school or even university, it’s easy to forget that this isn’t the case for everyone in the world. Traveling to other countries, particularly those in the developing world, can be a big wake up call and put your own life in perspective. Things that you may take for granted, like having running hot water, modern appliances and the opportunity to study and get a well-paid job at the end of it are not available to everyone, purely because of where they were born. You’ll probably come away with a new appreciation for everything you have and the opportunities that life throws your way.