Our world is diverse in so many aspects.
There are no two similar countries or two similar people. Every culture is unique, every place on our planet is nothing like others. From climate to cuisine, from customs to daily habits, literally, everything is exceptional and beautiful in its own way.
And here comes the best part: the world is endless for us to experience!
The more sights you see, the more dishes you taste, the more miraculous places you discover, – it all adds to who you are.
Here lies the importance of travelling. It changes you. A person who returned from a round-the-world trip is never the same as the one he or she used to be before. And the desire to go and explore more places becomes unstoppable.
The coolest thing about travelling is that the experience is actually different from one person to another. What I mean here is that if you take ten random people and gift them a journey to the same country, they will all come back with divergent memories and impressions, sometimes diametrically opposed.
With that said, here are my 10 really good reasons to travel the world!
1. You learn about different cultures when you travel
Travelling broadens your horizons not only physically, but mentally a lot as well.
When you only see your own country or region, you only know one culture – your own. Everyone is raised in similar way: people watched the same cartoons as you in their childhood and listened to similar narrations from their parents regarding what is right and what is wrong.
You think you know how the world should be, the right way of living, but there are so many other ways you probably don’t even know exist!
Learning about different cultures is a huge part of travelling abroad. You may watch movies and read books, but you can never understand a foreign culture unless you see it in your own eyes, take part in cultural events, and talk to locals.
The importance of travelling lays far behind the obvious: you should really understand the difference between a tourist and a traveler. The first one might come straight to the beach from the airport and stay there until vacation is over. There is nothing wrong with that approach, but that’s not travelling, even though you are physically abroad.
For a traveler, cultural sensitivity is one of the main things to seek.
They explore new places, engage with local communities, stay in homestays, and look for behind-the-scenes of the tourist-oriented facade. They respect foreign customs and religions they aren’t a part of. They embrace the world in its fullest and keep an open mind. They travel to learn instead of just crossing another country’s name off the list.
2. Travelling the world makes you interesting to talk to
Let’s imagine two people.
One has never been outside of a hometown, doesn’t really want to see anything else, and thinks about the travelers as of some weirdos who simply can’t stay put.
On the other hand, there is this cool friend who has just returned from a 3-week journey around Asia and is already planning the next trip to the Amazon rainforest. Okay, okay, it shouldn’t necessarily be that extreme. Let’s say this one just returned from a two-week language course in Spain.
The point is, who do you think sounds more interesting and intriguing to talk to? Which of them most people would like to be friends with? Who always has plenty of topics to discuss and who can people learn something new from? The answer is obvious.
Travelling kind of guarantees that you always have something to talk about, be it with a family member or a total stranger. If you aren’t spending your whole trip in a hotel room (and if you do, why even bother going?), you will definitely have something to tell your friends afterward.
I’ve never heard about anyone who came back from a trip and had no stories to tell.
3. You may learn new languages and practice them on your trips
There is no better way to learn a language than to be surrounded by it.
In Ukraine, my home country, people learn English for decades at school and university, and most of them can’t even maintain a decent conversation on some basic topic. This is incredibly sad.
Although if you don’t care about languages, skip to the next part right now. I know there are so many people who move to the US and ten years later still don’t speak English. It’s sad too, but if it’s not their priority, who am I to judge?
I’ve heard a ton of stories when someone learned a new language from scratch in just a couple of months. In most cases, the biggest push for them was a few weeks-long program abroad where they immersed themselves in a foreign language and had no other choice but to speak the new language.
Imagine that you came alone to a small Japanese town and decided to stay there for a month. You love it there, the only problem is that nobody speaks anything but Japanese. Will you improve your language skills after a month of living there? I bet you will, which adds another point to the importance of travelling!
Of course, you don’t have to learn the local language of every country you wanna visit. More often than not, English is universal and enough. Other times, online translator services and apps are your friends. Whether it’s Denmark, Russia, or Sri Lanka, you’ll be fine with English as long as you stick to bigger cities.
However, if you are already learning or interested in another language, there is no better place to improve it than a country where it’s spoken. When it’s naturally a part of your life on a daily basis, you can’t help but get better at it.
4. You get to experience new things for the first time
Unless you go to a new place, you are stuck with the experiences you already have.
In my trip to Sri Lanka alone I did so many new things I could never do in my home country!
Some of those things were watching dozens of baby elephants being fed milk, swimming with giant turtles, climbing a UNESCO-listed rock fortress, riding tuk-tuks, learning about Ayurvedic medicine in a spice garden, indulging in local Sri Lankan food, and so many more.
None of these new things I could do in my country. Not a single one.
Maybe your country is cool and diversified, but every other country out there is too.
And the food is rarely authentic unless you are there. Although if you don’t travel you have nothing to compare it to, so you might think it’s authentic when it’s not.
How can you know? You visit the country, stay in a homestay, eat homemade food made by a local housewife, attend some local cooking classes to learn recipes that have been in a family for generations. You try new food, a ton of new food for the first time. You see the ingredients that don’t even exist in your favorite supermarket at home.
Then you’ll know if that Chinese place across the street you like so much has anything to do with real Chinese food.
5. You step out of your comfort zone
Every new experience puts you outside of your comfort zone, it’s inevitable.
Staying in your familiar bed at home is comfortable. Standing in a huge airport surrounded by tons of strangers and signs in a foreign language is anything but comfortable.
The good thing? It makes you flexible.
The more you travel, the fewer things you stress about. After a while, you don’t worry so much about missing a flight or passing the customs. You feel more confident to ask the directions from random foreigners. The opportunities await, and you see them clearly now. As your horizons get wider and you stress less, your life eventually gets better on all levels and you are ready for the best travel experiences ever!
Adventures have the word ‘unusual’ in their very definition. Every adventure is something you are not used to in your daily life. You need to get uncomfortable before you get comfortable! If every daring experience seemed easy and usual, you wouldn’t feel excited about it, you wouldn’t remember it for life, and there would be nothing special in your routine life. And how miserable is that?
6. You find new friends on the road
No matter where you’re headed to, there will always be fellow travelers on every part of your road. And there always will be plenty of locals that aren’t as different as you may think.
For me, being an introvert, meeting new people on the road is actually easier than in my own neighborhood.
First, travellers are typically a more open kind of people. They look for new experiences and that includes other people by default.
If you are open to the possibility of finding new friends, you’ll have lots of great opportunities to do this while you travel. And those will not just be some strangers, but most likely people with similar interests to yours. After all, out of all infinite options out there, you’ve chosen to travel to the same place at the same time – what can be a bigger evidence of like-mindedness?
Second, there are often local events that you can attend in order to meet new interesting people. One of my best memories from our trip to Malaga, Spain were from language exchange events where we met not only malagueños, but also people from more than ten other countries! The coolest thing about those events was that everyone there is happy to meet you as this is what they come for!
In general, when you travel it’s easy to find different people that are not only sitting at home watching TV but are out there exploring the world the same as you do. Another good reason why traveling is important – it brings wonderful people into your life who you wouldn’t meet otherwise!
7. Travelling helps you escape your daily routine
Even in the process of preparing for the next trip, you get your head filled with new ideas and expectations that make you forget all the current trouble. The travelling itself is even more powerful! Between exploring beautiful beaches, climbing mountains, trying local cuisine, and finding the best Christmas markets, you’ll never have time to think about your boring routine tasks at home.
When you travel, every day is exciting!
Everything you experience is new and impressive, you decide what you want to do next, and there is no boss to spoil your day. In most cases, you don’t have a spare minute to be anxious about your usual issues. Leave all that stuff at home. When you travel abroad, you can be whoever you want to be, so enjoy everything as much as you can! Make sure to accumulate enough great memories to escape to when you get caught up in your routine back home.
8. You become a more confident person
My first solo trip to Europe gave me a huge boost of confidence.
I’m used to travelling with my husband and there are some tasks that are on him by default. When I arrived to the airport all by myself, I suddenly realized that I’m the one who has to deal with everything right now. Soon you find out that you can do a lot more than you think you can, and that’s when your confidence level starts to grow.
Sometimes when I walk with a friend who is in charge of directions, I don’t even notice where we are going. This is not the case when you are alone or in charge, your awareness mode is on at all times.
When you don’t have another person to rely on, you can’t escape taking everything in your own hands. Even if the trip is organized for you by an agent, you still have to be in control of all aspects of it. Keep an eye on your belongings, check flight details one more time, ask directions if necessary, and be aware of your battery level. You need to make sure you get the right amount of change in foreign currency and that your bus or train goes in the right direction.
When there are things you have to do by yourself, you have no choice but to stop being afraid and just do it.
9. You develop open-mindedness and tolerance
Another point on the importance of travelling is that it makes you a better person.
When you see a person of another skin color for the first time, it comes as a shock. After travelling for a while and being around all kinds of nationalities, you don’t even notice the difference anymore. You might still be curious about local traditions, unique clothing items, and someone’s ideology, but you learn to respect everyone’s views and become more open to contradictions.
The more cultural discrepancies you face, the easier it becomes for you to deal with other people’s differences. When you experience strange behavior and maybe some traditions that are very much outside your comfort zone, you learn to embrace the distinctions and look at things from a different angle. Later in life, it might help you a lot to be a good friend and deal with controversial opinions.
10. Travelling together strengthens your relationships
All kinds of travel companionship are great.
I experienced all versions: travelling solo, together with my husband, with a group of girlfriends, with a group of strangers on a bus tour. You name it, I tried it.
No doubt, there are benefits to each of these, and you don’t have to choose only one way!
I usually travel with my husband, but if there is an opportunity to go on a trip with friends, I’ll jump at it too.
Of course, not every person is good for you to travel with. There is this quote that I love and it’s soooo true:
Sometimes your friends have different things in mind. If you don’t like the same way of travel and can’t agree on anything during a trip, maybe that’s not the right person for you to travel with. There can be compromise, but in general travelling with friends should enhance your experience, not worsen it in any way.
When you explore together, share amazing experiences, and solve the problems as a team, it unavoidably strengthens your relationship. Not only you create mutual memories to reminisce on later, but you improve the bond that keeps you together for years to come.
Final words on why travelling is important
As much as I love travelling and want everyone to do it just because it’s awesome, I tried to explain the importance of travelling and its benefits in a logical way. Do you agree with my points? Tell me what you think in the comments!
At the very least, you probably see that travelers are much more attractive people than couch potatoes. Don’t take me wrong here: I don’t think that everyone who doesn’t travel is boring and unworthy to be friends with, no way! My only point here is that people with expanded horizons and unique life experiences are usually much more interesting to talk to, and travelling is a great way to get some valuable life lessons. But as you can see, this is just a small part of the importance of travelling.
Of course, I’m not saying that you should throw your life away and go live out of a suitcase. (Although for some people out there it’s exactly the dream lifestyle – myself included.) But I strongly encourage you to look for more opportunities to travel – just apply your comfort pace to it.
So how about you go google some new destination right now? And then come back and share what your next journey will be! I’m looking forward to reading about your exciting plans! Sri Lanka is one of my absolute favorites, so make sure to check it out.