For years I’ve been teaching kids about the colorful cultures, people, and countries that make up our world (through my children’s book series) and I’ve learned many incredible insights along the way.
Traveling has taught me so much about both myself and others and I truly believe it’s an invaluable education for us all ( one that cannot be taught within the four walls of a classroom).
There are so many reasons I would encourage each and every one of you to travel, for now, though here is a list of my top five.
1. To Humble Yourself
Many of us come from a first world country, which has allowed us a certain standard of living. This includes yet is not limited to the basics of running water, food to eat, a roof over our heads and access to a basic education.
(That’s not to say that each of us hasn’t experienced our own set of struggles or even financial hardship at times), yet for the most part, we have been given the opportunity to not only survive but thrive.
However, this is is not the case for millions of people around our world right now and the more we travel the more our eyes are opened to a very stifling reality that many endure.
We become humbled when we discover that not everyone has access to food and water on a daily basis, which allows us to both connect with their struggles on a deeper level, as well as develop a greater appreciation of where we come from.
2. To Learn About Other Cultures
Despite the many adversities that people face around our world, we often find it’s those who have so little, who are the ones that greet us during our travels wearing a large smile upon their faces.
They emanate pure joy at the simple opportunity to invite us into their homes, share what little food they may have and proudly introduce their families. They too have many hopes and dreams if we are willing to engage and listen.
There are over 7 billion people on the planet right now, and yet despite our perceived cultural differences, beliefs and or language barriers we come to find that we are not really that dissimilar.
Through connecting and sharing stories with those we meet during our travels, we learn that all humans have the same basic universal needs which include the need to feel safe, the need to feel understood, and the need to love and be loved by others.
3. To Appreciate Experiences Versus Things
We live in a time when consumerism is at an all-time high and many of us have been conditioned to think that the more we buy or have, the happier we will ultimately become. Unfortunately many times we find that buying more stuff doesn’t equate with us feeling happier at all.
Sure, don’t get me wrong it may provide us with instant gratification, yet when the novelty subsides ( usually within a few hours, days or weeks), we are continually left with a void of some kind.
If our lives are lacking connection, love, adventure or purpose no amount of stuff is ever going to fill this perpetual void. However, choosing to fill our free time with meaningful experiences either solo or with those we love, provides us with a sense of adventure and childlike curiosity.
4.To Stay In The Pursuit of Magic
The more we seek, the more we find. Just because we grow up into well-meaning adults doesn’t mean we should ever lose our childlike sense of wonder or stop in our pursuit of magic.
From the time we are born we are constantly growing and discovering new things about ourselves and others and this should continue to be an ever-evolving process throughout our entire lives.
No one person has the same set of interests, likes, dislikes, etc yet through choosing to engage in new experiences as often as we possibly can ( ie trying a new hobby, taking a day trip, exploring somewhere new, or even going abroad), we allow our senses to run wild and explore.
This shapes our identity, creates a lifetime of meaningful memories and allows us to save a small fortune on buying a garage full of unfulfilling stuff.
5. To Connect
No, I don’t mean staying connected via the internet ( although the high-speed connection is always a good thing ;), rather I’m talking about connecting with other people and more importantly finding your tribe.
If we forever stay in the same town, only ever chatting with the same individuals we’ve known since grade school (or our fellow office workers we’ve known for the last 10, 20 or even 30 years), how will we ever be able to view life from a different perspective?
We may know what we know ( or think we know what we know), yet what about everything else? What about the amazing experiences yet to be had with like-minded individuals who we perhaps haven’t met yet?
If we never travel, we risk not meeting people who will either teach us something, encourage us to become something, or simply enrich our lives in some way.
The more you put yourself out there and engage with new people, the more you discover the types of people who you really want to be part of your tribe.
Ultimately, when we connect with like-minded individuals, whether it be family, hometown friends or people we’ve met throughout our travels, we establish a core group of positive people, who will powerfully encourage us to become the best version of ourselves.