Summer break is on for most of us and my Facebook wall is flooding with updates, photos and statuses of people (including myself) having travelled here and here. It sucks for people who are breaking their heads over dissertations. There, there.
Anyway, as I was saying, I love travelling, so much so that if I ever won a million dollars, I would not feel guilty on spending the entire amount on travelling (well, obviously knowing me, I would spend some on chocolates…the evils of being a chocoholic!).
I have travelled abroad a lot on my parent’s money and have been fortunate to travel a little within India (only because travelling in India is kind of cheap and affordable) with my own hard earned money. And both are equally gratifying.
For those who love backpacking will get exactly what I mean, but for those who haven’t travelled (I kind of feel sad for you), here are my top five reasons why you should abandon whatever it is you are doing and get on the next train (cycle, bus, airplane… whatever suits you, mate!) to destination x, y or z!
Meet new people
Malaysian Airlines (not exactly the best example to quote as of now, still…) has very beautifully quoted: “Life is a journey in which we are all travelers and journeys are made by the people you travel with.”
When you set out to explore new territories you are bound to come across numerous people from divergent cultures with whom you can exchange ideas and this will inevitably enrich as a traveler. (I remember having my first crush during one of my travel expeditions.)
Absorb a new culture
A new place means:
- A new language (Did you know ‘Kia Ora in Maori means ‘Hi’?, maybe it doesn’t, I don’t remember, I think it does)
- New cuisine (there is something about locally made food which has no literal translation to another language but tastes amazing. Moreover, sometimes it’s best not to know what you are eating!)
- New beliefs, ideology and social etiquettes (random story: I remember this one time when this old Italian couple called us in for dinner when we passed by their house just for directions. Now, not everyone does it, but it’s nice when people do that, you feel welcome in unknown cities)
- New art forms such as folk dance, songs, adventure sports and instruments and even perhaps new technology (FYI: Queensland, New Zealand is an awesome place for adventure sports)
- New religion (or rather practices… world is full of weird traditions I tell you!)
It isn’t necessary that you embrace all of the above, but you will definitely learn to enjoy and appreciate them.
De-clutter your mind
Why do you think companies entitle employees for paid leaves (or if you are studying, term break)? It is because every living being gets exhausted and the employer (or academic institution) wants us to take a break and return fresh.
What better way to freshen up other than travelling to new places with unfamiliar faces and forgetting all your worries for some time (my attention span is so short that I run away every Saturday to check out a new city or town here in the UK)?
Setting out on a journey either alone or with friends always helps you to see beyond the horizon. It opens your eyes to newer aspects of life and you will tend to see the world from a different perspective which will help you in the process of self-discovery.
Before you comprehend the world and others, know yourself (I discovered that I don’t like the Iranian cinnamon tea and also that I am pathetic with directions).
It’s important to remember that some countries will require you to apply for a visa. Most of these, like Saudi visa, can be applied for online.
Pure shallow reasons
And if none of the above reasons entice you to travel, well then how about this bait—you get new places to check in and awesome pictures of new places to upload on Facebook and Instagram? Kind of sad, but seems like this is how everyone is rolling these days (Sometimes I check in at famous places even if I am unable to enter it due to expensive entry tickets)!
Hence, compromise on an expensive pair of shoes this month, save up, call in sick at work (or plan for the next term break) and prepare to go on a trip of a lifetime! Make new friends, memories, peace with yourself and grow rich in knowledge and experience!
What do you think? Have your say in the comments section below.