When people think of travelling, many think it is just out of their reach. Something that you do if you’re wealthy or comfortably retired. However, travelling is one of the most enriching experiences that people can have in their life and should be a priority for everyone at any stage of life (particularly in our younger years!).
There are countless benefits to travelling which make a very compelling argument as to why we should all prioritise travel. We broaden our worldview, learn about how other people live, get to know ourselves and others better, break the mundane cycle of everyday life and we can also learn valuable lessons.
Continue reading to discover 8 reasons why everyone should prioritise travelling throughout their life.
1. Create true lifelong memories, stories & personal fulfilment
Travelling is probably the most powerful way to make lifelong memories (perhaps apart from having a child or getting married!). The places you see that take your breath away alongside the extraordinary experiences you have and people you meet so far outside of your ‘regular’ life leave very deep impressions on your memory bank.
Honestly, one of the best parts about travelling is being about to relish the memories, tell stories of what happened and reminisce on your adventures with people you travelled with or met along the way.
Is there anything sweeter than that?
What’s more, is that travelling allows you to actually see places that you perhaps never dreamed you would be able to see. Perhaps you grew up watching movies set in New York or you’ve always been fascinated by ancient civilisations like the Mayans or the Egyptians. Maybe you’ve always wanted to see a lion in the wild or stand in the shadows of Mt Everest. All of the bucket list adventures may be more accessible to you than you think!
When you get to create powerful memories and tick off dreamy bucket list items, you create a recipe for deep personal fulfilment that lasts as long as the memories you make.
2. Travelling is good for you!
Not only can you find deep personal fulfilment and achieve your bucket list goals while travelling but you can also improve your health! Travelling can have a positive impact on both our mental and physical health.
When we travel we remove ourselves from our everyday life. We take away our stresses, and worries and take time for ourselves to explore, rest and reset. Travelling also exposes us to new experiences and we meet new people. All of these things can have a very positive impact on our mental well-being. This can leave us stronger and better able to cope with the stresses of everyday life when we return (even if we do have to go through the post-holiday blues briefly)!
Another thing that happens when we travel (unless we’re staying at an all-inclusive resort on an island!) is that we become much more active by default. Gone are the days of sitting day in and day out and a desk and eating out of boredom or habit. And in come the active days of walking, exploring, swimming and going on other adventures! Usually, we only remember to eat when we need to out of necessity, not boredom or routine. This can have a positive impact on our physical health.
3. Travelling teaches us to live in the present moment & experience freedom
One of the most compelling reasons to make travel a priority is its ability to pull you into the present moment instantly. When we travel, we tend to become fully focused on the day ahead of us. We are consumed by how to get to a place or where to go to eat or what is right in front of us that the worries about the future and any sadness about the part seem to melt right away.
Time seems to slow down as you begin to appreciate and be fully present for every moment and experience. There’s nothing like trying to catch a public bus in a place like India to draw you into the moment! When we begin to live like this outside of the confines of our job, financial responsibilities and adult life in general, we can tap into a sense of freedom and liberation (warning this is highly addictive!).
This can have a profound impact on our sense of peace and happiness. This mindset can follow us home as well and continue to benefit us!
4. Experience different cultures
Another incredibly compelling reason to prioritise travel is to experience different cultures. No matter where you’re from, you predominately have experienced the culture you were born into and have been conditioned and moulded to fit into that culture and way of life. However, there are countless cultures out there in the world. Every single country has its own distinct culture that can be fascinating to learn about and be immersed in (even if it’s relatively close by).
Having these experiences can help you gain a deeper understanding of others and build a tolerance for different ways of life, values, viewpoints and opinions. This can help make you into a well-rounded human being with a wide view of the world we live in. You will learn to appreciate diversity and have a broader understanding of what life is like. It can also help you break down stereotypes and misconceptions about different places and people. You may be incredibly surprised to learn that almost all humans are good people (there are exceptions in EVERY country of course) and will be more than willing to help you (even if you can’t understand a word each other is saying!).
Another side effect of this is that travelling can really put into perspective how lucky you may be to come from your home country. You may notice quite obviously how your standard of living and your rights and privileges are far different to people just like you from different cultures. You may come home with a renewed sense of gratitude for where you come from and see where you have taken things for granted.
5. Step outside of your comfort zone & grow
You know what they say ‘life beings and the end of your comfort zone’. It’s cliche but it is actually so true! Just step outside of your comfort zone and you will see for yourself.
Travelling away from home, whether it is near or far, is a very effective way to step out of your comfort zone (especially if you’re solo travelling!!). Whether is it navigating how to get from A to B, talking to someone in a different language, trying new foods or just being somewhere so vastly different from where you are from. All of these things push the edges of our comfort zone.
As we move out of our comfort zone we begin to expand it. We find that we become more confident and resilient, capable of taking more leaps of faith and even going after our dreams. This is how we grow and evolve! By taking the risk of stepping on a plane and figuring out a new place you can achieve rapid expansion as an individual.
6. Get to know yourself on a new level
Another incredible thing about travel is its ability to reveal who you truly are to yourself. When you step outside of your home town, your routines, family and friend circles and habits you may actually realise you have no idea who the hell you really are!
Then begins the process of self-discovery and self-awareness. Travelling is one of the most powerful ways to learn about yourself. See where your boundaries are, try new things and see what you actually like, hang out with different types of people and discover who you truly vibe with. We can come back from our adventures more confident in who we are and what we actually want out of life. This is one of the greatest gifts travelling has to offer us.
7. Build & nurture relationships new & old
Travelling is one of the best ways to create new relationships and nurture existing ones.
There’s only one thing better than creating unforgettable memories and ticking off bucket list items and that is doing those things together with someone you love. And yes you can absolutely love someone you met yesterday in your dorm room (ask any avid traveller!).
As mentioned above, when we travel we are instantly dropped into the present moment. This makes us much more open and receptive to the people around us, whether they are new friends, our partners or our parents we’ve known our whole life. This means you can create deep meaningful lifelong connections while travelling and memories that will be cherished together.
If you are in a relationship, going on a trip together can take you out of the humdrum of everyday life and allow you to have amazing moments together and quality time. Even travelling without your partner can strengthen your relationship as you give each other space to miss each other making the reunion so sweet.
If you have children you can help them form core memories and teach them about the diversity of the world from a young age. And travelling with friends is one of the best ways to connect and nurture a friendship and create wild memories that you’ll be telling people about until you’re old and grey.
8. Because you’re still in great physical condition!
Don’t wait until you’re retired!
Many people put off travelling until they’re retired or the kids have flown the nest. Don’t make this mistake! When we’re older, we are less physically able and energetic. Doing the Inca Trail or hiking to Basecamp (or insert another bucket list adventure) may be completely off the cards for you by the time you get around to actually being able to do it. We also tend to be less adaptable to change, different environments and discomfort. All things that are very important to be able to cope with when travelling.
Don’t miss out on your best years of being able to explore the world in an intrepid and adventurous way while you are still able.
Plus there are absolutely no guarantees in life. You may not even be here to enjoy your retirement.
There are plenty of people who successfully traverse the globe into their twilight years and you should do that too but don’t miss out on seeing the world when you are physically in your prime.
Everyone can travel! You don’t need to have loads of money and time freedom.
You may be wondering how on earth am I supposed to afford jet setting multiple times a year. Especially if you have other big responsibilities such as kids and a mortgage. Certainly, at different times in our life, other expenses take priority over travel in our budget. However, it often comes down to how badly you really want it.
Most of us can make things happen if we want them badly enough and truly see their value. It is the same with travelling. People who travel a lot, aren’t necessarily wealthy, they have consciously chosen to make it a priority and maybe have compromised in other areas of their life.
When you commit yourself to a lifestyle of exploration and adventure, and you begin to see all of the permanent benefits of making travelling a priority it will be much easier for you to justify making time and money for travelling.
Travel also doesn’t have to entail big expensive journeys to the other side of the globe.
You can still invoke the essence of travel and adventure by going on small trips locally in your home country and even your home city. Search what travellers do in your neighbourhood and go for it! Book a night at a popular hostel nearby and take a weekend staycation or choose an affordable destination.
There are affordable countries across the globe & ways to make it work financially!
Here is a list of 30 of the most affordable countries to travel to in the world in 2023 - there will be one near you!