I can still remember the world atlas my aunt gave me when I turned seven. It was a big atlas; whenever I couldn’t play with my cousins, I scanned the atlas and memorized every city and country printed on it. Little did I know, it was already a sign that I would desire to travel the world.
We all have reasons why we want to travel. According to the United States Travel Association, 82% of Americans travel because they want to reduce stress or relax; 81% to make memories; 78% to have fun, and more.
In my case, I wanted to travel because I needed a break from exhausting work. I bet you experienced burnout too. Am I right? If yes, high-five! We are all in this together! LOL. If not, well, you are so blessed! I quite envy you – just kidding.
However, escaping stress is not my driving force to travel anymore. The treasure I found during my earliest travels replaced it. Nope, they are not bounties. They are the experiences I earned that helped me grow to overcome my hardships.
My early travels were trips conducted once a month for a year. These gave me a portion of the treasure that traveling could provide. Having a taste of it makes me crave more. That’s why I want to travel the world.
I listed below the realizations of some modern travelers and travel bloggers who have come to different parts of the world. These are the treasure and good reasons we should travel the world.
Reason #1: It is a Joyous and Humbling Experience
Dave Samuel is an engineer who has been to 54 countries and has lived in hotels and planes for years. Dave was born in the United Kingdom, and his travel around the world has been a humbling experience. In his reply to a question in Quora, he said:
“The country I’m from is amazing. We have one of the least corrupt countries going and some of the best welfare in the world. Yet we as a nation are miserable. Seeing how happy people can be with so little in poor countries puts life in perspective and makes me appreciate what I have a lot more.”
At the same time, he mentioned, though tiring and overwhelming, traveling is still a joyous activity. His spontaneous experiences in Laos, Japan, Thailand, Australia, and The United States are what he treasures the most. He said those are the experiences that no money can buy.
His experiences denote traveling the world as an ironic activity. It makes us smile at things that put us on the ground – a conglomeration of humility and happiness. These are the two attributes that help us attain a fulfilled life.
It is beautiful that travel gives us happy memories to cherish, but it also teaches us humility – the one that bears more weight. Why? Because it allows us to grow and create genuine connections with other people. More importantly, it is a powerful attribute of growth that facilitates learning.
Most of us won’t be traveling the world for the rest of our lives. We will be settling in a home with a family and achieving other goals. Humility will catalyze the process of making them happen.
Reason #2: World travel will show you the beauty of diversity
Before I started working on this site, I was inspired by bucketlistly – a travel blog created by Pete, a Thai and a backpacker who has traveled around the world for 8 years and counting. I admire his blog because of its aesthetics and content.
While I read his blog post about his realizations from his travels, I came through a paragraph that contains, “Before this (traveling), I would often discard people whose lives do not align with mine, but after 7 years on the road, I have a newfound appreciation and respect for those who are confidently leading their lives in their unique ways.” – I paused for a while and think.
I agree. Heck, we are in the same shoes. It is amazing to find something from the internet that exactly fits your thoughts and realizations. Now, it makes me wonder how many of us have been there?
When you travel the world, it is compulsory to meet different people. Like the person beside you on your flight, the stranger you will ask to take a photo of you, the backpacker with you share a room in a hostel. No matter how much you try to avoid people, conversing with strangers is inevitable.
I remember the time when we meet two South Koreans during our tour in Vietnam. We were in the back seat of the bus when they said hi to us. There, we started to know each other and tell stories about our lives.
I learned that these two South Koreans are business partners, and they are having a vacation for a week in Vietnam. After we shared every simple thing about ourselves, we then began cracking jokes with each other. It’s fun to share the day with them, though. They made the day extra fun.
The thing I liked the most about our bonding was that it seemed we had already known each other for a long time. Though the language barrier hindered us from expressing ourselves fully, I think we still did understand each other. What’s cool is, even if we were very different from each other, we still managed to have fun together.
I learned from that encounter that we humans, no matter how different from one another, are all the same. We are all looking for happiness – and it is the thing which we all should enjoy together. Then, if we find ours different from theirs, we should then respect it; let them be happy with what they want.
You know, I struggled to accept other people’s differences in the past, particularly with some of my friends. But after traveling, I became more mature and understanding. I started weighing more on all the good things we had together. It became easier for me to acknowledge what matters the most, especially in making and maintaining relationships.
Reason #3: You’ll find where you belong
It was in the year 2018 when I suffered from anxiety with my work. It was also the year when I also discovered Mark Manson’s website. Yep, everybody knows it, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck. I admit he gives life advice that does not suck!
Mark Manson is not only a good writer, but he is a traveler as well. That’s why he’s the man! In one of his blog posts, he enumerated five lessons he learned from five years of traveling. There is one point in there in which I want to experience the most; that is:
You realize that there’s something to be said for limiting oneself, not just geographically but also emotionally. That there’s a certain depth of experience and meaning that can only be achieved when one picks a single piece of creation and says, “This is it. This is where I belong.” – Mark Manson.
The internet has played a big part in my cultivation as a person and as a millennial. It introduced me to the interconnected world and modern societies – the source of my idealism. Growing up in a conservative, slowly developing country, I always find myself in conflict with the community where I grew up.
I do not mean violence with conflict, but just only a vexation inside my head. It seems I’m always caught between the friction of rusting and antiquated cultural beliefs versus the ways of modern society. Then, whenever I speak my mind, people satirize me. I bet you’ve been in the same place once, right?
This is why I want to travel the world. Like Mark Manson has said, in a world journey, we will discover many cultures that built their country’s social structure. We will meet people who have many opinions and beliefs. We will have the opportunity to immerse our whole being to find a place where we belong.
Finding where we truly fit and be in a place where our minds find peace is a compelling reason we should travel the world. Ultimately, as per guardian.com, one of the biggest regret people say before they die (and what we should avoid) is, “I wish I’d dared to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
Go, find the place where you truly belong. Never let the society where you are currently located ruin your life forever.
Reason #4: Overcoming fears will be easier
Shannon O’Donnell is one of my favorite travelers and writer out there. National Geographic recognized her as the traveler of the year in 2013. She has a blog where she writes her pieces of advice for other travelers. I also love her book, Volunteer Traveler’s Handbook, published in 2012.
“Travel taught me that when you feel resistance, it’s that very first thing that you will like find most rewarding on the other side.” I found this line in one of her blog posts, and so far, it is the one that I can relate to the most.
I remember the first time I jumped off a 50-foot cliff in a canyoneering activity in Cebu, Philippines, where my knees shook badly from my fear of heights. I probably looked ugly as I trembled and shouted in nervousness before jumping. LOL. But, hey, after I made my first jump, I did not want to stop trying again and again.
I cannot forget the feeling of being at the edge of a cliff. It is a mixture of fright and excitement. Thrilling. Whenever I recall that moment, I still get goosebumps.
My first jump was a sweet release. I was laughing and shaking after my leap while I got off the water. I tell you, I am biting my lip right now because I feel undeniably proud of myself. I did not know that I could do it.
Like me, you will see how good it is to face your fear and nail it! You will see how traveling could empower you. It will change your mindset from whatever you have now to an offensive stance – your first step in becoming successful.
After your travels, you will be ready more than ever to achieve your goals. You will be unstoppable. Fear will no longer stop you from taking that chance, that opportunity. It will start your way to success.
Reason #5: Become a better version of yourself for others
“I realized that I was capable of pushing my body’s limits and that it’s something that’s actually worth doing. I realized what was possible and became instantly hooked on the rush of having new experiences.” – Lexie
These are the words Lexie Alford said in her TED talk about the life lessons of the youngest person to travel to every country. Yep, you read it right, she is the youngest person who has been to every country in the world. In her speech, she discussed her experiences of getting out of her comfort zone.
While I was writing this blog, I was also listening to her; and I paused from writing in the middle of her talk. I heard her statement that resembled my experience. Remember my story from the previous section of the blog, when I tried jumping off a cliff in canyoneering on an island in the Philippines?
However, getting out of our comfort zones does not only mean going to thrilling and unsafe places. Lexie believes that there is a correlation between our comfort zones and our mind, body, and soul. Getting adventure is only an activity that moves us out of a portion of our comfort zone – the one that is controlled by our body.
When Lexie traveled to some parts of the world alone for seven and a half months, she was able to get out of her comfort zone, that is controlled by her mind. That is her fear of being alone. Through that time, she learned how to be alone without being lonely.
Additionally, Lexie’s time with herself alone changed how she thinks about the people in her life. “Now I have an appreciation for the time that I get to spend with the people that I care about the most in a way that I used to take for granted before I knew what it was truly like to be alone,” Lexie said.
We see from her story that traveling the world will not only help us move out of our comfort zones and become a better version of ourselves. It will also make us realize the importance of some things or people we commonly take for granted. Thus, we become an improved version of ourselves for others too.
Reason #6: Develop an attitude of a successful person
At the age of 32, he has been to every country in the world; Lee Abbamonte is my hero. He is my inspiration when it comes to both travel and success. I think I found the most essential lesson traveling the world would require and teach us on his blog. It is also the same thing we need if we want to succeed in life.
What makes him my hero is he was able to travel even though he was not born rich. All he got was hard work, a strong dose of decisiveness, and the courage to leap of faith. His attitude helped him accomplish visiting every country in the world.
Traveling the world requires a lot of money and time. If we want to do it, then we have to work hard, make compromises and make tough decisions like Lee did before he started traveling the world. He said:
“I believe that good things happen to good people, and we all get what we give in life, work, relationships, etc. If you sacrifice and take smart risks, then you will usually be rewarded. If you want something – go out and get it, take it – nobody will give you anything. You have to work hard to make money in this world.
If you want to travel more, you need two things, time and money. It drives me crazy when people say, “I wish I could travel more.” If you want to – make it happen. Develop a plan and go for it. You can do anything you want, but doing great things takes sacrifice and risk. It’s not luck. “- Lee Abbamonte
At the end of the day, it is the good attitude that we will learn before and during traveling the world that shall matter the most. Why? First, we need it to accomplish our world travel; most importantly, it should play a big role in making us successful with our other goals in life.
Reason #7: You can potential inspire other people too
At this point, I want to tell you that all of these travelers are inspiring me now – to pursue my dream to travel the world. Have you been inspired too?
I want to have the same feelings, experiences, and learnings they share with the world.
You see, we are going to be like them someday. We will have adventures, have international friends, and learn about many cultures. Our fears will only be a story in the past as we set foot in the place where we truly belong.
We will grow exponentially, both for ourselves and others. Fulfillment and meaning would come along as our dream of traveling the world ends. Then, after the months we spent wandering, finally, it’s time to go back home.
At that time in the future, we know in ourselves that we are filled with so many stories. Underneath those stories are moments and lessons, we now consider treasures. The treasure that genuinely made us happy. The happiness that we know would not just fade away.
This treasure, if we share them like the people I mentioned above did, could potentially inspire others. It could be your children, your friend, or even strangers. It is going to be a beautiful cycle. A cycle that makes the people better for themselves and everyone else.
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