I doubt I’ll have to try too hard to convince you that traveling is a good idea. It’s one of the most common items found on bucket lists around the world. But few people realize the true extent of the impact travel can make on your life. Traveling is fun, absolutely. But did you know it’s been scientifically proven that travel makes us smarter, more open to growth, and increases job prospects? Travel can also revitalize the mind and neural pathways to enhance creativity and trust of the unknown.
Now I’m no scientist, but I could talk for days about why I travel. I was born and raised with wings. No, not actual feathered wings (…idiot). My wings are the ability to travel pretty much whenever and wherever I want. It’s been a part of my life as long as I can remember and has shaped me inextricably.
Thus, I’m devoting this minuscule plot of internet land to express my love and gratitude to Travel. So, keep coming at me, bro. I’m ready.
Why I Travel
I never really thought about needing to have a reason to travel, I just do. As long as my heart is beating, my mind is curious, and the world is turning, I will travel. I travel to shorten the list of presumed differences between unfamiliar people and places, to remind myself of the basic hopes and needs of every living creature. I travel to connect and appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature. I travel to expand and refine my tastes and awareness. I travel to learn.
At its core, travel is equivalent to learning, and I pray I never become presumptuous enough to assume I’ve learned it all.
Look for the Stories
“If I’m an advocate of anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food.”
– Anthony Bourdain
Bourdain’s words had been nestled in an oft-opened note in my phone years before his passing. He had a rare and poignant way of conjuring words with a poetic frankness that made him…a really fucking hard act to follow. So don’t think for one minute that I’m going to try to beat that guy with this post, because I can’t. He was one of a kind.
I like to think I travel in a similar fashion, though. Eyes wide open, observing: looking for the differences, the similarities, the stories. There’s a story you haven’t heard around every corner. In the food you eat, the cobblestones you stand on, the clothes people wear, and the manner in which they speak. Travel gives you the chance to hear these stories, and if you’re lucky, live them for a moment.
My Challenge to You
I don’t care what your reason is, what previous negative experience you had, or what expectations you carry. Toss all that to the side and just go. Go somewhere new and unfamiliar. Go somewhere wild and without “safety nets”.
I dare you. I dare you to throw yourself out into the world and see what happens. Don’t overthink it, don’t plan too much. Love yourself enough to leave space for opportunities to learn, fail, and grow along the way. Raw travel is a quick ticket to personal growth.
There will be moments that are scary and exciting at the same time. There will be moments when you remember what it feels like to be a little kid, discovering an entirely new world armed only with questions and curiosity. Choose to embrace those moments, be certain of nothing beyond your commitment to an open mind and heart and I promise you’ll come out on the other side better for it.