Every year, we make commitments to ourselves. We’ll go to the gym more, finally organize the closet, eat healthier. Some we will accomplish, others we won’t.
But down at the very bottom of the list is the old standby – travel more. We’ll take that trip we’ve been promising ourselves for years. We’ll finally go on a “real” vacation. We’ll visit that friend overseas. This is the year! We feel it! And then work gets in the way. Or bills. One way or another, we never do seem to find time to sit down and schedule that trip.
But we should. And here’s why.
1. To Learn That Every Trip Is A Journey
“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends. The mind can never break off from the journey.” – Pat Conroy
Whether it’s your first trip or your hundredth, every trip you take is more than a series of locations. It is a journey through cultures, places, people, and yourself. You move not just through time and space, but through your own thoughts, feelings, and emotions, to destinations you had never imagined.
2. To Revel In The Memories
“Travel is glamorous only in retrospect.”– Paul Theroux
Sure, sometimes travel can be challenging. Weather is often uncooperative, things (or we) get lost, and the unfamiliar can be absolutely terrifying. But it is these, er, character building situations that furnish us with the best memories. “Remember that time we got lost in…” and, “I’ll never forget when you fell on the…” are often opening lines to the most amazing travel stories.
3. To Forget About Thinking In Miles
“Too often… I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen.”– Louis L’Amour
Too often we get so wrapped up in how far we still have to go, and how long it will take us to get there. When we travel, we are reminded that there is always time to stop and look around us, and experience wonder instead of worry.
4. To See Where Education Meets Experience
“Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of educations; in the elder, a part of experience.”– Francis Bacon
Today’s lessons are tomorrow’s experience. And you can never have too much of either.
5. To Discover Potential
“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.”– Freya Stark
When we travel, we have the unique opportunity to shape our own experiences. This is especially true if you are traveling alone. Every day is an opportunity to shape your own experiences, to make your own discoveries, and to fully immerse yourself in something and somewhere that is entirely new.
6. To Challenge Your Expectations
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.”– Aldous Huxley
Travel challenges our expectations like nothing else can. It encourages us to let go of our preconceived notions, drown out the words of others, and to truly think for ourselves. Forming your own opinions based on your own real experiences is far more rewarding than adopting those of others.
7. To Discover Life’s Secrets
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware.”– Martin Bube
No matter how carefully you plan your trip, travel will always hold its own surprises. Whether your secret destination is an unexpected place, thought, or feeling, you’ll have to take the journey to find out.