This is a question that every serious traveler should ask themselves at some point: “Why do you travel?”
Traveling is the gateway to the world. It is a means to see other cultures, different ways of doing things, recognizing your insignificance in the grand scheme of things; and allows you to come out the other end a more well rounded person.
Traveling challenges everything you thought you believed. It forces you to recognize that there are different ways of doing “simple” life tasks, and realizing that no way is better than another. In Europe for example, they typically air dry clothes; Spain takes naps in the middle of the day; the Chinese have made education a lifestyle. None of these concepts are better or worse ways of doing things… they are just different!
Travel is humbling. You find yourself looking back to everything you thought you knew about life, and re-assessing life through different eyes.
Travel comes with adventures and thrills! Life is never boring on the road, and through traveling you may become the person you want to be in life.
Through travel you will discover what is inherently important to humans everywhere. It gives you a front row seat to the qualities and priorities that everyone has. Family, food, work, and fun are important to all cultures! People are inherently interested in bettering themselves, taking care of their families, valuing friendships, and appreciating those things that make life easier.
Traveling crushes ecocentrism. It destroys egocentrism. It is enlightening and empowering and legitimizes human emotion. The world is full of unknowns, violence, misunderstandings, war, and poverty… but through traveling, we may draw our own conclusions. No longer does can biased news networks and propaganda machines tell you that your culture is blindly better than the rest of the world. There are positive attributes to every society and none of them have figured out the end-all answers.
Life will go on and people will strive for happiness everywhere. Through traveling you will gain perspective that no one can take away. Traveling gives you the power to say, “I have seen the world that you think you know. I have experienced the culture that you think is subordinate to yours. I have loved the people that you think you are better than.”
Traveling is the great equalizer. It is exciting, enlightening, humbling, and powerful. You will feel happier when you travel and feel more connected to your fellow humans. Travel for travel’s sake because at the end of the day, it will bring a smile to your face.