“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.”
I know what you’re thinking. “Oh great, another article with unrealistic advice about how to travel that will make me feel bad about myself.”
Settle down, people. I know we can all make ourselves feel bad well enough on our own, I’m in the business of making people feel good.
So let’s get started and feeling great. Here are 6 reasons why you have got to make travel a priority right now.
1. You are a totally unique specimen to this world and you have a finite resource in which to share your splendour with us - your time of course.
If you add up all the hours in your life you spend working, preparing for work and doing errands, the number you have left to decide what to do with your special time is very minimal. By travelling, you put yourself in a situation where you can truly connect with the world around you, and that connection often creates a compass for how to utilise the rest of your most precious and valuable resource.
2. Not only does travel connect you to the world at large and help you to remember your place in it, it also connects your uniqueness to other people.
It reveals stark realities about your fellow (wo)man that you cannot possibly forget. On one end of the spectrum, it shows you the true consequences of war, famine and suffering. On the other, it reveals the shared compassion, humour and warmth of which humans are capable. It allows you to connect your unique one-in-7-billion existence with the rest of (wo)mankind.
3. “Travel is not a reward for working. It is education for living.”
Seeing the world may be a privilege but it is not a reward. The conditions that had to happen to get you to this point - you here, now, alive in the universe - with all of the things that could have gone wrong - it is a miracle that you are here. And getting to see just how amazing the whole thing is should not be a luxury taken once every couple of years. It should be part and parcel to your whole existence.
4. Travel will make you appreciate what’s unique about your home.
It’s impossible to go traveling without getting a new perspective on where you are from and what makes you special. Everybody talks funny, eats weird things and makes jokes you don’t always get. Suddenly it becomes clear on what you love most about your friends back home, your favourite foods and local hospitality.
5. Travel can bring you back to life.
Leaving your safe routine to challenge yourself lights up something within you that makes you remember who you truly are. If you haven’t left your comfort zone in a while and are beginning to feel numb, it is time to get out there and feel the wind on your face, the nervous energy of not knowing exactly what you are doing or where you are going. Giving in to uncertainty will remind you just how capable you really are.
6. There’s no such thing as “enough” when it comes to material gains and allocated time.
If you look back at your incredible ancestors a hundred years ago and see the kind of work that had to be done in order to simply put butter on bread or bring water to the house, you’d be reminded of just how efficient and innovative us human beings have become. And what do we do with that time? We fill it with a never ending desire for more things. The point is no matter how much you have, you can always add something to your list. Simplify that list and bring travel to the top of it.
There you have it folks. Making travel a priority right now has nothing to do with age or circumstances and everything to do with making it part of your lifestyle.
Author - Meghan Advent
Meg is one of the co-creators of Travelher and lives and breathes travel. She currently works for an e-commerce travel company in New Zealand and often sells herself on cruises and motorhome trips. Meg misses her family back in Canada and wishes someone would invent the teleport already.