“Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.” – Unknown
If you were to win the lottery today, what would you do? Buy a house? A car? Invest it or buy some fancy clothes? While all of those options may sound appealing, I would put them all aside to travel.
Honestly, if it weren’t so expensive, I would probably spend my entire life traveling. It’s entertaining, it’s rewarding and it’s life’s biggest adventure. I’ve always believed that travel is the ultimate education.
Whether its domestic travel or international travel, there is always something to be learned. I’ve done my fair share of both, and just wanted to share with you guys my top five reasons that I think everyone should travel – especially while young.
1) It changes the way you see the world:
If I hadn’t traveled so much as a child and in my teens, I don’t think I would have such an open mind about the world. When traveling, you learn quickly that your way of living can be so different from someone else’s way of living. This can include diets, mindsets, day-to-day activities, and accepted social norms. Traveling helps you realize that it is possible to live differently and that we should accept and celebrate the differences that we see in the world and each other.
2) It introduces you to an infinite amount of new experiences:
When you travel, you begin to realize just how small your own world at home is. You get to experience new foods, new kinds of people, new cities, new modes of transportation (shout out to Porós for its donkey-only method of getting around), and new cultures. Even the different regions in America can feel like a foreign country sometimes. Traveling can introduce you to things that you may not have ever had the opportunity to experience had you not stepped out of your comfort zone and visited a new place.
3) You get to meet people that will change your life forever:
One of my favorite parts of traveling is the people that I meet. Every new person that you meet when traveling affects the outcome of your trip. These people can become the highlight of your favorite travel story or friends for life. They encourage you to try new things and help you break out of your shell.
From fellow students in living my the hotel/dorm hybrid when I studied abroad, to the 30-odd insanely wonderful people that I toured Europe with, to our tour leader (a Romanian native who was going to school in Vienna and living in Italy at the time), to my friend and now pen pal in Seattle, to the two Australians, doctor from Minnesota, couple from Hawaii and the regular at the local pub that I met in Ireland, you really never know who will touch your life forever.
4) It’s educational:
Travel makes history real. You can walk the halls of Versailles in France, take a tour or Westminster Abbey in England, see the ancient ruins of Pompeii in Italy, and walk through the site of the Acropolis in Athens. The things you learned about in school suddenly become real and tangible. Seeing these buildings, sites, and cities helps you visualize how people lived in the past and makes everything you learned suddenly way more fascinating. Because honestly, walking through these historical places is way more interesting than learning about them in a textbook.
5. It gives you a sense of accomplishment:
Traveling has always made me feel like I’ve conquered something. Not in an Alexander the Great kind of way, but in a sense that I challenged myself to go to a new place, try new things, and immerse myself a new culture and still made it out alive. It helps me break out of my shell and gives me confidence that I can do anything. Because if I can read a map in Italian and get myself home after a night of drinking, I truly can tackle anything.
So if you were to win the lottery today, where would you travel? What would you learn?