If you’ve never traveled or you’ve had bad experiences traveling, you might be wondering, “What’s the point of traveling?” Over the years we’ve developed an appreciation for a certain type of feeling. A feeling that we long for, for which we experience a sense of nostalgia. A feeling that is love expressed through culinary tradition, warm wind lapping our faces like a dog’s tongue, crisp, salty, water baptizing us with a rejuvenated youthfulness. A rush of nostalgia brings this feeling back to us when conjuring a memory of Milos, Greece. Every detail of our experience in Milos has been encapsulated into a vile; simply pouring the contents into a Pensieve allows us to dive into that feeling and relive it over and over again. Each destination around the world has its own “feeling”, and we dream of experiencing all of them.
Writing a travel blog, we often get caught up in the what and the how of travel, but we rarely take time to discuss the why of travel. We focus more on destination travel guides, travel tips, and reviews of resorts, but seldom take the time to focus on why you should go on these trips in the first place. Why invest such a significant amount of money to gallivant around the globe? If you’ve ever traveled – ever truly traveled – and have had a life-changing travel experience, you know why. It’s all about the feelings.
While pondering these feelings and what truly fuels them, we began to compile a list of why else you should travel. Because, if you don’t have a point to travel, why go in the first place?
Travel to explore foreign lands and foreign destinations inside your soul. There’s an interesting dichotomy that exists with travel; travel is a tool that will help you find yourself but it can also be an escape that helps you lose yourself. Travel has given us the opportunity to try new activities, indulge in exotic cuisine, and discover the fact that we hadn’t entirely found ourselves in the limited bubble we had resided in for most of our childhoods. Similarly, knowing who we are, travel has allowed us to lose ourselves; to surrender to the unknown and allow fate to take control.
Traditional classroom education can only go so far. No book can bless you with the “feeling” you experience visiting Milos. No degree will teach you what the Florence leather market smells like. Travel to educate yourself in a way that books and school curriculum cannot. Travel is one of the rare educators in life that simultaneously increases both your book and street smarts.
They fear each other because they don’t know each other, and they don’t know each other because they don’t communicate with each other, and they don’t communicate with each other because they are separated from each otherDr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Sure, this quote was in reference to segregation in the US in the 1960s, however, it is perfectly applicable in relation to international relations in 2019. For us to truly become a global community, we need to remove the distance between ourselves. Walls, oceans, political agendas, and fear-mongering manufacture ignorance and hate that stem from fear. We are taught that other cultures are different from us – perhaps inferior – and for those reasons, they ought to be subservient. At the end of the day, what are the differences? We worship the same God but call him by a different name. We have different skin color but we are all one human brotherhood. We speak different languages, but they are all different dialects of love and a desire to communicate. So travel to eradicate hate in your heart and as each individual heart is purified, the world will become a better place.
The power of travel extends far beyond the individual. Travel with a partner, family, or even friends, creates unbreakable bonds and strengthen relationships. There’s something powerful about suffering together just as there is something equally transformative in sharing life-changing, jaw-dropping, once-in-a-lifetime experiences with someone you love. These 2 sides of the same coin are the molecules that bond together to form strong relationships. From our family vacations as children to our trips with our friends, and of course, our journey together around the world, happiness is truly best when shared. And, similarly, experiencing trials and tribulations with loved ones creates a common understanding and builds character in the individuals who rise above and overcome such adversity.
There is nothing we have found in life that allows an individual to experience all of the highs and lows of life in such a condensed period of time as travel does. Travel is like an elementary school teacher – responsible for teaching you every subject and also responsible for condensing those lessons into such a short timeframe. Travel will teach you many of life’s lessons in just a week or 2. If you travel extensively or embark upon a long-term journey, you’ll become infinitely wiser.
So what’s the point of traveling? Education, peace, stronger relationships, an opportunity to explore, and that “feeling” that you get from each destination. Whether it’s your first journey or your 1,000th, just go! Book a trip and chase those “feelings” you’ll hold dear forever.