"I travel because I'd rather look back at my life, saying 'I cant believe I did that' instead of 'if only I had…" - Florine Bos
We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty and adventures. There is no limit to the number of things we can experience in the world and how much we can gain from it.
I was lucky to see the world from a young age, and find a place where I can volunteer with people around the globe. The places I've seen and the experiences I've had made me realize how important it is to travel.
1. Put in perspective:
"I love places that make you realize how tiny you and you problems are"
When I climb a mountain and look at the amazing views of the mountains, rivers, and valleys, I understand how powerful the world is and how small I am. It makes me realize that no matter how big my problems seem to me, they truly aren't.
Even when traveling in the cities, seeing the way people live and their perspective of life, gives me understanding of the people's culture. From traveling we discover compassion and get a deeper understanding of life. Personally, I love seeing how people live and interact in their culture. Seeing this makes me reflect about my own culture and perspectives of life.
2. Expand your network:
Today, networking is one of the most important things. We all know it and work hard to expand it. Traveling is a great opportunity to do so. Especially while traveling solo or with friends it's easy to get to know more people. Sharing an amazing experience with a stranger during a trip automatically bonds you and the two are no longer strangers.
I volunteer in an international organization since I was 16. As part of our activities we had international conferences and exchange programs. I had the opportunity to know people from other countries, stay with the local families, and get to know their cultures. Those experiences expanded my network, and the memories we shared bonds us forever. Even though there's a big distance between us, we're still having a unique connection and even got to meet afterwards.
3. Real-life education:
"Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport"
Some things cannot be learned in school. We cannot understand the meaning of poorness until we see it. We cannot understand the idea of true happiness until we see people who "have nothing" enjoying the simple things in life. Exploring the world is giving us a glimpse into someone's culture, the unique traditions, languages, and the ways of living. Only when you travel you can truly experience authentic food, music, and culture.
I remember traveling in Thailand. I wouldn't be able to imagine living in these villages, without electricity, wi-fi, and the modern things I got used to. But these people were so happy. They have amazing traditions, dancing, and joy that I wish we had more in our lives.
Another lesson I had was on my trip to Spain. Before I went to Spain, I knew a little about their culture and traditions, but once I got there I had a whole different experience. When I traveled to Spain I stayed at my friend's house in Madrid. Her family hosted me, and I got the chance to eat their amazing food, get to know their language, and experience the city from an eye of a local.
I can go on and on about how much we can learn from real-life experiences that no school can teach. It doesn't matter where we'll choose to travel, we'll always going to learn something new.
4. Memories for Life:
"The most beautiful things in life are not things. They're people, places, memories and pictures. They're feelings and moments, and smiles, and laughter"
At the end of the day, when we're being ask what were the best moments of our life, the answer is never the job we got or the house we bought. It will be the people in our lives and the moments we shared. It will be an unexpected adventures and the roads we didn't plan on taking. Being out there and explore the world is giving us the opportunity to experience the best moments of our lives. These will be the stories we will tell our kids and grandkids and the ones we'll remember until our last day.
5. Knowing Yourself Better-
"As you travel solo, being totally responsible for yourself, it's inevitable that you will discover just how capable you are."
In each trip, especially while traveling solo we can gain understanding about who we are. It is when we are alone that we realize what our strengths are. We have to take responsibility on everything and then discover how much we are truly capable of.
6. Fun Exercise-
To be honest, I'm not a sport fan. I tried it many times, but I always get bored. On the other hand, I really love hiking. It makes me feel alive. See the different views, animals, plants, and most likely with good company. When we travel we don't notice that we're actually exercising. Swimming, hiking, or just walking between the streets are all activities we're doing when we travel.