Having been inspired by a post I read on 5 reasons to travel while you’re young I decided to dedicate a page to my top ten reasons to traverse the globe….at any age!
1) To experience new cultures and customs – I think we are all guilty of being a bit stuck in our ways sometimes and have a tendency to become complacent and afraid to venture outside of our comfort zones. Travelling gives us the chance to challenge our perceptions and beliefs and this in turn makes us more worldly, understanding and educated people.
2) To meet new people – One of the joys of travelling is meeting new people. Whether it’s in a coffee bar or on the train, travelling gives us the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people from all walks of life and perhaps make some friends along the way.
3) To learn a new language– The Italian film director Federico Fellini once said “A different language is a different vision of life” and I couldn’t agree more. As a languages student I know how difficult it can be to learn an entirely different language from scratch. However even after years of honing my linguistic abilities in classrooms and lecture theatres I still maintain that the best way to achieve fluency in a language is to spend some time in the country and practice with the locals.
4) To find yourself- This is the clichéd mantra of students on a gap year and whilst it does sound a bit cheesy I wholeheartedly believe that travelling is the best way to discover more about yourself. Whether you’re travelling alone or with friends, the experience helps you to become more independent and gives you a better perspective on life which in turn will help you to decide what to do in the future when the time does come for you to settle down and stay in one place for a while.
5) To get a bit of sunshine- This one doesn’t apply to those who already live in a country with a warm climate but being a native of Northern Ireland I sometimes forget what the sun looks like! Sunshine is important for our vitamin D intake as well as boosting our moods (many people in colder countries suffer from SAD aka Seasonal affective disorder)
6) To try a new hobby- Whether it’s flamenco dancing in Spain or origami in Japan, travelling can open our eyes to a whole wealth of activities which we wouldn’t have ordinarily been able to experience.
7) To find love- Maybe this is just the romantic in me but I’m sure that lots of people find their other halves whilst travelling or spending time in a foreign country. After all if “the one” does exist they are unlikely to turn up on your doorstep given that there are 7 billion people in the world.
8) To find work– In the UK we are coming out of a recession but in other European countries finding employment would have been impossible if it wasn’t for the freedom of travel which the EU affords to its members. Some professions are more in demand in some countries than others so it makes sense to broaden your horizons and look to foreign markets for work and trade.
9) To appreciate home– Some people say that “home is where the heart is” but regardless of where we settle in the end, travelling will always help us to appreciate where we come from and the things we used to take for granted.
10) To live life to the full– In the words of Albert Einstein “life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving.” Perhaps he intended us for us to keep moving in a more figurative sense but I firmly believe that to get the most out of life we have to experience it all and see as much of the world as we can. After all, you only live once.
Hopefully this will inspire you to pack up your suitcases and go somewhere new. If you have any more reasons to travel which aren’t on the list please leave a reply below.