After travelling the world these past few months both for work and leisure, I have been challenged and intrigued at the same time. As I got to meet and converse with different people, I got to understand that society has managed to condition people’s way of thinking penetrating past the lines of age, race or culture. I discovered that a majority of people worldwide are living for the future, that is, a time they perceive will be prefect for them to do what they have always wanted. People have been programmed not to live in the present, which in essence is the only time that we are alive.
Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with planning for our future but the problem is that we live so much for that future that we forget that our lives are happening right now! 1917 was just a century ago, yet most people who were born at that particular time are no longer alive. In 100 years we will be in the year 2117 meaning most of us will be long dead by then. What I am trying to show you is that 100 years is not a long period of time and yet most don’t even make it past the age of eighty five. My point is that life is short and whether we like it or not, we all await a common destination which is death. We are all going to die so there is no point of treating yourself like an afterthought. There will never really be a perfect time to do the things that you have always dreamt of.
To grow, we have to step out of what we know. We cannot expect to live a different kind of life if we choose to live our lives the way we always have. Put yourself out there, you never know what you will find. Someone once said that opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor. As much as what we were taught in school is important, the ultimate teacher is experience.
One of the ways I believe we can learn and grow is through travel. As amazing as traveling is, most of us think we have to wait for years to explore this beautiful world of ours. I wanted to inspire you to travel more now and I will do that by sharing the wonderful benefits of traveling so you can take the leap of faith you’ve been waiting for.
- You’ll realize that life is a wonderful gift!
‘‘Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Life is a wonderful gift. It really is, and as we travel and experience more of the world and life, we often become overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for all the beautiful moments we enjoyed and people we’ve shared them with. More often than not, this is a realization that we can experience and take action from now while we’re still alive with energy rather than stacking up regrets by the time we’re on our death bed. Rather than waiting until you’re saying “I wish I had”, live so you can say “I’m glad I did”.
- You’ll realize how little you actually knew about the world
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine
There’s concept, and then there’s experience. When we travel, we may notice that some of the things we’ve heard about the world end up being very different than what we were indoctrinated and conditioned to believe. Many of the initial myths that get dispelled are often about traveling itself. You realize you have the whole world to learn about with every place you discover, every person you meet and every culture you experience.
- A whole new perspective
Foremost on the reasons to travel is that you discover a lot about yourself. When I speak of a special vacation, I envision someone backpacking across Europe or driving along the coast of Australia — that is, a trip with cultural significance. Not many things in the world can inspire you like seeing the Colosseum in Rome or the Pyramids in Egypt.
That is why traveling is known to provide people with a whole new perspective, whether that means no longer sweating the small stuff or promising to get out there and meet new people upon returning home. Those who have left their comfort zone and headed for a foreign land have done the right thing; there is nothing like a trip to make you a new person. Whether alone, with a partner, or in a group, your development surely speeds up when you’ve traveled foreign places.
- Travel Builds Confidence
As you conquer the obstacles of figuring out how to use public transit in a foreign country, or asking for simple things in a grocery store, you are building a confidence and ability to adapt in foreign situations. You realize that you CAN do things, despite the obstacles and suddenly the obstacles seem less obstructive and more like welcomed challenges.
- Infinite opportunities to network
Never underestimate the value of networking wherever you go.
One thing I have learned in my time abroad is that people are generally very friendly and love to talk about their home and culture. This is not always the case, but more than often it is. Making friendships abroad can make this big world seem a little smaller and help you feel more connected wherever you go. I know of couples who met when they were on vacation.
The best advice I can give is to meet as many people on your travels as you can. It will definitely make your time abroad more enjoyable since the locals know best! Plus you never know when these connections will come in handy in the future whether visiting each other for fun or otherwise!
Whether it’s travel, art, music, business, photography…go for it! Don’t wait for the perfect time to pursue your true passion. Remember we only live once, but if we live well, once is good enough!