Recently I wrote an article entitled 7 Tips for Female Solo Travel, but with this post I’d like to focus on travel inspiration all genders can relate to! Everyone has their own reason for traveling, whether it be to resolve their own issues, to be more culturally rounded, to volunteer and give back to communities, or to escape from daily life. Me? I do it for the rush of new experiences. I do it to broaden my horizons. I do it to understand other cultures and people so that I can be more open-minded and have a global perspective!
1. Travel will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. We all have those moments. They are the moments that SHAKE US TO THE CORE and make us realize something about ourselves we never imagined possible and never knew was inside of us. They set us on the correct life path. For me, it was that first moment I stepped foot into the German airport on my 6 week solo Eurotrip, trembling with fear of the unknown and being discombobulated and confused by the ever so gentle German language. I thought everyone was so angry. Then I realized that’s just German language! But that was the very moment I fell in love with travel, and it’s been a burning love ever since. Travel is not for everyone. Some people prefer to stick within the confines of their own turf, but I can guarantee you that if you were to take that person and send them to the other side of the world, perhaps even to the other side of America, something within them would be different. They would gain knowledge, they impart that wisdom to others, and they would realize what a tiny little speck of nothing they are in this world. Perhaps they would gain appreciation for their own country.
2. Travel will help you FIND YOURSELF. There’s a reason Eat, Pray, Love was a bestselling book and hit movie. It’s because in real life, just as in that story, travel evokes something within us that allows us to rediscover and redefine who we are. Void of the daily stressors of work life rut, we are awakened to the child within us, the person we were before society told us we should become. We remember what makes a tick, what makes us thrive, and what makes us feel alive! If you haven’t experienced this moment yet, I highly suggest you try traveling ALONE. Take it from me, the small town girl living in a lonely world (oops-hope I didn’t get that song stuck in your head) who just wanted to find her muchness: YOU CAN DO THIS!
3. Travel ENHANCES YOUR WORLDVIEW. Obviously this is very broad and can encompass a variety of topics. For instance, I could tell you that people in Ireland think it’s REALLY WEIRD we eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in America. Don’t you feel smarter for knowing that? Jeopardy is calling your name! But in the larger grand scheme of things, what I mean is that your cultural competence is increased and you can more effectively interact and associate with people of various cultures. I suppose this isn’t that important if you never plan on associating with people of other cultures but I mean, why wouldn’t you want to? Come on now, don’t be so Americentric. I know we have guns, fireworks, apple pie, and troops, and those things are AWESOME, but if we were the greatest country of all do you think we’d have so many school shootings? Let’s think on the global spectrum here. The closer we come to understanding each other, the more empathy we’ll have, and the better we’ll treat one another. Call me a crazy hippie but that’s how I feel!
4. Travel MAKES YOU APPRECIATE HOME. I can’t tell you how many cold showers I took, sometimes days at a time between travel ventures. There were days I missed my family and friends so much I definitely got something in both my eyes (read: I cried). But do you know what happened eventually? It made me realize how blessed I am to have all those things. I missed macaroni and cheese, and ICE in my drink (many parts of Europe don’t give you ice in your drink which I thought was very strange), and I missed hearing someone speak my language! Paris was the last stop on my trip, and by that point I was beyond exhausted. I got to the airport too late for the flight and burst into tears. I actually SLEPT at the airport in order to catch my flight home the next day because I couldn’t wait to get home. Well, and also because I couldn’t stand being lost in Paris anymore!
5. Travel makes you a STORYTELLER. I’ve never run out of topics of conversation at social events because if I ever do, I reach into my bag of travel stories and whip one out. Oh, have you seen Jimmy Kimmel? Did I ever tell you about the time I went backstage into his green room? Or, how I rode through the Tuscany hills on the back of a scooter? Or how I ate goat cheese with my toes at the Eiffel Tower? Of course, if you don’t care to be a storyteller, there’s always room on the wall for one more wallflower I’m sure. I’m teasing, but if you ever want an endless list of things to talk about, you should start traveling NOW!
What made you begin traveling and what inspires you to continue doing it? I’d love to hear from the peanut gallery!