Now, it’s easier to travel than ever before. Flights are cheap, and you can find affordable housing thanks to hostels, AirBnB and couch surfing.
But besides the fact that it’s easy and convenient, why do we travel in the first place? What makes us want to pack our bags and step onto a plane, train or automobile? Here are 13 reasons why people travel today.
Travel makes you smarter
In a 2014 study that observed MBA students, researchers found that the more students engaged, adapted and learned about new cultures, the better their “integrative complexity” was.
This means that the more multicultural engagement individuals have, the better they are at accept competing and conflicting viewpoints surrounding an issue. And this is a great skill to have when it comes to problem-solving, empathy and greater understanding.
Travel makes you creative and open-minded
Your creativity is related to neural pathways in your brain. And your daily habits and environment influence these very pathways. And when you see, hear and smell the same things every day, it can really kill your creativity. Travel, on the other hand, can switch things up and give you a fresh boost of creativity.
According to professor Adam Galinsky, at the Columbia Business school, “Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms.”
In short, when you travel, your brain creates new neural pathways, which in turn, allow for greater creativity and open-mindedness.
Travel gives you first-hand knowledge and experience
You can read books and articles about a distant place. You can follow travel blogs and watch documentaries, too. It’s great to get informed and learn whatever you can about this big, beautiful world we live in. But there’s no better way to learn than by actually being in that place.
Thanks to travel, that’s possible. You get to obtain first-hand knowledge and experience of different countries and their cultures. You get to see how people truly live and engage with one another, instead of relying solely on hearsay. You can also form your own opinions and viewpoints because you’ve actually seen it with your own eyes.
Travel helps you appreciate your home
It’s easy to take life for granted, especially the convenience of your home town and the close proximity of your family and friends. And one good way to appreciate all of this is to leave it for a little bit.
Traveling can be a fun experience and expose you to beautiful and breathtaking worlds. But travel is also challenging and can leave you feeling lonely, lost and unsure.
Of course, no one travels to feel these things, but it can happen. And when you experience these emotions, it can give you a new-found sense of appreciation for everything that defines “home” for you.
Travel allows you to escape
The world is divided into countries and continents, and even though you can travel just about anywhere, international travel laws do place some restrictions on when, where and for how long you can travel.
However, even though you’re a citizen of one country, it’s important to look at the whole world as a beautiful place meant for everyone. And it’s just waiting for you to discover and explore it.
Travel lets you relax
We don’t all live in Bora Bora or the Bahamas, but hop on a plane and call it home for a week or two.
And since modern day life can be stressful and hectic, travel helps to literally remove you from it all and relax in a completely different atmosphere. What a gift!
Travel is a great way to celebrate
It’s common for newly-wed couples to celebrate their marriage with a romantic honeymoon. High school graduates sometimes travel to Europe to mark their educational milestone.
Whatever the occasion, travel is a fun way to celebrate an important occasion, whether that’s a birthday, anniversary, etc.
Travel provides self-awareness
While traveling, you see lots of new and different things. And all of this fresh exposure is an opportunity for greater self-awareness. You see, when you encounter different customs, beliefs, and people, you’re forced to create an opinion and to compare them to your own culture.
Doing so can be an enlightening exercise in your deepest beliefs and values.
Travel teaches you new things
Travel gives you first-hand knowledge about a foreign place, but it also teaches you lots of little life lessons along the way.
You gain insight into travel. You get to interact with strangers and step out of your comfort zone. You also get to explore different cuisines, cooking styles, and fashion rules. How’s that for an education?
Travel is an opportunity to learn another language
For better or for worse, English is a common language in many different countries.
However, it’s still a good idea to try and speak the native language. Sure, you might not be fluent, but it’s a wonderful way to stretch your brain, connect with locals and enrich your understanding of your own language.
Travel makes you happy
According to Winnie So, a luxury travel planner, “Travel makes us happy because it offers us the opportunity to step outside our well-worn, self-constructed, plebeian realities and provides a platform to explore and practice our ideal visions for ourselves — who we might be if we weren’t married to our fears and anxieties about safety, security, and status.”
In other words, travel is literally how you can spread your wings and explore how it feels to be the person you’ve always dreamed of being.
Travel to see your friends and family
The world is a bit spread out, and that means your family might not live in the next town over – or even the next state or country.
But luckily, travel allows us to see our loved ones relatively easily. And this is a common reason why people book their tickets every Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Travel allows you to fulfill your dreams
When you were a child, did you fall in love with faraway lands as you flipped through your favorite picture book?
As an adult, you probably don’t page through books anymore, but you still see faraway places online. What’s more, you still dream of getting there someday.
With travel, you can get there. And maybe you’ll want to keep traveling after that. On the other hand, maybe you’ll be happy to come back home and stay put. But you never know if you don’t try, and travel is one big try!