Travelling has become one of the world’s most trendy pastimes, ranging from classy cruise ship fans all the way to bearded hitchhikers thumbing their way from one side of the world to the other. Unlike most other hobbies and passions, travel is pursued by people of all ages, all types, and all backgrounds. Now that travelling is more accessible, affordable and easier than ever, you’ve probably considered giving it a try yourself. So while you consider cramming your clothes into your bag and heading off somewhere exciting, this blog offers you a gentle push in the right direction, and considers some of the reasons you should travel more.
The sights: This one is maybe the most obvious, but you can feast your eyes and dip your toes into any number of beautiful places and landmarks. Iconic offerings include the likes of Paris’ Eiffel Tower, Rome’s Colosseum and the ancient sights of Athens, while natural beauty is aplenty in the form of Nepalese mountains, Georgian hills, Malaysian beaches, Brazilian lagoons, British cliffs, Laotian caves, and primal predators of the animal kingdom. More adventurous travellers might be keen to explore the heights and hikes of remote mountains, rudimentary villages, and unknown quarters of the hidden world.
· Food: Indian daal, Thai curry, Italian pizza and Moroccan tagine are just a few of the culinary clichés a quick flight away, but dig a bit deeper and you’ll find that every country has a diverse range of meals to dive into. Travelling to any part of the world can provide a convenient cover for a whole period of munching and mouthing your way from table to café to street food stall.
· Friends: Travelling can be a great way to make new friends and discover a brand-new batch of buddies. You can experience great things with new people you’ve only just met, which can build the foundations for long-lasting friendships and potential further antics and adventures.
· Current friendships: Travelling with the people you love can strengthen your relationships and make your bonds even stronger. Whether it’s friends, family, partners, or kids, experiencing great things together can give you memories to cherish forever and stories to talk about for the rest of your lives.
· Local people: Making friends with local people is a fantastic way to learn new languages, discover hidden tasty treats, uncover cultural quirks, and see how the others live. It’s not uncommon for travellers to be invited to weddings, events, and local homes, which is a genuinely authentic and unique way to learn all about a place and its people.
· Find new hobbies: New hobbies and pastimes are often discovered when you’re on the road. Spontaneity is easier when you’re travelling, so you might find yourself impulsively signing up to a salsa class, language club, culinary school, scuba session, diving day, bird-watching afternoon, or a new passion that could last forever. If you’re keen to inject a bit more fun and frivolity into your everyday life, taking a new passion away from a far-flung country could be exactly what you need.
· Learn about the world: If there’s one way to learn, it’s by undergoing a totally different experience. Anyone can look at a map, read a book or watch a documentary, but seeing and experiencing things for yourself is how you truly learn about a place, its culture and its people. Nothing can replicate the feelings experienced in Cambodia’s Killing Fields, Poland’s Holocaust camps, and the museums and mausoleums dedicated to the fallen folk around the world. Villages and rural areas also offer an invaluable taste of what real life is like in countries around the world and speaking to local people provides a great way to learn about history, culture, religion, and tradition.
· Learn things about yourself: Travelling is a great way to push your own boundaries and see what you’re really capable of. Many people live and stay within their own comfort zone, never really knowing what they can do – and enjoy – by giving things a go. People find new places, new jobs, new foods, new experiences, and new ideas by flinging themselves across the globe, and it always feels easier in hindsight. Take the leap, surprise yourself, do new things, and find yourself.
· New experiences: Travelling is inherently abundant with new experiences, from the things you see and do to the people you meet. You can push yourself as much or as little as you like, with some travellers taking the chance to do things as wild as hitchhiking, cycling around the world, camping in the wilderness, staying in the homes of local people, or driving from one end of the planet to another. Websites like Couchsurfing and Workaway allow travellers to live and work with normal local people, while hitchhiking and car-sharing can provide a platform for getting into all sorts of adventures. If you really want to test your limits and stick yourself in the great unknown, walking pilgrimages like the Camino de Santiago can plonk you in the middle of nowhere, miles from the comfort of civilisation.
· Feelings: Lastly, travelling can be whatever you want it to be, and it can feel however you want it to feel. It’s the best way to treat yourself to exactly the type of experience you want. If you want a white-knuckle bout of fun or if you simply want to read the latest bestseller on a golden beach, travelling is exactly what you make it. It’s the one time where your time is truly your time, and your plans are truly your plans.
You’ve read the list, now take the plunge. Pack your bag, buy your ticket and have some fun. Happy travels!