Find life experiences and swallow them whole.
Meet many people.
Go down some dark alleys.
Exhaust yourself in the glorious pursuit of life.
Lawrence K. Fish
One day, we will all be older and will look back on our lives. There will be moments we are proud of and moments we regret. Hiking through a rainforest in Puerto Rico, Snorkeling in St. John, tasting wine at a vineyard in Italy, and teaching English to children in Russia will definitely not be on my list of regrets!
It expands who you are as a person
The amazing thing about travelling, particularly for extended periods of time, is that parts of each culture become embedded in your very identity, forming and re-creating who you are as a person. Expanding your mind and heart through experiences!
It is simply impossible to learn in a classroom what you learn by travelling. Economics, politics, anthropology, history… if we really need to use labels. However, the education gained through travel breaks the boundaries of labels.
There is nothing quite like walking alongside the Colosseum or admiring art in the Hermitage
You have stories to tell
…like that time the girl you were visiting the Hermitage with bumped into the Van Gogh painting, nearly knocking it off the wall! (Yes, that really happened!)
Or the time you walked across the border from Italy to Switzerland…in heels!
It is nearly impossible to visit an impoverished country and not change as a person. Try snuggling with an orphan in Russia, bringing toys for the gypsy children, or visiting the slums of India…an enlarged compassionate heart is an inevitable byproduct.
You Appreciate Life
Visiting less fortunate cultures gives you an appreciation for what you have. Visiting diverse cultures gives you an appreciation for life and diversity and the opportunity to experience it all!
It Abolishes Racism
I have never met a racist person who has spent significant time in the culture that correlates with the race they have chosen to cut out of their lives. In contrast, the people I have met who have travelled a lot tend to be the most loving, open-minded and accepting people … not only accepting but embracing the diversity of people!
To Try New Foods
One of my absolute favourite aspects of travelling is tasting foods native to the region I am visiting, experiencing the plethora of flavours.
Boring Chores become Fun Abroad
Grocery Shopping (or food shopping as it is called here in Ireland) is a pretty mundane task… but walking through a grocery store in a foreign country is one of my absolute favourite things to do! I love to see the foods the locals actually buy and eat, and products that I have never seen before. Plus, the price of things like wine in Portugal will make your jaw drop, and make you wish you brought that extra suitcase!
Breaks your Comfort Zone
There is in inexplicable high about travelling in a foreign country, knowing only a few words in the language and figuring out which train to get, ordering food, or asking directions, whilst stumbling through your limited Italian, or French or whatever… and then the feeling of accomplishment in doing it!!
You Make Friends around the World
They say you will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read. Having friends from other countries is one of the most wonderful gifts. Through friendship, you naturally adapt new life paradigms and pick up on subtle cultural aspects that you could never learn from a Tour Guide. My best friends live in Italy, Canada and Ireland – the friends I talk to almost daily – and I have a variety of friends all over the world. This gift is beyond price.
Create Unforgettable Memories
The memories you create by travelling will be cherished always. These will be moments you will look back on years from now, and smile. We have the opportunity to create these moments and experiences. Life is ours to shape and create.
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.
– Augustine of Hippo