There's something nourishing about travel that cannot be synthesized, hacked, or otherwise substituted. We NEED it. People gotta roam. Travel brings new life to everything about the human experience - physical, emotional, spiritual, creative, intellectual - AND, it reawakens that smile you've been missing. Sound fun? It IS! And if it's done right, travel is even good for the planet. How's that for one-size-fits-all, awesomeness? Now, let's see how immersive travel just may change YOUR world ...
1. Global Citizenship has BIG rewards
The path to global citizenship is easy! After all, there's only one step: Engage and share with people no matter what language they speak. Hand gestures, photographs, belongings, or even a simple smile can demonstrate that people from every corner of the globe have more similarities than differences. Embracing different cultures and backgrounds is enlightening and fulfilling, and it feeds your appreciation for the diversity of humanity. So long, barriers! Hello, unity!
2. Personal Growth opens your eyes & your heart
There are a plethora of growth opportunities for the world traveler. There's the physical kind of growth - if you overindulge in the many irresistible local cuisines. And, of course, there's the personal kind (less "filling" and more "fulfilling"). The latter arises from exposure to new experiences. Whether you travel solo or in a group, travel puts you outside of your comfort zone, and encourages new connections with new people. The experience is wonderful for building confidence and improving communication skills. It also makes you more fun at parties when you get home!
3. Your visit impacts local economies & families
In many parts of the world, tourism is vital to preserving local culture and the environment, and for securing a positive future for the next generation. By traveling responsibly, you can ensure that your money benefits the local communities and the people you visit. It's a huge boost to their quality of life. They get fulfilling and positive employment and the opportunity for greater education and health services for their families. As a traveler, you can take pride in knowing that you contributed to local hope, dignity, and prosperity (and had a blast doing it!).
4. You're changing the World - Thank you!
According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), tourism is driving prosperity in numerous destinations across the globe. So many destinations, in fact, that tourism is positively influencing international socio-economic progress. It accounts for one of every eleven jobs globally with massive enterprise creation, export revenues, and infrastructure development.
5. Soak-up some knowledge
There are usually at least two sides to every story. And by visiting another country, you get to learn about history from a perspective you may not have considered before. For example: The War Remnants Museum paints a different picture of the Vietnam War than do the textbooks provided to American schools.
In addition to learning history, traveling is the perfect time to tackle a new language. After all, there's no better method to learn a language than total immersion. Sure, you'll stumble and maybe feel a bit embarrassed, but it's all part of the fun! And all your struggles and goofs WILL help you to learn. Maybe someday, you'll even return and master the language this time.
It may not be as sexy as exotic languages, but geography is a big part of any travel escape. As you traverse foreign lands, it's impossible NOT to soak up the natural physical features of the earth and the way human activity has helped shape the landscape that now exists.
Life is better in person - Get out there & travel!
There's a dizzying array of new things to learn on your travels, about cultures, about people, and about yourself. In the end, you may find yourself more accepting of other cultures and open to learning about people all over the world. You will certainly get a break from your routine. And you may just return home with a new outlook on life and some questions about your current reality (and maybe a cheesy souvenir from the airport).
Why do you travel? Tell us in the comments below!
Author: Rocio Yepez
CEO and founder of Fisheye Journeys
It's not always easy to track down Rocio. She's always been a free spirit, but since her epic solo backpacking trip, she's been consuming life in rather large quantities! Four months of travel adventure in southeast Asia will do that to a person!
By trade, she's a lifestyle, portrait, and travel photographer. Fascinated by the give and take between people, she aims to capture that magic instant BETWEEN moments - the "passing" moments, where little is offered, but so much is revealed.
When she's not capturing life on film, she may be in acting class, at the bookstore, or engaged in a class to learn something completely new. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and a strong mind to earn tenure as a permanent student at community college. If you see her flat-footed, be sure to snap a picture, that's about as rare as seeing her in a bad mood. She's constantly moving, exploring, discovering, and growing.