5 Reasons To Travel, Even When You "Can't Afford" It
It Puts Life In Perspective
The world is an amazing, diverse, and massive experience. Staying in one place week after week and year after year can bring comfort, but it also can detach us from the reality of just how small a part we play in humanity and the world as a whole.
Traveling the world, or even within your own country can help lend perspective to just where we fit in as an individual. You may have experienced small moments that bring this to life. Maybe if you have: Climbed a mountain and looked out over the landscape. Sailed the ocean until all you can see is the sea in every direction. Walked through the largest city in a country anywhere in the world.
I dare you to not feel a subtle change in the way you approach the following days. Sometimes realizing just how small our piece of the puzzle is, frees us to do amazing things. Lifting the mental tax and burden of feeling like you are the center of the universe can be empowering.
Incredible Adventures and Stories To Tell
Everyone loves a good story! What do you have to share? Not that everyone loves to be the center of attention, but hearing an amazing story about a remote part of the world is undeniably interesting.
Travel takes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to go with the flow. Not everything can be planned for and that’s just perfect because those moments of chaos and going off course are where the best adventures are.
Every single trip I’ve ever been on has had a few bumps, but looking back they become lifelong bonding moments with the people you shared them with. The bad fades and hilarity of being stuck on a ship with no motors and a crew that doesn’t know how to sail really sinks in. That one’s a long story...
Culturally Diverse Cuisines
Okay, I get it, a lot of people are really picky about their food. For those who are a bit more open-minded, cuisine from around the world can be the highlight of your travels. Sure if you’re going to England or Ireland, don’t hold your breath for great food on every corner, but plenty places within the US and abroad have absolutely breathtaking dining.
To truly delve into what makes a place special, I believe you need to eat where the locals eat. For my US friends, that means stop going to chains because you have them at home! Go to the random dive bar, the beach shack, the local brewery and try a bunch of things. You will be rewarded with something you don’t get every day. You will get a first. Remember the first time you ever tried something? Now every time you eat that for the rest of your life, you will think of this location and time when you were traveling. Magical.
Make Friends Around The World
Friends are great, but international friends hold a special place in my heart. If you have any friends living abroad, you know what I’m talking about.
Yes, having a free place to crash when you’re in Estonia is fantastic, but the best part about international friends is that they force you to question lifestyle choices that we take as facts of life. From foods to sports, to work-life balance, other countries live differently and in many cases thrive. Learning these differences and applying aspects to your life can have a profound impact on your feeling of purpose and happiness.
Mental Reset Via Travel Happiness
Speaking of happiness… Nothing and I mean absolutely nothing can create a mental reset like the happiness traveling brings. Stepping outside your routines of life is the single greatest way to break the monotony of your day to day life.
Traveling brings out a natural happiness that reminds me of being a child again. Your list of to-dos becomes a short itinerary of exploration options. Sure, we have all been on the trip that was overplanned and under enjoyed, but traveling should be loose and fun.
Exploration brings out the happiness of childhood in simple ways. Don’t plan where you’re going to eat, what times you need to be where, or much more than where you’ll be laying your head down that night. Watch as each day starts as a mystery and ends as a memory.
Having an amazing traveling experience is not directly tied to what you spend on the trip. Of course you need to have enough cash to eat and get there (and back). However, if you’re a savvy traveler, the cheapest flights, hostels, or couches (see international friends!) will do just fine to help you have an amazing experience.
This is an area where you get to choose where spending money is important. Some people like leg room on a flight, some need a comfortable bed and big room at night, and others need to eat 3 square meals a day. It’s up to you. Personally I lean towards, cheap flights, cheap overnights, and eating 2 meals a day at local places where I’ll spend a little more to really enjoy the moment.
The adventure is up to you. Traveling is good for the soul and brings perspective to life, so spend money you don’t have and get out there. You will be paid back in memories and experiences that no amount of money can bring you later in life.