Why You Should Travel More
Centuries ago, travel was difficult, often dangerous. Yet those who trekked miles on horseback or braved treacherous oceans would return home transformed, their minds expanded, their perceptions deepened.
Marco Polo, the famous Venetian merchant, journeyed across Asia and marveled at the sophistication of the Mongol Empire. At the tender age of 17, he traveled with his father and uncle along the Silk Road until he reached the court of Kublai Khan.
Over two decades later, he returned to Venice bearing gifts that transformed the Western world. He inspired deeper intellectual curiosity about the world, talked about advances in navigation technology, and introduced the concept of paper money.
Although the world is now fairly well-charted and your travels are unlikely to change your home country, it can still work its magic by changing your mind about life and the world.
When it comes to guidelines on how to travel, stay organized and prepare ahead of time.
1. Stay organized
Organization is important for everything, but it’s especially important when you travel. Missing a bus or flight or train schedule could ruin your travel plans. Losing your passport or wallet would cause endless grief.
So, stay as organized as possible when you travel. Sync notes about your travel itinerary to all your devices so that you can always figure out where you are going and when you need to be there. Since paper maps, notebooks, and brochures can get lost, keep a digital copy of everything.
An organized will trip will be more fun.
2. Prepare ahead of time
Many of the things you take for granted are not easily available in other countries. This is especially true if you travel to remote villages or to the countryside.
When you travel to tropical countries, for example, you should take five inexpensive items with you. Having them close at hand will make traveling in humid climates far easier and more enjoyable. If, say, you’re going on safari to Kenya, then prepare for tropical weather. Take toiletries and cosmetics, lightweight clothes, mesh bags, lens cleaners (for your glasses or camera), and sling backpacks. While you could probably get most of these things from Nairobi before you head off to Tsavo East National Park, you may not have the time to shop or you may not know where to buy what you need.
Travel and Personal Growth
Travel can speed up your personal growth. Here are three examples of how travel to another country can enhance your personal growth.
1. Travel helps ease life transitions
Often people travel when they are in transition because it helps their mental health. For instance, students may travel before they go to college or after they graduate. Travel can also help someone who is getting a divorce or someone who has lost their job get perspective on their next step in life.
Changing your environment has a way of making it easier to move between schools, jobs, or relationships. It gives you time to reflect on where you were and where you’re going.
2. Travel broadens your perspective
Your mind will expand when you offer it new perspectives. You’ll understand another culture better after you visit it. Its sociology, politics, economics, geography, and history will no longer seem as abstract.
3. Travel awakens your sense of wonder
Living a safe, predictable life is wonderful, but it can also dull your interest in the world. Travel can introduce you to things that make you see life as an adventure. For instance, watching a massive herd of wildebeest migrating across the Serengeti in Tanzania in search of the lush grasslands and waters in Masai Mara, Kenya, will fill you with awe. It’s estimated that about two million make the journey every year.
With modern transportation, it’s never been easier to see more of this beautiful planet. While you may not experience as profound a shift as Marco Polo, travel will still transform your life.