6 Reasons You Should Travel

By Marina Krivonossova on May 31, 2021

Growing up, I was surrounded by people whose families lived in the nicest houses, drove the most expensive cars, and showered their children with luxurious gifts. Yet somehow, most of these families — and particularly their children, who were my age — were not well traveled. This trend continued through middle school, high school, and even college.

Trying authentic jamĂłn in Barcelona, Spain (image via Marina Krivonossova)

I grew up with the belief that the only limiting factor when it came to traveling internationally was money. So, in situations where people had the money to do it, I always wondered why they didn’t want to travel the world. Most of my friends throughout my life didn’t even have passports, because they and their families didn’t see the point of leaving the US.

I’m incredibly grateful that I grew up in a household where the benefits of traveling outside my home country were heavily emphasized. In fact, my parents’ approach to seeing the world has had a major impact on me today. If you’re not keen on traveling, or if you’re hesitant about starting to do so, check out these six reasons you should travel every chance you get.

1. Travel opens your mind to the world outside your home country. There might be a lot you love about where you live. There might also be a lot that you hate. But you’ll never be able to put these impressions into perspective if you don’t see how people live outside your country. Staying in your own country leaves you in a little isolated bubble, lacking new experiences and perspectives.

Exploring a park of old WWII machinery in Yekaterinburg, Russia (image via Marina Krivonossova)

2. Travel humbles you, offering you new perspectives. You might feel like your world will come crashing down if you fail tomorrow’s final. You might feel like the world’s biggest failure if you don’t get a bachelor’s degree by 25. You might feel like you’ve never accomplished much in life. Travel will show you why these personal fears are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Travel humbles you and reminds you that outside your own bubble, there’s so many more important things in the world than initially meet the eye.

3. You’ll learn more lessons through travel than you will inside the classroom. Your teachers and professors are wonderful, intelligent people — I don’t doubt it. But they’ll never be able to teach you anything close to what travel and experiences can. Travel will teach you the importance of personal relationships. It will teach you what it means to be a good person. It will teach you to value what you have, rather than focusing on what you don’t. The most important lessons are learned outside the classroom, and the best teacher isn’t a person — it’s travel.

Exploring the markets of Marrakesh, Morocco (image via Marina Krivonossova)

4. Travel offers you new opportunities. You might feel limited where you live. You might feel like all your decisions have been made for you years in advance. But what travel can show you is that there’s so many more opportunities for you than initially thought. The world is teeming with opportunities that will facilitate your personal and professional growth. All it takes is stepping outside of your comfort zone (and your home country).

5. Travel teaches you important life skills. When’s the last time you used the Pythagorean theorem in real life? Or the last time you had to recite all the US states in alphabetical order? These are just some of the objectively useless things we learned in school. But what about budgeting? Planning trips? Getting around a city where you don’t know anyone? Practicing street smarts? These are among the things most of us never learned in school — which is surprising, as these are things that will actually be important in our adult lives. Fortunately, when school and teachers fail us, we’ve got travel to turn to. Travel will teach you these important life skills and more.

6. Travel helps you create unique memories. It’s absolutely true that you can make worthwhile memories at home. But these memories won’t even come close to the ones you could make by going on an adventure outside your home country. Of all the older people I’ve talked to, the ones who seemed most content with life, and the ones who had the most interesting stories to share, were those who traveled extensively in their youth. By never leaving your home country, you’re severely limiting your experiences.

Solo traveling through Prague, Czech Republic (image via Marina Krivonossova)

As someone who has been fortunate enough to always see the value of traveling, I can vouch firsthand for the fact that these six reasons are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to showing you why you should travel. Travel opens doors, shows you things you’ve never seen, tests you, makes you stronger, and helps you find your place in the world.

I have started to forego many physical luxuries in life in order to dedicate myself to traveling as much as possible. Because while our clothes, our phones, and all our other belongings will lose their meaning over time, the memories we make and the experiences we have thanks to travel will never lose their value.

So, did this list of six reasons you should travel convince you to book your next adventure? Hopefully the next time you’re deciding between upgrading your phone and going on a trip, you make the choice that’ll benefit you most in the long run. Stay safe, stay happy, and stay traveling!

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