So, when I sat down to write about why I feel travel is important it dawned on me that if I asked ten different clients of mine why they felt travel was important – I’d more than likely get ten different answers. And none of them would be wrong. Travel – and why it’s important to take the time to do so – comes in all different shapes and sizes depending on who you are and what you personally hope to get out of it. To some travel is complete relaxation. To some it is exhilarating activities. To some it is total cultural immersion. To some it is a history lesson. To some it is – ok – you probably get the idea by now. The importance of travel in your life is dependent you – on why you travel or what drives you to travel. That being said – I do have my own ideas on why travel is important for us as society as a whole. And those reasons can actually be conveniently listed in such a way that they spell out the word itself – TRAVEL. Read on to discover just six reasons why it is so important for all of us to get out there and explore the planet!
T – Transformational
Oh dear, the opportunities that travel presents to us to be transformed is an overwhelming topic to say the least. Through travel we are taught how people in other cities, states, countries and continents live – up close and personal. When we visit a new destination, we are being invited into the everyday experiences of the residents that live, work and die there. And depending on the destination it can be enlightening to the point that it changes us and our perspective on life. Or it can be as simple as seeing locals washing their clothes in a nearby creek that reminds us not to have a meltdown when the clothes that were washed and dried – in the very convenient modern appliances that exist in our homes – remain in the basket unfolded. This awareness makes us more compassionate, more understanding and I believe – simply better human beings overall.
R – Relaxation
Look – there is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting that you like to travel to just get away from it all, sit on the beach with a book in one hand and a pretty frozen drink in the other. That is why God made all-inclusive resorts – lol. We live in a stressful world. A world that doesn’t always view life as I believe it should be – which is a journey to be taken one day, one minute, one second at a time. Instead, we are bombarded with ridiculously busy schedules and deadlines and are sometimes labeled as lazy if we just decide to put our feet up for a day and sit on our couch with a bowl of popcorn to just chill and Netflix. Why? Because there are bills to be paid, cleaning to be done, activities the kids need to be driven to, elderly parents to care for – the list goes on and on. So – under no circumstances should you ever feel any guilt over wanting to just get out of dodge and do nothing but unplug and relax. It is just that important to your mental health. Traveling to relax is nothing to be ashamed of – it is just as important as all of the other reasons – well – that travel is important!
A – Activity
You know another thing that is good for your mental health? Activity. And exercise is a huge part of my life for that very reason. But most of you don’t travel to do your crunches on the floor of your hotel room (although if you do good for you)! Active travel is simply something that gets you moving outside of your typical everyday fitness routines. I am talking hiking volcanoes, zip lining through a forest canopy, biking through national parks, kayaking infamous waterways, snowshoeing at a ski resort or perhaps learning how to tango! Being active increases your energy, gets your endorphins pumping and elevates your mood. Physical fitness is a great way to ensure a longer and healthier life and a trip that includes some aspect of being active makes that travel important for your overall well being.
V – Vacation
Ok this one is cheating a bit because vacation is travel – but that means that if travel is important then so is vacation! As a family or even just a couple – taking a vacation together – i.e. traveling – is an awesome way to spend meaningful time together. From planning itineraries, to trying new foods, to discovering how other cultures do things, to revisiting history – it all brings you closer together. And – apart from that bonding experience – perhaps it will even give you a new understanding of what’s important to each other and bring about a new appreciation for your traveling companion(s). Now should you be a solo traveler – as so many are these days – taking a vacation can actually net you the same benefits as traveling with others – the only difference is – you are finding out all of this about yourself. And getting in touch with your innermost thoughts, feelings, beliefs, likes, dislikes and more is an incredible thing. Yes – travel is that magical.
E – Economy
Travel is super important for the economy – and my gosh nothing like this past year to make that so apparent to anyone who isn’t in the travel industry. Just ask those whose businesses and livelihoods were affected by the world pretty much being grounded for months and months. It really brought to light how far reaching the effects of traveling – or the lack there of – can go. The dollars you spend pretty much from the start of the planning process to the preparation for the trip to the trip itself are far reaching. Without travel spurring us to contribute to the economy jobs are lost, homes are foreclosed on and savings are depleted. And then of course there is sustainable travel which is huge – especially for those in locales where it is a means of being independent as well as for providing for their families. When you buy local handicrafts or hire a local guide to show you around you aren’t just contributing to that town’s or village’s or city’s economy – you are contributing to the well-being of a specific individual and their family. It’s that important.
L – Living Classroom
You can read about it in a textbook. You can google it on the internet. You can watch it on tv. But there is nothing – nothing like being there in person. What am I referring to? All aspects of travel – you name it. Architecture, monuments, religious institutions, rainforests, glaciers, pyramids, national parks, ancient ruins and so, so much more. Being there – seeing, feeling, breathing, touching it is like stepping into a larger-than-life lecture hall. Hearing about it from a local who was there or whose ancestors were there – you will learn ten times more then you could ever learn any other way. The importance of learning about the past, learning about the environment, learning about atrocities that were committed, learning how things were built – is immeasurable as it helps us to not only not repeat past mistakes – but to be inspired to forge new paths. Amen.
And so, my friends – this is just a sprinkling of why I feel travel is very important. I would be so interested to hear what makes travel important to you, please leave your comments below. And be sure to contact me to get started on planning wherever it may be that is important for you to see and experience next.
Yours in travel,