As a kid I was always fascinated with adventure. I was the kid who climbed trees, played in the creeks and loved being in the woods. As I got older, I became fascinated with travel and how other people in the world lived. I didn't travel for some time as I created a million reasons why I couldn't, or I thought it was something I would do one day when I had money etc.
When I moved south from New Jersey to go to college at Clemson, I was exposed to the outdoors even more. Since then I took up hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, stand up paddling and trail running as my hobbies. Adventure and outdoors are a big part of my life and it's great stress relief. I also have built wonderful friendships through these activities.
I also had an opportunity in grad school to do an internship in England. All those excuses and reasons came up why I shouldn't go, but I went anyway and loved it, Since then I traveled to New Zealand, South America, Canada, and many countries in Europe to name a few. Many more places to go internationally and domestically! I never regret a penny I spend on travel and experiences. The memories, experiences and great stories are priceless.
When I was in New Zealand, I met a couple traveling the world for a year with their 5 kids. I remind myself if they can travel, I can too. Here are some amazing benefits of travel:
1. Travel will challenge you
We naturally grow and expand- travel and adventure challenges growth because we are pushed beyond our comfort zones. I have done things I never thought I would do. It builds and strengthens confidence and resilience muscles.
2. Travel gives you new perspective
Meeting people from other cultures will teach you that the way you’ve been looking at the world isn’t the way everybody else does. In fact, your point-of-view might have some blind spots. Seeing the world for yourself will improve your vision and your view on life. Some of the happiest people I met were in poverty stricken areas. You also can get a great appreciation for your own life.
3. Travel helps you learn who you are
All the challenges and opportunities travel lays at your feet help you discover who you are in a way that’s only possible on the road. It can give you a chance to take a break from every day life and social media so you can fully connect with yourself.
4. Travel helps you move forward
If you’re between jobs, schools, kids, or relationships, travel can be a perfect way to move from one of these life stages into your next great adventure. Travel will give you a chance to reflect on where you’ve been, where you’re going, and where you want to end up.
5. Travel helps you develop skills you didn't know you had
Sometimes it’s only far from home that you realize you you’ve got skills you’ve never used. It’s travel that brings them to the surface and makes you smile, satisfied to have reached the mountain top, or crossed a gorge or helped a villager clean up after a storm, or even to have successfully ordered a meal at a restaurant where English is not spoken.
6. Travel builds meaningful relationships
People you meet while on the road become some of the most valued names on your contact list. They become places on the map to visit later on. These folks give you a glimpse outside your hometown circle of friends, and force you to take in new and refreshing perspectives, and ultimately realize that everyone is the same.
7. Travel is Education
Seeing the world provides an education that’s absolutely impossible get in school. Travel teaches you economy, politics, history, geography, and sociology in an intense, hands-on way no class will. Not to mention you can learn a new language and be exposed to culture and not to mention amazing food!
I could go on forever listing reason to travel. Travel is easier than you think and anyone can do it. If international travel feels daunting, start domestically. Take a day trip somewhere new. You can can begin with a local adventure of hiking. The experience will be with you for a lifetime!
Licensed counselor, outdoor enthusiast, yoga lover and passionate about wellness.