1. To become a more interesting person
There’s no doubt that the most interesting people I’ve ever met in my life have been travellers. Not only are travellers full of worldly views and great stories, they’re inspiring, fun, and fear only boredom. As a traveller, you’ll be the envy of all your friends back home, the coolest person at a party, and if you’re single, well I’m sure your stories about the Australian outback, or the Amazon rainforest will prove itself worthy on a first date.
2. Freedom from conformity
Having grown up in the suburbs, I have never understood the obsession people have with “fitting in,” such as buying the same obscenely priced pair of ugly shoes as everyone else. Nor can I see myself ever marrying “that guy” from high school, having a “career” which constitutes doing menial tasks for a mental boss, or ever “settling down” in a house with a white picket fence and a SUV. While I’ve pretty much described my worst nightmare, this is actually the dream life for just about everyone in my hometown. See why I talk about moving abroad so fondly?
3. To Live life with no regrets
One of the worst things I can ever imagine (other than life in the suburbs), is lying on your deathbed wishing you could’ve done more with your life. Jobs and material goods come and go, but you’ll never get another chance to backpack through Europe with your gap year friends, or see the Great Barrier Reef before it’s destroyed. If you want to do something, just do it. Excuses are for politicians.
4. To become a smarter and more independent person
To travel is to learn things they never taught you at school. It’s not only about discovering new cultures and adapting a worldly view on life, but knowing how to get by in a country you can’t speak the language of, or knowing how to set up a foreign bank account… to even gaining survival techniques such as camping out in the outback or cooking a meal in the wilderness.
5. To be inspired
What do Ernest Hemmingway, F Scott Fitzgerald, Mark Twain, and Jack Kerouac have in common? Well, other than the fact that they’re probably (like most artists) stoners and/or alcoholics, they also wrote some really beautiful literature. Oh and they also travelled. A LOT. Had they not sacrificed the comforts of their home to seek out inspiration in the world, some of the greatest classics in the world would cease to exist. After all, to make art you have to be inspired. To find inspiration you have to live, and to live is to travel and see the beauty of the world we live in.
6. To live the life you imagined
Have you ever wished you could trade lives with someone? Whether they’re a fictional movie character or someone you’ve met in real life, in your mind, they’re the coolest person ever. Well, what’s stopping you from being any more different than them? It’s crazy to think that a single plane ticket can open your life to so many possible routes…crossing paths with strangers that can be your soul mates, embarking on adventures that seem so extraordinary it’s hard to believe they’re real, and living a new life every time you cross a border. Okay, maybe I’m actually just describing a James Bond movie, but I have to say, I sometimes watch movies feeling like the writers stole a page from my travel journals.
7. Travel experience looks good on resumes and applications
I never really believed this fact until I started looking into grad schools (I’m planning on applying to some in Germany for next year). You wouldn’t believe how many universities list “time spent abroad” as a REQUIREMENT for admission.
8. To fall in love
Not necessarily with another person (although I have to admit, adventurous souls are usually pretty attractive from all that….climbing and hiking they do), but falling in love with the beauty of nature. If you think it looks good on National Geographic, you haven’t seen anything until you see it in person. Nature always has a way of rendering us speechless (similar to Armani ads that feature certain soccer players). To love nature also means being educated on our ecological footprint, and the need to live a sustainable life.
9. To make lifelong friends
Once you travel, you’ll meet lots of people on a daily basis. These people will come from every country imaginable and be way cooler than anyone you’ve ever met in high school. You’ll go on crazy adventures, and be closer to them in a week than some friends from back home that you’ve known for years.
10. Because it’s fun
I don’t think this really needs an explanation. If anything, just watch Eurotrip.
image source: http://lovebryan.com