I am positive this list could be longer, but these are the few that I find significant.
The first time you travel to a new country is when you realize that most of your day to day life is lived on autopilot. The routine of your day you normally do not acknowledge like how you communicate, travel from home to work, get ready for work, cook your food, eat your food and go to the bathroom. I can imagine the shock of using a bidet for the first time and not knowing anything about it. The habits you have become used to that no longer require conscious effort to accomplish are gone. In a new place, your mind must be active and ready to learn much like a kid attending his first day in school.
Traveling to a new country expands our awareness and introduces us to greater diversity. It’s likely you might help a person pick up their home after a monsoon or help a child fight starvation. There are things happening in the world we can only imagine on our TV screens.
3. Connect to New People
If you are lucky you will meet a few people from different countries who will teach you about their culture. If possible, maybe a few pen pals as well! They can continue to share with you their culture and you can further practice a new language instead of embarrassing yourself at the local Chinese restaurant where you end up talking in a fake Chinese accent thinking they understand you better that way.
4. Slows Us Down
One of the more obvious reasons to travel is to take a break from your life. Working, caring for a family, caring for a home, socializing, and responsibilities – they all contribute to our fast-paced lifestyle. Traveling offers the opportunity to live slowly and in the present. Enjoy yourself! Here you can see the habits in your life for what they are with a priceless clarity. It’s possible you might discover that 4 hours of gaming a day is not really a priority!
5. Learn to Love Life Again
6. Skill Development
Who knew you could climb a mountain – literally and metaphorically. You might have some hidden talents up your sleeve!
Traveling is about having adventures and experiencing things for the first time. It awakens you inner child. The part of you that wants to follow the rabbit down the hole and see where you end up.
8. Promotes Understanding
Visiting a new country releases the heavy expectations of the “One Right Way” mentality. When you are the minority in your thinking, it really helps to see that life revolves around patience and understanding. The sister words of love and brother words of wisdom. From here, you can move with the flow of life – organically.
9. Rediscover Yourself
This is the gold! Living away from your routine life and experiencing more can help you to feel your true self. For those of you who believe in karma, the awakening of your conscious mind by discarding habits, negative cycles and lower thought processes, can help us to get on the positive karma accumulation train! Living mindfully creates good karma. That being said, traveling is not necessary to achieve this, but it helps!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain