Now that globalization and hyper-connectivity have put the whole world in the palm of your hand, is it worth moving from place to place?
Waiting at airports, sitting on the train or stuck on the highway we tend to ask ourselves things like: why do people travel? Where do all those people go and what do they have to do there? Does traveling really deserve all the fuss? Well, there’s not an easy answer for any of those questions, as there are as many different types of travel as there are travelers. But if we focus on pleasure trips – the most common and the ones we enjoy the most – we can find certain similarities that explain why travelling is really worthwhile.
Best thing in life
The comfort zone is fantastic – that's why it's called ‘comfort zone’. Many of the good things that happen to us every day occur in our environment, surrounded by people we trust. But that small circle can become boring or even overwhelming over time. Is that enough to grab a backpack and go out to discover the world? No, but it's a start. This is what makes travel one of the most valuable experiences in life:
Traveling shows you the (real) world
Knowing what's happening on the other side of the globe is as easy as asking your mobile phone. And you can see almost every corner of every country on the very detailed maps that Google kindly offers for free. But all that incomplete information is not comparable to the breathtaking feeling of seeing for the first time wonders like the pyramids of Egypt, Niagara Falls or the fjords of Norway. Not only that, but traveling to other countries shows you lifestyles totally different from yours, and makes you rethink everything you took for granted. It allows you to see for yourself what the world is like, with all its nuances and details, something that not even the most powerful computer will ever achieve.
Traveling forges friendships for life
We are not gonna lie, expanding your social network in a foreign country is not an easy task. You need to spend some quality time there and be in the mood to talk with tons of people you don't know. But if you're successful, you'll make friends forever, because out of the ordinary experiences tend to create a greater impact on people. These new friends will give you the courage to keep growing your social circle, so the more you travel the more new friends you'll have spread around the world, and you will always have a place to call home away from home – even on couchsurfing.
Traveling confronts you with new challenges
If you think that by having a mobile phone with a permanent internet connection you will never get lost anywhere, try to find the right way at Tokyo's central station at the first attempt. There are so many everyday situations that become complicated challenges when we are in other countries... Especially if we don't know a word of the language. But before thinking of it as a handicap, this situation causes our imagination to wake up, the development of new communication skills and that we become masters of improvisation, skills that are very difficult to cultivate if we don't leave our comfort zone.
Traveling discovers fascinating food
Indian, Japanese, Lebanese, Greek, Mexican... Surely you have tasted all these cuisines in your own city, and surely some of them are really good. But eating local food in a different country is a whole new experience. The flavors are authentic, the recipes unexpected and the ingredients sometimes surprising – or disgusting at first sight. Gastronomy is a fundamental part of different cultures, and by knowing it we can better learn how the world really works – a tasty excuse to justify why do people travel.
TNew experiences, new perspectives, new insight… In short, everything that happens to us from the moment we walk through the door of our house creates an improved version of ourselves, making us understand why do people travel. Let chef Anthony Bourdain's words speak for us: “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind”.
Want to keep dreaming?
At OSTRICHPILLOW we're all about travel, discovery, and the unexpected. Join our community of dreamers and you'll receive special offers and inspiration fresh to your inbox.