I absolutely love to travel! There are so many reasons travelling is good for the soul. From learning new things, to creating stories to share for a lifetime, you need to start travelling. Here are some of the benefits to travelling that I have learned from my personal experiences.
1. Learn new things.
When you travel, you get to visit anywhere you’d like in the world. Depending on your financial situation, your budget, and where you want to go are all factors that contribute to where you end up travelling to. For example, I have family that live in Europe, more specifically in Belgium. I visited them a couple of summer’s ago along with the rest of my family- and we had the best trip of our lives. Belgium is known for their delicious, sweet waffles but I got to see more than waffles. I got to see how different people are than the people I know where I am from. I also learned how to get around, how to sight-see, and how to get most of my trip. During my trip in Belgium, we decided to take a train- to a next door neighbour, of course- Paris, France! Definitely one of the best trips I’ve had, and I hope I can go again someday.
2. Indulge yourself into a new culture.
This is a huge one. Have you ever heard of Eat, Pray, Love? When you travel, especially to foreign countries, there’s always so much to see, culture wise. I have had friends from all over the world, one’s who I have met during my first and second year of University, and I have loved getting to know who they are. Learning and experiencing a different culture than your own is so important- you get the sense of appreciation for them. When you indulge yourself into a new culture, you get a sense of what they call “culture shock”, which is in fact a form of emotional distress from being placed in a foreign environment away from your home, and you lose the sense of familiarity. But, I argue that this in fact, can be good for you. As you experience a whole different culture including language, clothing, cuisine, people and more, you feel more interconnected with the world. You learn how people are different that you, and how they run their own day to day lives just like you, but with their own speciality.
3. Meet new people.
When you travel, you always encounter that one friendly stranger who helped you out with something, big or small along the way. This is so important as you learn yourself to be a help to someone when they are in need. Meeting new people is exciting, and fun, when you take precautions and are aware of your safety and surroundings. When you meet new people and make new friendships and relationships, you get to develop new experiences for yourself, and you get a sense of how people are. You get to admire their traits, the way they are, the way they live, and develop a sense of admiration for different types of people.
4. Explore different parts of the world.
Exploring somewhere new and different is probably the most fun a person can have. Why? Because being caught in breathtaking views, a whole new sense of wonder and excitement, and adventure- is all worth while adding to your bucket list. Travelling is not dangerous nor safe, it all depends on the precautions you take, where you go, and how to take care of yourself- but damn, it is the BEST way to have an adventure. I love getting to see gorgeous sceneries, including hiking in the mountains, crossing long bridges, diving into the deep blue sea, seeing funky old/modern architecture- and not to forget, but seeing seven wonders of the world and historical (and well preserved) monuments and areas such as the pyramids of Giza in Egypt or the great wall of China… is worth every second of travelling to that place to see it.
5. Travelling helps not only to expand your mind- but your body as well!
I remember there was periods of time in my life where I would go days without leaving my house and I would do nothing all day, and I would notice my physical health began to deteriorate. This was a push to remind me to get out more- to breathe, to live, to run, to walk, to jump. Moving my body is something so important, as my body is something I am stuck with forever (that sounds scary but it is true) and it is my responsibility to take care of it. Travelling gets you out there, walking, exploring, wandering, and it helps you stretch out your limbs and take that early morning yoga class, wherever you are.
6. You can take a break from your daily routine.
It’s so incredibly vital to take a break from your daily routine, there aren’t words to express how important I want to stress this point. Travelling is not only something exciting at times and calming at others, but it helps you detach yourself from the same, old boring routine your mind and body are used to. Your daily routine might include waking up, going to school or work, hanging out with friends, grabbing coffee, and other things. But travelling, you get to experience daily activities that are so different from your normal, regular ones- such as sight-seeing, biking, back-packing, swimming, boating, and so much more.
7. You learn to face new challenges.
When I was younger, my biggest fear was facing a challenge. I wanted to follow the herd, not lead it, because of the challenges I might have faced. This is something that is so relevant to the notion of travelling, because you learn to face your fears and face new challenges. I remember a friend who went away travelling during the summer, had been caught in a bad situation- she was lost. She couldn’t remember the way back to her hotel and she was lost in a foreign place with nowhere to go, not to mention, it was a nighttime. But somehow, she figured it out. She is probably the strongest in my friend group at the moment, and I credit her “travelling alone” skills for attributing to the amazing woman she is today.
8. You create stories you can share with others someday.
Your life is a story. Do you remember in the movie, the Notebook, where Noah reads to Ally their love story everyday, even though she could not remember? That is an example of a life story. I think that is something so important, because creating stories and memories that you can share with others is not only an amazing conversation starter, but it makes you more fun and interesting as a person. You share a story and pass it on, and it becomes apart of you as a person, and that’s pretty cool.
9. Cultivate gratitude.
As a Christian, the first thing I learned during my Bible studies, is being grateful for all the things I’ve been given in my life. Although you, the reader, might not have faith in religion or in a deity, I think it is so important to be grateful for the life you are given. I used to be very ungrateful and angry at things, and I remember not enjoying my life at all. I think the reason I turned myself around and began to enjoy my life more is the fact that I created new relationships, friendships, and memories (from the places I travelled to, especially). Cultivating gratitude is so important because you learn to appreciate who you are and where you come from. Not only that, but also the world itself, and life. You get what the world is like, and you get to expand your viewpoints on life.
10. Learn how to take care of yourself.
Taking care of yourself is something everyone should start to learn from their mistakes in their teenage years until their early twenties. I am of a certain age where I should probably know how to feed myself, but only recently I’ve learned how to cook healthy meals and proportion them for myself. Travelling helps people understand how important it is to take care of yourself and HOW to do that, especially when you are in a foreign place. You learn what works with your appetite, your diet, your well-being, your mental health, and more. You learn what you can withstand, and what troubles you, what fears you, and you learn how to deal with it and control it. For example, last summer I went to the Dominican republic with my family and family friends, and we went snorkelling one day in the ocean. At first I refused to go in, because my anxiety was kicking in, as I suddenly developed this odd fear of water filling up my lungs. I took a deep breathe, got my snorkelling gear, and went in with my friends (for a few minutes) and then resurfaced, happy as ever, that I got to face my fear.
11. Learn new tips/tricks.
Learning new things are apart of the whole travelling ordeal. When you travel, you learn simple tips and tricks that you might have not known staying in your same old hometown that you have already absorbed what you could out of the area. These tips and tricks could be how to pack easily, how to say simple greeting words in a different language, how to find the nearest washroom or diner when you need to. Learning to communicate, to find your way around, and how to make the most of your trip are the key tips you need to learn from travelling.
12. You get brighter.
I have mentioned that travelling does contribute to your everyday knowledge, but it does make you more intelligent as a person. You get brighter, in the sense that, you open your mind. You become more open to learning new things. Learning in my perspective is getting out there, experiencing, absorbing the knowledge in any situation you are in, whether you are in Australia hugging Koalas or you are sitting in a Starbucks reading your new favourite book- you learn something new everyday.
13. You grow artistically and creatively.
I think this is such an important point to mention, and I have never read this point in an article regarding travel, which surprises me. I remember when I was younger and I was watching Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2, (bear with me here, this is relevant) and I remember one of the characters travelled to Greece. She was an artist, and one day she was sitting by a dock, by the sea and she had begun to draw and sketch the boats tied up at the dock. She was sitting on a little chair and had her sketchbook in her lap and she was sketching away. I have not only noticed this in movies and TV shows, but in real life. Every Thursday night, the Canadian Museum of Nature (Ottawa, Ontario) is open to all with no admission fee. I went last Thursday and as I walked around the museum, I noticed many art student sketching away the different stuffed animals on display including polar bears, beavers, and even dinosaurs. This was something that blew me away, because it made me realize you can find inspiration in anything. As a writer, I can agree that travelling does in fact open your eyes in a more artistic sense.
14. You gain new memories.
I cherish all of my memories. I try my best to remember my childhood- sweet and fun, how could I forget. Seeing my baby sister grow up right in front of my eyes, is something I can never let go. Creating new memories, is something I very much enjoy doing, not only because I can share my memories through stories I can tell my grandkids someday, but because I cherish and appreciate them (look at number eight).
15. You get an experience of a lifetime.
Travelling is good for your soul because it becomes apart of you. What you know, where you’ve been, who you are. It becomes apart of your DNA, as the stories of where you have gone and what you have experienced passes down in generations and it becomes stories with morals engraved into them that your kids will share with theirs. Travelling makes you a brighter, stronger more interesting person, as it opens your mind to new challenges, ideas and the world overall. You are apart of the world, it’s time to see it for yourself.
Have you experienced any other reasons travelling is good for the soul? Comment below!
Featured photo source: pexels.com
Nikki Tootoonchian is a young, vibrant, and creative woman who is currently after her English major at Carleton University. She is an avid fan of writing including poetry, script and story writing, and lyrics. Her influences include Charles Simic, Edgar Allan Poe, and Lewis Caroll. She spends her spare time playing the drums, watching horror films, and reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. She aspires to become a more serious writer and to encourage others to pursue the arts in the near future.