When thinking about travelling, do you find yourself saying, “Well, yeah, I’ll do it sometime in the future” and put it somewhere at the bottom of the list? Or is it not even on your list? If that’s the case, then you should write it down, move it to the top and do it now. Here’s why:
Now is the time
We have to admit that, as a student, we’ve got a lot less to think about when it comes to travel. When you’re older and have other things to consider (job, mortgage, children’s education fund, to name but a few), travelling could be pushed to the bottom of your priorities. Another advantage of being young is having abundant energy. Strolling around for a whole day, trekking in Machu Picchu, setting up a camp with a mountain backdrop in New Zealand, swimming with the sharks in Karimun Jawa? Bring it on!
It opens your eyes
As clichéd as it may sound, travelling does broaden your perspective. It allows you to see another part of the world, and learn how to see things through other people’s eyes. You’ll meet many people with different cultures and habits, and sometimes with a different point of view. And of course, the world is too big to be spent only in one place. It’s too beautiful not to be seen.
It pushes you out of your comfort zone
Being far away from home and staying in a place where everything is different and the people don’t speak your language can be pretty daunting. But overcome this fear, and you can end up trying things you never even imagined you’d do. This will be the beginning of wonderful journey, where you’ll learn more about yourself and do things you never knew you were capable of. After all, life starts at the end of your comfort zone.
It keeps you humble
Getting out there and seeing things will make you realise how little you know the world, and that you’re just a tiny dot in a tiny place. In a way, this will make you crave to see more, but mostly it will keep you humble as you realise that there are so many things out there to be seen and learnt.
It’s the most fun way to learn
Experience is the best teacher, people say. When you travel, you’ll get lots and lots of experiences. Some of them will be great to laugh at, while some others will be a lesson that’s valuable enough to hold onto for the rest of your life. Along the way, you’ll also pick up things you probably wouldn’t know if you’d stayed at home, like the traditional Ghanaian dance, the delicious original Laab Moo recipe, Japanese public bathing etiquette in the onsen, and so on. On another note, staying somewhere for a few weeks (or months) can improve your language skills far better than any lessons in the classroom, which is a great thing to put on your CV. As you try to blend in and learn things by talking and making friends with the locals, your communication skills are sure to improve. And these are only some of the perks of travelling!
It makes you appreciate the little things
There are things in life that we take for granted and, sometimes, the comfort of our own home is one of them. Even when you’re doing great with adapting and blending in with the locals, there are times when you miss your Mum’s cooking, the smell of your Dad’s sweater, or how annoying your sibling is. It takes Dorothy a whole trip to Oz until she can finally say “There’s no place like home.” Well, sometimes it takes a trip halfway around the world to really appreciate it.
It gives you a story of a lifetime
How often do you hear your Grandpa or Grandma tell a story that begins with “When I was young…”? While I’m sure we’ll have a lot of other wonderful experiences in the upcoming years, travelling will be an unforgettable one, which you will always look back at affectionately. It’s going be a story you can’t help but tell your friends in between drinks in the pub, or even your children (and grandchildren) in the long years ahead, because you’re just so fond of it.
The list could go on and on, but aren’t these reasons enough to make you want to travel? Start writing your bucket list now. Visiting beautiful Uzungöl and seeing Sumela Monastery in Trabzon, going north to see Aurora Borealis, seeing the colourful Zhangye Danxia, strolling around in Tokyo just to feel the vibe, it could be anything. It needs money, true. But the things you’ll get are really worth saving for. Unlike fashion or gadgets, experiences don’t expire. So start saving, get out there while you have the chance, and see how beautiful the world is.