By far, answering why I travel is difficult. In order to answer this question, I will need to break it out into parts.
Travel allows me to relax
It is nice to get away from my daily routines and clear my mind from everyday deadlines, work, school, and people. Traditionally, if I take a day off, I might lay in bed and be unproductive. When I get the chance to travel, I explore while walking around, listening to music, and taking photos since I did not pay xxx to sit in a hotel room.
Travel allows me to appreciate my life
As I was growing up, traveling was not something my family would do. My dad was a hard-working father, and he hardly took any days off from work. When my dad had his stroke in 2014, he was told that he would not be allowed to enter a plane, so you can only imagine how I felt, knowing that I would not take my parents on future trips.
Being such a Disney Nerd, I always loved listening to Belle’s song in Beauty and the Beast, where she sings, “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell…”. Traveling allows me to realize how precious your life is.
Travel allows me to stay humble.
I am always looking ahead, so having the ability to pause and remember how I got here is a humbling experience, which motivates me and makes me appreciate all the lessons I have learned. Finally, the appreciation balances me because I have my lows times, where I think I have not done all I can with my life.
Travel allows me to explore
Travel takes me out of my comfort zones and inspires me to see, taste, and try new things. How many times do you go to the same theater, same restaurant, same old places? Giving myself the ability to explore means I can see and learn new experiences, I can see the beauty of nature, and most importantly, I can appreciate the little things in life.
Travel allows me to meet new people
For one reason or another, there are some people you might see daily, but you will never know their stories. Some people can make friends easily while some cannot. Having the ability to connect with others builds bridges and networks that could help you in the near future. Although it was purely for academics, when I traveled for a conference, it allowed me to meet people around my area of residency, and we would have never met otherwise.
Travel allows me to incorporate the Life-Long Learning approach
When I think of learning, I might think of what I read or saw in books, but nothing will ever take away from someone’s lived experiences. When you travel, I realize how little I know about the world and the people living in it. It is one thing to say that you are culturally knowledgeable, but it is another when you have examples of people’s stories in books. Every person or culture you interact with will be a learning experience. The world is like a book; the more you travel, the more pages you read.
Traveling allows me to invest in myself.
When everything is new in your life, you will be open to new ways of seeing and living in the world. As Mark Twain said, 20 years from now, you’ll be disappointed by the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did. In movies where death is the central theme, one message tends to appear is whether you lived a life worth living. For anyone who thinks that cartoons are not insightful, Pokemon the Movie had a character named Mewtwo, who said the most profound thing I have read in any anime storyline, “I see now that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant, it is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.”