I recently launched my first Ebook where I wrote “Life is more relative to a rollercoaster ride than a slow drive around the countryside on a Sunday afternoon” – something I believe we all know to be true but try to fight anyway, for the sake of a ‘smooth ride’. Whilst I’m only 22 years of age, I think I can safely say I already know at this age in life that life is indeed anything but a smooth ride, and it serves us better to embrace it rather than to try and change it. Go get yourself lost on a trek in South America, lay in the grass of a remote countryside town in Switzerland, or push your way through hoards of tourists in Times Square. See it, experience it, and embrace it… life was not meant to be ordinary.
They say you need to be shown not told what to do, so what better way to learn valuable life lessons than to see and do them for yourself? Reading about the turbulent history of France is one thing, but to visit monumental landmarks such as the Palace of Versailles gives you a completely different perspective on historical events. There’s also a lot you can’t learn about different cultures by simply picking up a book, such as old Moroccan traditions that have been passed down through generations and still continue to influence the daily lives of Moroccans to this day.
They say the only way to conquer your fears is to face them, so what better way to declare your independence than to travel around the world by yourself, or jump out of a plane over the dessert? Travel can enrich your life by exposing you to experiences you wouldn’t normally be exposed to at home. Challenges also come in many forms, such as communicating in a language other than English – particularly true when you find yourself in Moscow, Russia, trying to catch a train at a station that displays absolutely zero English signage. While at the time this is not only challenging but also incredibly frustrating, you soon learn a lot about yourself and your limits by uncomfortably pushing them.
Enrich the lives of others and yourself simultaneously
By giving back your time to enrich the lives of others you will inadvertently enrich your own life in more ways than one could imagine. Many third world countries have highly organised volunteer programs that allow you to take some time away from your privileged reality and enrich another person’s life in a way only possible via travelling to these countries and experiencing first hand. At the same time you enrich another person’s life, you will also enrich your own. This is a life skill you will always take with you and one of the most valuable things to be gained from travel.
Now is the time (while travel is cheap)
This is a little backward given the title Why Travel is the Only Thing you Buy that Makes you Richer claims travel will make you richer, all the while costing you money. There is obviously much to be gained from the act of travelling the world, hence it making you richer… but travel does of course cost money. Luckily our generation is fortunate enough to enjoy a highly globalised world that enables us to travel more freely and to all corners of the globe for a fraction of the price of what it would have cost our elders. If there’s a time to go out and see the world, the time is now.
Make new friends, network, connect
Meeting and connecting with people from all over the globe is something you simply cannot look over as an enriching experience that comes from travel. It is impossible not to meet people on the road and make lifetime friends, some of which you will remain in contact with more than your friends from home!
Memories to last a lifetime
The incredibly rapid evolution of technology over recent decades has made sure we won’t be forgetting our travel memories any time soon. Personally, I rely on my Canon 60D to shoot all my photos and video and create memories I will never forget. Of course I don’t need photos and video to remember the memories I made, but it certainly makes for a better way of sharing stories.
The world is filled with various cultures, each with their own beliefs, values, and morals. One of the most interesting and enlightening things to be gained from travel is just to embrace an alternative culture and see the world through the eyes of another.
Think of travel as a lifetime investment
All these points of how travel ‘makes you richer’ must be important for a reason, not just to justify travel in our own minds… so why is travel the only thing you buy that makes you richer?
Think of travel as an investment. The more we travel, the more we see. The more we see, the more we grow. The more we grow, the more we change and evolve as a human being. Travelling the world would have to be one of the most direct ways to go out and understand other cultures, other places, other people, and other understandings of life. This is something you will then take home with you to change your life and the people around you for the better. By travelling the world we can better understand the world we live in beyond the borders that define our nation and classify us as a particular ‘nationality’. Alternatively as a global citizen, we are all in this together.