Traveling has always been a part of my life and I am very lucky my parents afforded me that privilege as a young kid. I would go visit family from all parts of the states, and of course, Vietnam. Ever since then, I have had a desire to explore more, because it has opened my perspective. Below are reasons why I travel and why I think you should travel too.
1. Expand my Mind
It is great to be comfortable in my hometown, but I would rather be uncomfortable. When I am uncomfortable, I am forced to learn and adapt. I go to new places so I can learn how people live, what people eat and what they value. There is more than one way to live a fulfilling life, and I take the best parts from each culture.
2. Leave Behind the Grind
I work in my hometown and sometimes repeatedly going through the motions can lead to stress or monotony. Just like any situation, it can be best to remove myself from it. Then, I can think clearly, evaluate what I want and come back rejuvenated. Take a step back and I can move 10 steps forward.
3. Rely on Humanity
When I go to an unfamiliar country, I only have a roadmap on things to do. However, I can’t learn every thing about the culture before I go, so there will be a lot of times I am lost (social-norm-wise to literally lost on the streets). That is when I go up to strangers and hope they will be kind on my poor self, which humanity has served me well so far.
4. Rely on Myself
While I love trusting local advice, there are times where I have to trust myself. I might only have a map and I have to figure out how to go somewhere. I put on my street smarts and my book smarts, and I just believe in myself that I am resourceful enough to find the solution. There is something so rewarding in that, and it is a huge confidence booster. I just feel like no challenge will get in my way and I will conquer the world.
5. Collect Memories, Not Things
I personally don’t care for clothes, makeup or high-tech devices. Those things don’t bring me as much joy as experiences. I like having a bucket list and being able to check them off as I visit other countries. In the long-run, I will have tons of stories to share, which is more valuable to me than perishable things. Because when we all die, we can’t take our money with us, only our name.
6. Look at the Bigger Picture
It is easy to get caught up in my world, thinking my problems are bigger than they really are. When I travel, especially to developing countries, I see people who have fewer resources than me. There are problems like poverty, censorship and war. I see that and realize that my issues are a speck in this big, big world; I then just brush these small problems off, and my focus becomes wider.
7. Appreciate my Home
Like I said before, there are people with fewer opportunities than me. I can see that, and it makes me realize how fortunate I am. I not only see the opportunities, but I see a new culture. I start missing what is socially acceptable, so when I am back home, I appreciate those little things that make me feel comfortable.
Traveling is so much fun, and I definitely know it is a luxury. But I encourage everyone to try to go somewhere different once in their life. It can even be a nearby road trip, because no two places are exactly alike.