10 Key Reasons Why Traveling is Important to a Happy Life + the Benefits of Exploring the World
Hey fellow explorers. You know exactly how I feel about travelling and exploring the world (spoiler: I love to travel). Now that border controls have sealed off countries from reach and with the world in lockdown, I am curious to know your opinion: Is travel simply a luxury or a necessity? While you ruminate on that and the nature of your existence, read on to discover 10 important benefits of travel, the advantages of travelling, and the reasons why traveling is important to a happy, fulfilled life.
In November 2018 I had my heart broken for the very first time.
I was 25 years old and getting ready for an epic trip to Colombia when, out of nowhere, my first long-term relationship came to a crashing, confounding end.
Awkwardly, I was due to go to South America with my then girlfriend. So, when the relationship ended, so did my travel plans! It was a double-whammy of disappointment.
In the days and weeks that followed I was left dazed, confused and feeling a little bit lost. However, after I’d recovered from the initial shock, I realized I didn’t want to sit around twiddling my thumbs and feeling sorry for myself.
Still reeling from the break-up, I fumbled together some last minute flights, packed my backpack up again, and left the UK on a one-way ticket bound for South East Asia.
Now, almost 18 months later, I’m back, with a happier heart, a renewed love for traveling and a brand new relationship to boot!
I couldn’t help but reflect on my experience of discovering the world and how restorative travel was for me. Doing so clarified why traveling is important to a happy life and just why I love travel so much.
So I decided to write about it! Are you wondering about the inherent advantages and benefits of traveling and its connection to life and happiness?
Here are my top:
10 BENEFITS OF TRAVELLING + WHY TRAVELLING IS SO IMPORTANT
Do you know. Which is correct: travelling or traveling?
Both forms of spellings are correct. Travelling is the preferred usage in the Commonwealth region, including the UK, and traveling is the preferred spelling in the USA.
This American-British spelling difference carries for other words: traveled or travelled and traveler or traveller. Neither is wrong and it comes down to regional and personal preference.
1 | TRAVEL EXPOSES YOU TO INCREDIBLE SIGHTS AND NOVEL EXPERIENCES
To travel is to explore new countries, new cultures, new lands, and new horizons.
You set foot in uncharted territory from the word go, seeing things that amaze you, surprise you, and take your breath away at almost every turn.
I love to travel and experience new cultures. It makes you feel alive, filling your spirit with a sense of adventure.
Everything is new! From the streets you walk to the food you eat and the people you meet. You do things you’d never dream of doing, take risks you’d never expect to take, and end up in novel, stimulating, life-changing situations as your reward. This is why travelling is important.
I think people need this kind of stimulation and novelty to be happy in life. At a very basic level, we’re not designed to be still- to sit down and do mind-numbing tasks all day, like robots. We’re meant to move, to play, and to explore.
Traveling delivers on all that and more.
2 | TRAVEL INTRODUCES YOU TO AMAZING PEOPLE
In my opinion, it’s the people you meet on the road that make travelling so special and one of the most important benefits of travel.
It’s hard not to meet cool, like-minded, open-minded, happy-go-lucky, fun-filled fellow travellers. They’re almost everywhere. The hostels, the bars, the planes, the tours, the beaches…You find amazing people to hang out with at every turn.
As social creatures, we need to be around others; we need the interplay and connection that comes from interpersonal relationships. It’s how we learn about ourselves, feel good about ourselves, and attain a sense of acceptance.
I love travel. You end up surrounded by potential friends and travel buddies when you’re on the road. The easy company lends itself to awesome shared adventures and the memories that follow.
3 | TRAVEL IS REAL LIFE ADVENTURE
I think, deep down, everybody wants an adventure.
Ask a kid if they want to spend their life sat behind a desk or having crazy adventures around the world and you’ll only ever get one definite answer.
The only reason that desire disappears is because it’s beaten out of us by societal norms and expectations. We feel compelled to worry about our futures; convinced that the stability of a 9 to 5 job is the answer, and get funnelled down an ordinary path that leaves us unfulfilled, dissatisfied, and wanting more.
A major advantage of travel and why I love travelling is that it offers the total opposite.
There’s nothing ordinary about it (other than how commonplace it is these days). Sure, travel doesn’t guarantee an Indiana-Jones-style adventure, but it’s a damn sight closer to it than a desk job you despise and a life spent living for the weekend.
4 | TRAVEL MOMENTS CREATES EPIC MEMORIES
You can’t have adventures and not come away with a story to tell!
Again, this speaks to me about really living. Life shouldn’t be dull and boring and uninspiring. It should be challenging, vibrant, intense, filled with experience, and, ultimately, memorable.
It’s all too easy to take our time for granted. It’s as if we’re all convinced it’ll never run out. Then you wake up at 40, or something traumatic happens (if turning 40 wasn’t traumatic enough) and wonder what the hell happened.
A benefit of travelling is that it helps you make memories that, I think (or hope) will stop that happening. The fill a mental locker with the adventures you have, to look back on with fondness forever more. You make the most of your time, feeling happier and truly alive in the process.
5 | TRAVEL MAKES YOU REALISE WHAT A TINY PLACE YOU OCCUPY IN THE WORLD
Another big reason why I think travel is important to a happy life has to do with humility.
Tucked safely away at home, you can feel as if the entire world revolves around you. Life consists of your local neighbourhood, your work/school, and your friends and family.
It’s hard to go halfway around the world and not have that particular bubble popped.
The process removes the illusions and confronts you with reality.
I love travelling. Out there, separated from home by entire continents, you realize just how small you are. You step outside and see how much there is to see. You’re one tiny cog in an almightily complex system. You’re a speck of dust in the grand scheme of things- a blip on the cosmic radar.
Travel humbles and educates you in equal measure — if you can distinguish between the two. Don’t you just love travelling!
6 | TRAVEL INSPIRES SELF-GROWTH AND IMPROVEMENT
Travelling removes self-importance and replaces it with wide-eyed wonder.
You see poverty, strife, and suffering among all the beauty. You realize how fortunate you are to have a house, friends, and family to go back to. You see the madness and disparity between the haves and have-nots.
If you allow it to seep into your soul, then you’ll never walk away from travel the same as you entered it. You’ll be wiser, more compassionate, and less concerned with trivial matters.
That’s a massive gift and a huge advantage that comes courtesy of stepping into the unknown and exploring new places, both in the world and within yourself.
7 | TRAVEL FORCES YOU OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Travelling isn’t all hunky-dory.
It’s bloody hard sometimes.
There’s the practical struggle for one thing. You’re tired all the time, lugging a backpack around, on your feet exploring new places, all the while inundated with a constant assault on your senses. There are new things to see, hear, smell, and taste. It’s exhausting!
Then there’s the mental challenge that goes with it.
Everything I just wrote about stepping into the unknown and realizing your place in the world isn’t easy. A seismic shift can take place inside you, rocking the foundations of what you thought you knew of both the world and yourself.
Throw in the difficult experiences of seeing extreme poverty, ending up in sticky situations, getting lost in new places, and so on, and you see how tough it can be.
But you come through it. And you’re stronger and better off for it on the other side. And you know where the magic lies? Outside your comfort zone. This right here is why I love to travel and one of my favourite benefits of traveling the world.
8 | TRAVELLING CAN BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE
Newfound self-confidence is another reason why you walk away better off from travelling.
I mean, it’s hard to come through adversity without a greater sense of confidence in your own abilities. You’ve prevailed against something challenging. You realize you’re capable of so much more than you limiting thoughts would have you believe.
By the end of your travels you’ll have navigated unknown lands, come through a host of uncertainty, and accomplished a whole lot of things that made you truly uncomfortable.
And there’s nobody to hold your hand through it all.
Your usual safety blankets are taken away; the training wheels are off and you’re rolling by yourself. And it’s fine! Sure, you fall over a few times and have the occasional tantrum. But that’s to be expected. Overall, you become happier, healthier, confident and self-assured. You cannot underestimate the benefits of travel.
9 | TRAVEL ACCELERATES THE JOURNEY OF SELF-DISCOVERY
Travel helps you learn more about yourself. It is essentially one long process of self-discovery and a major reason for my big love of travel!
You tread new territory in more ways than one. It’s another virtue of stepping outside your comfort zone. You’re forced into awareness of your weaknesses (like your penchant for junk food!), foibles and follies, alongside your many strengths and talents.
It comes from being around new people from all walks of life too. You hear their views and opinions, feel your responses to them, and recognise more about your own personal standpoints.
From there, you can decide if you want to keep, update, or discard them!
Self-awareness is an essential precursor to self-improvement. You have to know the lay of the land before you can build on it. The newfound sense of progress, development and personal growth that arises is another reason I think travel’s so important to life (and being happy within it).
10 | TRAVEL IS SOMETHING DIFFERENT FROM EVERYDAY ROUTINE
Ever get bored of living the same day over and over again?
Spend too long in the same routine and you can feel stuck in your very own version of Ground Hog Day. It’s an endless cycle. Same s*** different day.
It can sap the joy out of life. Even worse, time (and life) seems to disappear faster than ever! That’s the gift and the curse of a routine- depending on the situation.
Travelling is the total opposite! Everything about it is novel. Each day is different; you’re in total control, exploring new places, seeing new sites, and moving between places whenever it takes your fancy.
Exactly Why Traveling is Important and why I love to travel.
Still wondering about the benefits of travelling and it being a luxury, an escape or a necessity and an important aspect of living?
Well, hopefully, the reasons I’ve just been through have provided some sort of answer. I don’t think there are many experiences or activities in life that can offer the same degree of reward.
And I know what you must be thinking — this is all well and good, but travel is just too darn expensive! Well, I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be. Especially if you take the time to search for the best airfare (try Smartfares) which tends to be the biggest expense of any trip, while remaining flexible with your travel dates and plans.
For anyone out there who wants to feel happier, healthier and more alive, then I fully recommend travel for the task. As I discovered over the last 18 months, there’s nothing else like it to help you rediscover a sense of joy and contentment in life.
Guest Post Author Bio:
This post was contributed by Danny. He’s a travel enthusiast who’s determined to make the most of his life. He’s just set up a new blog to help others do the same! Check it out at wisehealthynwealthy.com.