I wholeheartedly believe there is a distinct difference between travelling and being a tourist. Tourism is a commercial product. I liken it to that of holding a movie pass. You’re experiencing something different without ever actually leaving your comfort zone. It’s safe. It’s easy. Travelling, on the other hand, has a lot more to do with exploring and immersing yourself into a time, place and culture that you don’t understand. Travelling is a mindset that you want to be as much a part of your destination as it is a part of you.
Big cities might be filled with tourists, while travellers are those who follow the less beaten paths of this globe. The rewards might be great in either category, depending on what you’re looking for, but I happen to be a firm believer in travel over tourism. If you’re going to take the time and money to go somewhere – truly go there. Immerse yourself in the adventure.
- Step outside of your comfort zone. Travelling allows one to leave order and conformity and move towards the unknown. Pushing yourself out of that comfort zone can teach you just how far into the unknown you’re willing to go and just what potential you might be capable of.
- Escape your routines. Use travel as a tool to beak your behavioural patterns that keep you in the ‘daily grind’. Travel can provide that much needed escape from the world you hold so dear, but need a break from every now and again to avoid burnout. Scheduling your travels gives you something to look forward too and allows you to know when your next break is coming, when your next escape is waiting.
- It’s a free education. The last thing that you want to do is travel with the belief that you know everything. You’ll be shocked by your own ignorance. There’s too much to this world that you don’t know and haven’t learned yet. Travelling gives you an opportunity for that education that a classroom can’t teach and it also shows you just how much you don’t know.
- You’re exposed to new ideas and beliefs. While people often fear what they don’t know, or don’t understand, travelling puts you into situations where you’re forced to see these circumstances firsthand, witnessing that which can forever change you from there on out.
- The more you explore, the more you realize how complex human life is. And it’s hard to acknowledge that so few people will get to experience/know that within their lifetime.
- It increases your problem solving skills. It can be easy at home to go about your day in the same monotonous way as you’ve done over and over before. Drop yourself in a new location in a part of the world and you’ll be faced with a need to solve problems you’ve never faced in your daily grind. Reading a map in a foreign language is a problem that you’re going to have to learn to solve.
- Experiences come with expiration dates. This one is important. Who you are right here and now is not who you will be after you get married or have children or go through other changes in your life. The way that you experience a country/place/destination right now won’t always be the same. Someone who’s just out of highschool, backpacking through Europe will experience it in a completely different way than a retired couple. That’s not to say you won’t enjoy a trip when you’re a retired couple with your spouse, that’s just to say – are you really ready to give up on the experiences you could be having right now for the one day? For the some day?
Honestly, I’d take experiences over new shoes any day. I’m a firm believer in the statement ‘Collect Moments, not things’. Furthermore, moments and memories are the only form of wealth you can gain that give yourself that doesn’t diminish in time.
There’s so much more to travel than seeing a landmark or taking a selfie in front of a monument. Don’t get me wrong – those moments are pretty great too. Everyone needs a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower. But, for me, the importance of travel is about who you become when you go to a place, the person that you get to be and the person you transform into based on the situations you’re immersed in.
There’s really, genuinely important reasons for you to squander away your extra money. There’s a whole world out there to see. And yes, there are some material things in life that are important for you to purchase. But I guess, the point of this ramble from me is that there are so many important reasons to start putting that money aside and to be saving it for your next adventure.