Happy New Year!
Can you believe it's already 2018? For many people, the new year comes with New Year's resolutions. Some of the most popular resolutions are: exercise more, lose weight, eat healthily, learn a new skill, drink less alcohol, quit smoking, etc. While all of these are great, there's one missing...travel more! With 2017 now behind us and 2018 ahead of us, will this finally be the year you travel more? If you're still unsure, here are 18 reasons to travel in 2018.
The only constant thing in life? Change. So why not embrace it? Change is an inevitable part of traveling and one of my favorite parts. It provides you with opportunities and situations to learn, grow, make mistakes, and make spontaneous decisions. Will you make a change and travel more in 2018?
2. Change your perspective
Since beginning to travel, my perspective of the world has changed greatly. Not only do we live in "bubbles" within our communities with family and friends, but we also live in a "bubble" that is our country and culture. If you don't travel you'll go through life looking at the world from just one perspective and you'll be missing out. However, if you travel you will soon discover there's no one way (or right way) to live and that your perspective of the world is just that - your perspective. Seeing firsthand how others around the world live, eat, celebrate, work, etc. will without a doubt change your perspective on life.
3. Challenge yourself
Looking to challenge yourself mentally, emotionally, or physically? There's no better way to challenge yourself than to travel. Travel will push you out of your normal routine and norms and you'll learn to be resourceful, culturally aware, financially aware, etc. In the end, travel will open your eyes to what you are capable of and build your confidence at the same time!
4. Getting out of your comfort zone
Looking for a way to get out of your comfort zone? Travel is the answer. When traveling, you never know what's going to happen; whether it be trying new food, speaking another language, or talking to strangers, you're going to encounter situations daily that push you out of your comfort zone. It's in these uncomfortable times that you will learn more about yourself and broaden your horizons.
5. Appreciate your life
We all can admit our lives are hectic and we often get busy and lose sight of everything we have to appreciate and be thankful for in our lives. Whether it's family, transportation methods, amenities such as running water or electricity, or finances, these are all things we often take for granted without even thinking about it. How do you step back and appreciate these things again? One way is travel because you can't truly appreciate your life and everything you have until you see others in different situations and circumstances. Adventuring to and exploring another place will give you a fresh perspective and appreciation once you return home.
We live in an ever so busy world where we are expected to be "available" and "connected" at all times. Sometimes you just need to disconnect, get away, and relax. Ditch the cell phone, Facebook, and Snapchat and truly take time to relax and recharge. Relaxation to some is laying on a beach while reading a book and to others, it's trekking through a dense forest. Whatever is relaxing for you, do that and take the time to live in the moment.
Do you like adventure? If so, why not travel? Besides the actual excitement and adrenaline of the trip itself, there are limitless opportunities for adventure while traveling. One person's definition of adventure may be cage-diving with sharks in South Africa and another's may simply be using their broken Spanish from high school in the streets of Barcelona. Whatever adventure you're looking for, you can accomplish it through travel.
Traveling gives you the freedom to go anywhere you want and do whatever you want. Do you want to lay on the beautiful white sand beaches of Costa Rica for a week? Do you want to white water raft and explore the Amazon? Anything is possible and it's all up to you.
9. To celebrate
Are you graduating, getting married, celebrating a milestone anniversary or birthday, or have any other event worth celebrating? Why not travel? I can't think of any better way than to celebrate the event, milestone, or accomplishment than to travel somewhere, get away, and make memories.
10. Taste new food
Mmm, the delicious taste of Brazilian açaí on a hot day in Rio de Janeiro or the tantalizing aroma of currywurst walking around Berlin. Food is a staple of daily life all around the world and is a great way to learn more about the culture and people. When you travel you and your taste buds are exposed to delicious (sometimes not), unique food that you may never have the opportunity to try if you don't travel. If an opportunity arises to try a local delicacy or something new, don't say no. Try everything at least once...you never know, it may become your favorite food.
Each and every day we learn something new; it may be something small or something big but you never stop learning in life. So, why not learn while traveling? One reason many people travel is to learn new knowledge or skills. One can learn nearly anything while traveling: culture, geography, language, history, photography, how to scuba dive, etc. You may be thinking, "I can learn photography online" or "I can read the history of Mozambique on Wikipedia" which is true, but would you rather learn online or actually out in the real world where it'll stay with you longer and you will make lifelong memories?
12. Learning about yourself
You can always learn more about yourself. However, sometimes it takes getting away from home and the norm to discover new abilities, hobbies, desires, fears, etc. One thing is certain, traveling will give you plenty of opportunities to discover more about yourself and what you want in life.
13. Learn a language
Simply put, there's no better, or easier, way to learn a language than to be immersed in the language. Having been learning languages since 2007, I can confirm that learning by immersion is by far the easiest way. There are a ton of apps, software, websites, etc. out there, but they are not as effective as learning by immersion. Even if you aren't looking to become fluent in a language, learning the basics of languages while traveling feels rewarding (it also shows respect and interest to the natives).
When traveling, especially while traveling alone, you meet a ton of people. These relationships not only turn into lifelong friendships (the majority of my closest friends are from my travels) but also open doors in the future. Whether you're traveling and need somewhere to stay or you're looking for a new job, this network of relationships and friendships you'll build while traveling can prove very helpful.
15. Experiencing a new culture
What exactly is culture? Culture is a combination of things such as language, religion, clothing, art, manners, food, celebrations, working habits, jokes, etc. Does experiencing a unique culture different from your own interest you? If the answer is yes then you need to travel! Experiencing a new culture is eye-opening, exciting, and rewarding yet, challenging at the same time. At first, you may experience some culture shock, but culture shock isn't a bad thing. You will learn to adapt, be flexible, trust your gut, and develop a thicker skin.
16. There's no better time than now
If we allow ourselves to, we will always make an excuse to put off travel. Whether its finances, logistics, your job, or any other excuse you can think of, these should not stop you from traveling in 2018. Life is short and you should jump at any opportunity you have to travel. As Brazilian author Paulo Coelho said, "Never allow waiting to become a habit. Live your dreams and take risks. Life is happening now."
17. Check an item off the bucket list
Is visiting Italy on your bucket list? What about seeing the Great Wall of China? Swimming with dolphins? Attending carnival in Rio de Janeiro? If any of the items on your bucket list are travel related, why wait another year to check them off? Make the decision now to check off an item or more off your bucket list in 2018! I'm going to be checking off items on my bucket list so why don't you?
18. Just Because
If for no other reason, travel just because! It's as simple as that.
So, with 2018 here, why not plan your next trip or adventure? Whether a small or large trip, get out there, travel, and see for yourself what the world has to offer. Make 2018 the year of no excuses!