Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
As a recognized traveller and author, Mark Twain has spread insight on the charm of travelling around the world. In today’s society, we can summarize his quote into one word: Wanderlust. For those who have not heard of this term, it's nothing new. Wanderlust has long been used to describe the strong desire to travel and explore the world. You may know some people who never feel the desire to leave their home. They’re happy to stay in the city they came from, the couch they sit on and the routine of their life. Then there are people who can’t sit still, love to explore outside and spend their time searching for new places to experience. Whether you call it wanderlust, a love for adventure or curiosity, one thing remains the same: there is a deep desire to explore that cannot be fulfilled, no matter how many journeys you take. For those that experience wanderlust, there is always something new to push you out of your comfort zone.
Luckily, our world is a large place. Your adventure can either start at home or across the ocean. With travelling becoming cheaper, safer and quicker over the years, there are many rewarding reasons to travel regardless of your age.
1) Travelling changes the way you understand the world.
If you never go beyond the city limits, you would have a hard time imagining anything outside of your comfort zone. From sunsets over oceans and monkeys swinging through rainforests, to volcanoes erupting in the distance, there are many beautiful experiences to enjoy.
While many people may be comfortable with different cultures, what we experience every day is only a portion of the real diversity in the world. Travelling will expose you to these different cultures, different animal and plant life, different climate, geography and different ideas and experiences. Ultimately, these experiences that will shape you as a person.
2) Travelling enhances your educational skills and knowledge.
Being able to explore the Irish castles, walk through the trenches of Vimy Ridge and examine the architecture of the Colosseum for yourself can change your outlook of the experience. You'll want to learn more about the history and geography of these artifacts. How long ago was it built? What did they use to build it? What purpose did it serve? Now, these places will no longer be pictures from a book, but memories for you to share with others.
3) Travelling pushes you beyond Your limits.
Have you ever needed to learn Spanish so you could figure out directions to your hostel? Have you ever had all of your things stolen in a foreign country? Have you ever had the chance to climb a mountain, hike a volcano or swim with sharks?
Travelling will put you a variety of situations, both good and bad. It's a gamble really, you never know what's going to happen when you're on the road. But sometimes, that's the best part of it. It's these crazy situations that make you realize that you can do things you never thought possible. Pushing yourself and conquering your fears is a good thing to learn at any age.
The toughest part about travelling: Priorities
Many people avoid travelling because they think it costs too much. Well, travel is not an issue of being rich, rather it's an issue of priorities. Graham Hughes, the first man to set a world record for visiting every country without flying, started off like everyone else. When he was asked how he could afford to travel so often, he answered: “How can you afford your rent? How can you keep a dog? How can you have children?”
Having a budget, eating street food and travelling with the locals are just some ways to make travel affordable. Obviously, some people prefer comfort and security, so it's natural for them to work hard, stay at home and take a vacation once in a while. However, if you want to see the world, do it while you’re young so you can "rush into that thrill head first and wake up every day looking for new challenges, new places and new friends." The toughest part of travelling is deciding to go.
When you look at a scenic calendar, do you ever notice the photographs of landscapes like the sand dunes of the Sahara desert, the peaks of the Rockie Mountains or the moon overlooking a rainforest? After admiring the picture, reality sets in and you go back to doing whatever it was before. I bet many of you can relate to this experience: “I wonder what it’s like to be there”.
So, stop “wondering” and start “wandering!"