Beyond the culture and the food, there are some pretty compelling reasons why you should travel. Actually, they’re so compelling, the real question is, why aren’t you traveling?
It’s good for your health
Traveling can get your head out of your ass. Feel like you just can’t do it anymore? Do you keep buying the same damn meals, going out to the same places, doing life in a Groundhog Day-esque fashion wondering when it’ll stop repeating?
Get on a plane. Or hell, even getting in your car and spending a day exploring the next town over will inevitably shake things up.
It doesn’t cost buckets of money
This is the single most common reason I hear for not traveling.
Look bud, I want you to sit down and add up all the random shit you spent your money on last month. Every 2 a.m. Taco Bell run, all those craft beers, the movie tickets (sorry Super Troopers 2 wasn’t worth it), the stuff you ordered from Amazon– everything that was not a necessity. That number right there is your fun money. You get to throw it away on whatever you want, including travel.
Traveling doesn’t have to be some uber-expensive, first-class, all-inclusive, Swiss Alps chateaux, pinky-up shindig. Here’s the magic of America. You can get in your car and drive to some crazy road-side attraction. You’ll get fun Instagram photos (and the resulting confidence-boosting “I’m jealous! That looks like so much fun!” comments and likes), you’ll have a new story to tell, and you’ll have lived a new life experience, which is in large part what traveling is all about.
And if you won’t settle for anything less than the ultimate European vacation, here’s the dirty little secret: you’re going to have to save your money. That’s right. The thing that Americans hate just about as much as politicians and public transportation. Saving.
But look, if you add up all the dumb stuff you spend money on every month, you’ll realize you can put some of that money aside and have a pretty good lump sum by the end of a year. There are even apps that help you track your money goals and you can make it so that a portion of your paycheck automatically goes into savings. Set it up right and you’ll just be living your life when one day –boom– you’ve got enough green for the trip of your dreams.
You learn a lot
And learning is good for your brain. I’m not talking about the classroom-style “here is where Roman Emperor Gaius tried to make his favorite horse a senator,” although there may be some of that.
The routine and mundane becomes an adventure when you travel. From navigating an airport to figuring out how to feed yourself, you’ll make a lot of decisions and do a lot of problem solving. All those new connections are good for your brain. Whether or not you like the destination, you will come away a little smarter.
It’s easier than ever
Travel today is open and accepting. You don’t have to be travel savvy and you also don’t have to go through an expensive agent. Just google what it is you want to do. There are tips and tricks and guides for every interest, from LGBTQ friendly travel to adaptive travel to solo travel to travel for single parents to experiential travel that puts you in the kitchen of a local– it’s out there. All you must do is google for it.
You’re going to die
Ah yes, morbidity. Another topic Americans prefer not to deal with. This reason is a giant cliché, I hesitated to add it because it’s on just about every “Why you should BLANK now” list. But it’s a good reason.
Thinking “one day I’ll travel” or “when I have money, I’ll travel” is not going to cut it. The steps you take now lead to your future and if you want that future to contain travel, you have to start acting now.