Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
The best reasons to go travel the world
Why do people like to travel? There are a million and a half reasons to go travel – some people travel to create fun travel memories, while others love to travel to push themselves to the limits. The importance of traveling isn’t just found in one of these, but for any reason that might inspire a travel lover to visit a new place.
Below I asked 33 bloggers, videographers, and nomads “why do you like
- Building memories and spending quality times with travel companions
- The food
- Escaping reality
- Hiking crazy mountains
- Becoming more spiritual
- Inspiring others through video
- Seeing wildlife
- Chasing that adrenaline high
- Showing locals a different lifestyle
- Becoming fluent in another language
- Meeting new people
- Having adventures and exploring nature
- Exploring on foot
- Learning how to help those in other countries
- Partying with more freedom
- Exploring similarities across borders
- Sparking creativity
- Countering the stories we’re fed by the news
- Connecting with strangers
- Teaching important life skills
- Seeing places and landscapes you can’t see at home
- Seeing UNESCO sites
- Meeting like-minded people
- Exploring new cultures by living with locals
- Seeing diversity and allowing it to optimize one’s lifestyle
- Feeling alive
- Seeing the world through a child’s eyes
- Going hiking for a mental rest
- Seeing how vast and amazing the world is
- Challenging yourself
- Changing one’s outlook on life
- Worldschooling and enriching experiences
- Disconnecting and going back to basics
1. Building memories and spending quality times with travel companions
Matilda from The Travel Sisters
There are many reasons why I love to travel, but one of my favorite is to build memories and spend quality time with my travel companions. While I also enjoy solo travel, I usually travel with other people including my sister, my mom, my husband, and my kids.
I did not travel much as a child, but when I first started traveling as soon as I reached adulthood, it was with my sister. While we were already very close, traveling bonded us even closer together and we became best friends. We enjoyed traveling together because it was something we both loved and it gave us the opportunity to spend quality time together without everyday interruptions (it also helped that we had similar travel styles and we were drawn to the same travel destinations).
Together my sister and I have traveled to over forty countries and all seven continents, and we even started a travel website together to document our travels. When I met my now husband we lived in different cities, so travel was the only way we could spend time together in the beginning stage of our long distance relationship; sometimes we would travel to another destination instead of visiting each other at home.
Now that we are married with two young children we love to travel together as a family, and I am looking forward to building travel memories with my kids as they become older.
2. The food
Maire from Temples and Treehouses
Tapas and vermouth on a sunny Barcelona rooftop. Espressos and flaky croissants at a French pavement cafe. Currywurst and steaming mulled wine, sipped just-too-hot, while crunching through snow at a German Christmas market. For me, food isn’t just the cherry on top — it’s my favourite reason to travel in the first place! From feasting on mango sticky rice at a street market in Thailand to taking a 4-hour multi-course lunch in Italy, food helps you dive into the flavours and quirks of a culture.
I love booking a street food tour for my first day in a new city – bonus points if it takes place in a historic old town. That way, you get to meet a local, get your bearings and learn a bit about the place you’re visiting, plus try some of the best food on offer all in one go.
3. Escaping reality
Kathi from Watch Me See
We live in a world and at a time when a lot of things are going wrong all over the place – politically, environmentally, with the economy, on a humane level, you name it. Listening to the news is overwhelming. We’re forced to look on while the people who hold the power don’t seem to
Travelling lets me escape this overwhelming reality and experience the world through a whole new lens. I don’t mean the kind of escapism where you shut yourself off from real life and vacation in a sparkling bubble on a deserted island. I mean the kind of escapism that lets you run away and have experiences that fill you with joy, rather than anxiety. Travel lets me experience true hospitality, connect with strangers, gain new skills, push my boundaries and learn new things about myself and the world.
Travelling fills me with the kind of positivity I need to face the messed up reality of our world. Experiencing different cultures, landscapes and ways to look at the world allows me to envision the way I would like to world to be. And ultimately, it is my way to go out and seek inspiration for a new, better reality – and the strength to work on making it become true!
4. Hiking crazy mountains
Alice from Teacake Travels
One of my favourite reasons to travel is to go hiking on top of crazy mountains! For some people, travel is a holiday, but for me, I am determined to face my fears, push my boundaries and reach my full potential through challenging activities. My Dad used to carry me on his back when he was hiking in the Peak District in the UK, so it only makes sense that I have ended up on some of the most epic mountains across the world!
I have mostly covered Asia so far in my adventures. Are you wondering where to go? At the top of my list, I cannot recommend India, China, Vietnam, and Taiwan enough. The mountains in these countries are just out of this world.
In India, take a spiritual journey from Rishikesh and make it your mission to reach the Source of the Ganges! I managed to reach my goal in the chilling Winter just days before the National Park shut down for respite. It’s the only time that I can say that sleeping with rats in the hut in the middle of nowhere was worth it. As I reached the end point, a butterfly floated down and perched on my fingers as I breathed in the epic energy. It was an unbelievable experience!
If you want to take on something a little less drastic, tackling supposedly one of the world’s most dangerous trails in Huashan, China is actually easier. You’ll be strapped to cable lines as you tread along wooden planks nailed into the side of the mountain, but it really is foolproof. Give it a go!
5. Becoming more spiritual
Leo from Safari Nomad
Traveling is not only about adventure, meeting new people, and breaking away from routine, but it can also be an amazing and profoundly spiritual experience. How do we come to the point where we realize that travel brings us spiritual benefits? We need to look beyond what travel brings to our lives.
Often when we travel, our true authenticity that was hidden in everyday life is given a chance to come out. One of the benefits is definitely getting to know yourself (and/or your travel partner) better. When you are being pulled out of your comfort zone and you travel alone with someone else, it’s a test for you and your relationship. This is the time when all the best and worst parts of us come out.
Additionally, while traveling and experiencing a new culture, we experience a new style of living. This offers us a chance to start appreciating the little things in everyday life, your life, the way you live and where or with whom you live. Maybe you start appreciating your home more, the security in your city or country, etc. Also, you start to understand and accept another perspective on life not with
6. Inspiring others through video
Christa from Expedition Wildlife
Travel allows us to see and experience the new, the far-flung, the ancient, and the close-by – destinations that evoke emotion or wanderlust. Filming these places and sharing them with others to enhance that desire to travel, and especially to care for and protect those places, is an added bonus.
Videos help us to see how a place transforms with the setting of the sun or between seasons, or even the subtle movement a bird makes to indicate it is about to launch into flight. Explorations of videography and storytelling in this way can allow us to become better naturalists, furthering our knowledge about a place or the creatures that live there.
As we plan out filming locations, we better understand the logistics of traveling in and around a place as well as learn about the best locations to see some incredible wildlife and nature. We can then share our experiences and recommendations to allow others to have just as good of an experience while emphasizing the patience that often goes into seeing neat things in nature.
As some places in the world change at a faster rate than others, we feel it is imperative to capture their essence on video in perpetuity to allow others to experience these places as well.
7. Seeing wildlife
Priyanka from On My Canvas
I travel to see the wildlife thriving around the world.
I am from India. So you might ask, “why do you want to go anywhere else to see wildlife as India has ample animals well-settled in their tropical habitats?” Even though I was born and brought up in India, which means I had higher chances of seeing animals, I crave seeing the wild animals of the world, too. Running behind wildlife might be a passion I was born with, or my craving to see animals might be inspired by my mother’s evergreen garden where I grew up playing with squirrels, parrots, cows, cats, birds, and monkeys.
So now when I live in a big city in India, if I am not traveling, I love escaping into the jungles of the world which promise to show some of its inhabitants in their element. For example, recently on my solo trip to Malaysia, I impulsively booked a flight to Borneo. While I was in the airport, I searched for a homestay on the Kinabatangan River which is home to orangutans, proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, and pygmy elephants.
How could I have had that encounter with a wild orangutan if I didn’t go hiking in the forest with my hosts to find whatever the jungle held for me? So when the guide spotted the orangutan’s hairy orange arm as he plunged from one branch to another and quickly started shouting, broke the tree branches, and threw them at us, I felt that the universe had conspired to making me stumble on that orangutan on my last day in Borneo. Now I will hold that memory forever and will keep retelling this story of how an orangutan wanted me to leave his home, which I did while being thankful for the forest and its residents.
I travel for these memories and stories from the jungle.
8. Chasing that adrenaline high
Jessica from Uprooted Traveler
In my day-to-day life, I have a desk job where I work 50+ hours per week and pay my bills on time; in other words, I’m a responsible adult. And with so many of us nowadays being constantly “connected” to our cell phones or work or social media, life can seem just a little bit safer, dare I say, even duller?
So when I travel, it’s an opportunity to shed that side of my personality and connect with a wilder side of myself. From crushing the slopes of the Rocky Mountains to traversing a glacier in Iceland or skidding through the streets of Tokyo on a go-kart, travel affords me the opportunity to view the world as an endless adventure waiting to be had, a never-ending fountain of opportunities to get that ever so glorious adrenaline high.
Being in a new environment, surrounded by foreign sights, sounds, and smells, there’s no better place to push my body and courage to the absolute limit and feel totally alive. The roster of places I’m heading to next reads like an adventure junkie’s bucket list: caving in Vietnam, polar plunging in Finland, and surfing in Costa Rica. And after that? Who knows, but adventure will be waiting.
9. Showing locals a different lifestyle
Antonio from Vietnam Chronicles
Like everyone else, I have many different reasons to travel, and as long as I travel and explore, my reasons constantly change and become more meaningful and deeper. It’s such an amazing journey, not only because of meeting people and seeing places, but because learning about the parts of yourself you’d never know about if you stay at home.
The biggest reason that currently resonates with me on my current 1-year trip through Vietnam is definitely showing locals a different lifestyle and inspiring them to explore.
I was an extremely shy person by nature and was always seeking security inside my comfort zone. After my first trip, I started to be a more energetic and curious person, so I just continued to travel and I can’t explain how much of an impact traveling had on my personal development. I’ve become a confident person who’s always willing to help and cheer people up. I’m not comparing myself to others, but instead teaching others to compare themselves with the previous version of themselves.
I strongly believe we can make the world a better and more compassionate place, starting from the individual. When you travel, your brain is working on a different frequency since you are in a new environment surrounded by unknown traditions, smells, strangers and languages. You open yourself and you learn so much from these experiences. You simply become a better version of yourself!
When you’re progressing, you realize that the only way to progress further is by pushing other people to progress along with you. That’s the beauty!
That’s the reason I try to inspire people to go outside their comfort zone and explore the beauty of the world around them.
10. Becoming fluent in another language
Dan from Layer Culture
There are so many reasons why people travel today. Before I set out on my adventure I never had a reason to leave my bed of comfort in the United Kingdom.
Until one day a met a small Mexican man at an event in London. He approached me, thinking I spoke his language (Spanish) and he was shocked to realise that I barely caught one word of his animated greeting.
This sparked something inside me that made, from that day on, think that I need to learn Spanish. However, it was only through travel I would reap the true benefits of learning Spanish and that way I could retain what I had learned through immersion.
Fast forward 5 years and I have been living in South America with local families and have been crafting my Spanish to a point where there is no turning back. I now speak Spanish daily. So, if learning a new language whilst you travel is not a good enough reason, I don’t know what is. Speaking a new language has allowed me to dive deeper into the places I visit as I travel around Latin America.
11. Meeting new people
Lisa from My Snapshot Traveler
The joy of traveling is so multifaceted. Experiencing new places, trying new cuisine, and learning about new cultures are all invaluable, indelible experiences. However, the best part of travel for me is the people I meet along the way. Never was this so evident than during my first time to Barcelona.
Our first evening, we strolled the city and found ourselves on Avinguda del Paral·lel. The sun had set by this time, and being a Monday night, many of the establishments were closing shop for the evening. The Paddock Motard Bar – lights gleaming in the distance – beaconed us. We ordered bottles of Estrella, sat around barrels that were fashioned into tables, and felt instantly at home.
We spent the rest the evening chit chatting in broken Spanish to the Paddock staff, who we learned were siblings. We talked about our travel plans, the tough economy in Spain, and music. It made the world feel a little smaller and more connected.
Over the years, we’ve met a gentleman who serenaded us in a pub in Ireland, a widow taking her first vacation in the Caribbean after losing her husband, newlyweds aboard a cruise celebrating with their families…it’s these experiences I seek again and again when I travel. I love discovering new places and experiencing new things, but it’s the folks I meet along the way that give traveling extra depth and meaning.
12. Having adventures and exploring nature
Joseph from Nomad Joseph
I travel because I can have adventures with new people who I meet on the road and explore nature. I was born in a country which is totally flat, and nowadays I am all about hiking and climbing different peaks. Climbing the mountains and exploring nature with my hands and feet while kayaking down the river brings pure joy to my heart. Having adventures with different people I meet on the road, going hiking together, or exploring the jungle in South East Asia are wonderful experiences!
I try to split my year between travelling and staying at home. When I get bored of working and my head starts to hurt from the stress of my life, I pack my backpack and go on an adventure. I try to find as much nature in my travels as possible. My eyes rest seeing green forests and white snow on mountains.
In my opinion, the best way to clean your head from various thoughts is to put your body through physical challenges. Running a marathon in another country, hiking to super high mountains, walking 100 kilometers, or kayaking in remote areas are some great examples.
Every traveller should combine nature with physical challenges. In the moment, your body might hate you and it might be hard, but when you’re finished, you’ll feel are proud of yourself and ready for another challenge!
13. Exploring on foot
Cris from LooknWalk
My blog says it all: we look and walk. And we do a lot of walking.
My best day for steps (as per my fitness tracker) was a walk in the woods nearby the town we live in. My second best: the day when we visited both Pompeii and Herculaneum, in Italy.
As I research and plan our trips, I make sure to find a place to stay close to a transportation option. Very large cities – such as capitals – need a mix of public transport and walking. Then we choose the places we both want to check out and map the most efficient way to visit allowing for a lot of walking.
You see, when you check out a place on foot, you’ll notice the hidden gems. Just hopping on and off transportation wouldn’t allow you to discover that cute café tucked away in a corner. Or find a lovely angle for a shot. Even worse, the metro is fast, but you see nothing. It’s perfect to get to the airport but not exactly good to get to really know a place.
Walking was the reason why we discovered two cafes in Budapest. One still exists and is our go-to place each time we return. It was how we found some lovely off-the-beaten-path areas within the National Gardens, in Athens.
Put on those walking shoes and explore. You never know what you will find!
14. Learning how to help those in other countries
Claire from Claire’s Footsteps
Some people think that I’ve just been travelling non-stop for 3 years. While that’s kind of true, I have been creating a business this whole time (and stopping to live and work at different places!) and I do have an overarching reason to travel.
I want to help people. I really do think that travel makes the world smaller and helps us connect, but I also know that it can have negative impacts on some societies. I want to spread the word about sustainable and responsible travel, so people can enjoy the world without hurting others.
While I was backpacking around Australia I fell in love with the natural beauty of this world; its national parks, gorgeous beaches, and amazing mountains made me determine to do whatever I could to help protect the environment. This is when I became an advocate for waste-free travel and changed my lifestyle to be more environmentally conscious.
But it was when I reached Asia that I realised the importance of social responsibility as well. There are many cultures in Asia that are being squashed because of tourism, and these are the ones that need protecting most. I vowed to support ethical, responsible tour operators and accommodation providers that are aware of this and seek out to do good in their communities. A great example of this is a guided trek in Sapa, Vietnam, where a native H’mong guide showed me around and I stayed the night in her home.
But I’m still going on my responsible travel journey, as well as inspiring others to travel more sustainably, I want to do some more hands-on help. The next few years will hopefully see me starting a charity or NGO. I’m not sure exactly where yet, but I am getting more inspiration from this world every single day.
15. Partying with more freedom
Eoin from Dolly’s Quest
Travel affords you many opportunities that staying at home simply can’t. Many of which are mentioned in this post, but for me, one of my favourite reasons to travel is to party and experience different events from around the world. All of this without the limits that staying at home may have.
I for one would never have the opportunity or perhaps the courage to try salsa dancing at home, or join in a huge Congo line at Rio Carnival. Travelling allows you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the party atmosphere of many cultures, experience the nightlife of amazing cities and party like nobody is watching because nobody knows who you are.
You can be the wild party animal or the salsa practising Irish guy. At home, you may be constrained by the opinion of others, the lack of options, or just the boredom of the same atmosphere.
Travelling to a far-flung country and getting involved in the party scene is also one of the best ways to meet some locals, of course.
16. Exploring similarities across borders
Leyla from Women on the Road
These days, it’s becoming popular in certain circles to stress our differences – whether a certain religion, race or nationality is better than another… it’s a sad time when diversity, which should bring us such enrichment, separates us instead.
Those of us who have traveled extensively know better; we know those differences are only skin deep because we’ve met all those people in person rather than feared them through the prism of hate-filled social media or self-righteousness.
Travel opens us up to serendipity: sharing a bus stop with a Roma grandmother whose house, in the dead of winter, has no heat or electricity; standing in an airport line next to a Syrian doctor and her husband, both struggling to understand how their lives were upended by a war they didn’t see coming; chatting with a young, feisty Nigerian selling trinkets on a Florence side street, delighted to meet someone who has visited his country.
Seeing the world opens us up to understanding and accepting that we are no better and no worse than anyone else. As humans we share almost everything – wants, needs, aspirations (along with a few less appetising character traits). Those things that do distinguish us from one another don’t change the essence of our humanity, however much it may be increasingly acceptable to think so. Travel helps us debunk those myths and blast apart the stereotypes.
17. Sparking creativity
Catherine from To & Fro Fam.
My favorite reason to travel is that time in a different place always sparks my creativity. My job, a freelance writer, requires me to constantly draw from a well of ideas, and if we’re being honest, sometimes that well runs a little dry. Whenever I travel, I see things in a new way—and that is gold for creativity!
What’s more, I always feel inspired to create when I’m away from home. I draw, collage, write bullet points, make observations—just about every way of expressing myself. On a recent trip to Paris, I even painted a mural on a graffiti wall!
Research consistently shows that people who approach travel without a rigid itinerary come home feeling more inspired and creative. I don’t need studies to tell me that, though, since I live that feeling every time I travel (which is as often as I can!). The best way to take advantage of the creativity-sparking benefits of exploring, I’ve found, is to be as open as you can to the experience. If you have set expectations, you’ll filter your trip through that lens—and miss out on all the details and surprises that travel offers.
So if you’re wanting to boost your creativity for your work or artistic pursuits, you can’t beat travel. Book that trip, keep an open mind and set off on your adventure.
18. Countering the stories we’re fed by the news
Priyanko from Constant Traveller
So many times, I’ve been to a place where the locals need tourist dollars to survive. However, the one thing that they cannot counter is the perception of their location that popular news media has fed their prospective clients. I mean, think about it: one bomb blast in a city can make the entire Middle East a tourism pariah. One overreaching travel advisory means the death knell for many independent tourist organisations.
I know this because my day job is being a journalist. I write news stories and I know that because we pick the most sensational news to hook readers, it doesn’t mean that the rest of the place is unsafe. Case in point: I travelled to Turkey for three weeks only 2 weeks after bomb blasts at Istanbul airport and a failed coup happened in quick succession. I travelled to Jordan at the peak of the Syrian crisis. I went to Kenya and Lamu island even though the threat of militancy was alive.
These places were so starved for tourism that they went over and beyond to ensure that I had a great time. And the sheer pleasure of travelling without busloads of tourists made my journeys even more special. It reinforces my belief that we should travel simply to counter popular opinion on news channels and go look for the truth ourselves.
19. Connecting with strangers
Danielle Lawson from Live in 10 Countries
Saying you love travel is easy, but it’s worth thinking about – why? For me, it’s definitely not the luxury, nor the holiday aspect. I travel on a penny and things like comfort don’t matter so long as I can have interesting experiences. Sometimes, trips are so active you need a holiday just to recover – but who’d have it any other way? I can lounge in luxurious resorts when I retire!
So what does matter? It’s all about those human connections. I travel to meet strangers, share stories with them and learn both about their culture and myself. Those kind of encounters are crazy fulfilling.
Here’s an example. Recently, I was on a day trip the Isle of Wight where I toured a few attractions and generally had a lot of fun. While I was there, I ran into a few other tourists who were struggling to use the automated binoculars at The Needles. They were freshly landed and didn’t have UK currency.
They didn’t speak much English, but we were able to chat about their backgrounds a bit and let them use our pound to look at the attractions. It really made them smile and it’s something that I still remember as adding magic to the trip. Sometimes it’s people, not views that stick with you.
20. Teaching important life skills
Vanessa from Wanderlust Crew
My family has been traveling the world for the last 13 years, since our oldest was born, and we make it a priority in our family. I truly believe that travel has many benefits, especially for children and teens, including exposing them to different cultural ideals, religions, and ways of living. When we break out of our own little box, we expand our own world view in a way that benefits us and benefits society. The same goes for the next generation.
Travel for teens and kids not only helps to improve open-mindedness, but it also teaches very practical life skills. When you travel you have to learn how to plan and organize. Travel takes a lot of time and preparation and It’s important (and more fun) to learn these skills through travel.
Travel also teaches kids and teens to budget their finances. When planning a trip, we always try to involve our children as much as possible. We let them know what activities and destinations are available, but also let them know how much these things cost, including hotels, transportation, and activities, so that they can choose the things that are most important to them.
Nothing teaches problem-solving skills and flexibility quite as well as travel. No trip goes exactly to plan and it’s such a good life skill to learn how to adapt and solve problems with patience and flexibility.
21. Seeing places and landscapes you can’t see at home
Or from My Path in the World
No one has only one reason to travel, but if there’s a big reason I do, it is because I get to see many types of views that I don’t have in my own country. From scenic road trips to urban city breaks to beach vacations, I enjoy them all. However, I don’t get to experience them all in my little (yet awesome) country, Israel. I do appreciate all the amazing places you can visit here, but there are still many things you can only see and do in other countries.
Natural phenomena like the Iguazu Falls and Perito Moreno glacier are two unbelievable places I wouldn’t have been able to to see unless I had traveled to Argentina. Exotic crystal clear water and white sand beaches near Rio de Janeiro or a world wonder, Machu Picchu, are other unique things I could only have seen on my trip to South America. Even “simpler” types of views like enchanting medieval villages are reserved for the amazing continent of Europe.
That is, for me, the charm in traveling. It is important to explore your own country and history, but traveling internationally pushes you even more and lets you discover magical landscapes you wouldn’t normally see.
22. Seeing UNESCO sites
Dhara from It’s Not About the Miles
Travel is fun, inspiring, exciting, fulfilling. It can also be educational, teaching us more about our world and all the wonders it contains. One way I incorporate more education into our travels is researching UNESCO World Heritage sites at potential travel destinations, and making sure they get added to our itinerary when we visit.
As of August 2018, there are 1,092 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world! Isn’t that amazing? We have only seen a small fraction of them so far, and if they are representative of them all, I can only say we are in for a treat as we schedule more of them!
Europe is famous for its wealth of cultural UNESCO sites. From the stunning Alhambra in the Andalusian city of Granada, Spain; to Bryggen, the colorful Hanseatic wharf in Bergen, Norway, cultural sites are both diverse and history-rich. Learning about the historical and cultural significance of each site immensely enriches your experience.
We have also seen some fabulous natural UNESCO sites, mainly in North America so far. From Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks in the USA to Banff and Jasper National Parks in the Canadian Rockies, each site has mesmerized us with its great abundance of natural beauty and scenic treasures.
The more of these examples of natural and human-created magnificence I see, the more I realize how critically important it is to value them and protect them for future generations of travelers to experience, learn, and enjoy.
23. Meeting like-minded people
Daisy from Beyond My Border
As an avid couchsurfer/backpacker, my favorite reason to travel is definitely meeting people on the road! In the past couple of years, I’ve stayed in 60-something homes in 20+ countries across 5 continents. In addition to the dozens of families I’ve met, I’ve also made amazing friends along the way. From doctors to lawyers, globetrotters to students, the amount of knowledge and laughter I’ve garnered through these relationships have been absolutely enriching.
For example, while taking a bus in Colombia, an elder man (60 or 70 years old) that sat beside me started conversing with me in Spanish. After realizing that I couldn’t understand a word, he began hand-gesturing enthusiastically and attempted to speak with me in the English that he knew. I learned that he was from Bolivia and is visiting family in Colombia. Following our brief exchange (mostly through Google Translator), he started teaching me the basics of Spanish and happily gave me candy during our 5-hour ride together.
From rideshares who wouldn’t let me pay a cent to locals that brought me home to meet the family, I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter a long list of beautiful souls! I’ve learned so much history, culture, and social customs from people I would never have met otherwise and can’t wait to continue along this path of constant growth.
24. Exploring new cultures by living with locals
Amanda from My Backpacker Life
My favourite reason to travel is to explore new places and cultures. I want to experience them as they truly are and not only as a tourist. There’s one way that outshines the others when doing this – staying with locals! This is how I’ve been travelling for the last two years, and it’s been amazing so far.
Thanks to staying with locals, I’ve experienced more things than I’ve ever could have dreamed of! I’ve visited a beauty contest for cows in the middle of nowhere in Switzerland, I’ve tried out life as an oyster farmer in a small village in Nova Scotia and I’ve gone kayaking in a hidden paradise outside of Montréal – just to mention a few of all amazing experiences!
If you want to try out travelling like this, there are several different options for you to explore. Often, you can stay for free if you give something in exchange – your time. Help out in a family, do a work-for-stay or maybe even house sit and become friends with your neighbours or roommates!
One of my best memories from travelling was when I stayed with a family in Switzerland and I would recommend everyone to try something similar – you’ll experience the country in a complete different way than if you were on your own. You have tons of possibilities, and they’re all just one search on Google away!
25. Seeing diversity and allowing it to optimize one’s lifestyle
Renee from Renee the Wanderess
Traveling as a digital nomad creates a continuous paradigm shift. What I mean by that is that every time you travel, you see new places and meet new people who are living life completely differently. You hear about diverse perspectives on life from around the world. You meet people from totally different backgrounds. Seeing the diversity in the world forces me to reconsider the way I do things, in a good way.
I may visit a place and learn new recipes, or take up a new hobby, or learn about a new author or musical artist I love. I might start reading in the morning, or surfing every day, or getting up at the crack of dawn. I might meet a person that completely changes my perspective on something or provide a really simple solution to a problem I’ve been having. Or I might learn to let go of an assumption that is holding me back.
All of these subtle changes help me continuously optimize the way I live. I am able to consider so many possibilities through travel, and try on different routines and ideas. Some of these changes are definitely temporary, fun flirtations with new ideas or routines. But others have a lasting effect and help me become a better, happier person.
26. Feeling alive
Nat from Natpacker
I travel as it makes me feel alive. There’s nothing more exciting and thrilling to me than arriving in a new place and having to figure everything out. From how to get to accommodation to trying to speak the local language, it is an adventure that makes me feel great.
The excitement of a new place without my usual routine is what does it for me. Routine is soul numbing, so as soon as I am on my way to a destination, my routine is broken. Naturally, your brain is no longer making it’s shortcuts and you have to be living in the moment. The excitement gives me energy and I feel like I have broken out, I am ready for adventure. Having this energy and living in the moment, not thinking about past or future, this is being alive.
When travelling I am more than happy to force myself out of my comfort zone. I will try new foods, speak to strangers, explore and try new activities. I have gotten lost in cities, bungee jumped, rafted and eaten cow tongue. Being in a new place makes me open to trying more, which creates an adrenaline rush. You can’t help but feel alive when you have adrenaline pumping through you.
Everything about travel challenges me. Challenges make me think and give me energy, making me feel more alive than in my routine at home.
27. Seeing the world through a child’s eyes
Cath from Passports and Adventures
While we used to do some traveling pre-kids, it was nothing like the kind we do now. Once our son was old enough to walk for longer than 20 minutes, our type of traveling completely changed and so did our reasons. We suddenly became more aware of the world around us as we had to consider our son when thinking about where to go and what to see.
We couldn’t walk for miles at a hectic pace, we needed to slow down. And we’ve started to see the world through his eyes as a result. We’ve also become more adventurous travelers as we’ve realized there’s a whole world to explore with him.
For every trip we do, we try to combine sightseeing with things he can enjoy. A trip to a city will include sightseeing like the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and then a trip to the aquarium, children’s museum, or zoo. Castles are our family favorites as we’ve turned our visits into a game of dragon hunting. It means us adults can enjoy historical sites while our son goes hunting for a dragon (we hide a dragon toy somewhere for him to find). You have to get inventive where kids are concerned.
You become aware of new places, how they might look to a young child, and you consider your options a lot more. It also gives you the chance to be a child again. And, you get a chance to grow as a family and to educate your child about the world around them that they might not have considered while sitting in a living room in front of the TV.
The reason we travel is to enjoy the world with our son, discover new places together, experience new cultures, sights and smells, and to educate one another as we go. It’s an amazing thing to witness the delight kids get in simple pleasures too. The world is our oyster after all.
28. Going hiking for a mental rest
Joanna from Overhere
Hiking in the mountains is definitely not an easy way to explore the world. It is physically tiring, but, paradoxically, it gives mental rest, which is so much needed in today’s hectic world.
After a few-day hiking trip I usually return home exhausted. Many parts of my body hurt: legs are tired, shoulders tend to be over-strained from carrying my backpack, very often my skin is sunburnt, and I have bruises and scratches here and there. I normally need several days until I’m fully recovered after such a trip. Physically, mountain hiking drains my energy.
But nowhere else am I able to reach inner peace. It is only in the mountains where I can regenerate mentally. My mind is fully relaxed in the mountains – my thoughts slow down and I become calm. When I start hiking my disk formatting begins.
There are not many things which clutter my mind in the mountains. Life becomes easier. It is the trail that is important. Will the path get steep, which way will I climb, what will the weather be like, what will I eat. Generally, my worries have a very short time span – just the next couple of hours.
In the mountains I like to stare into the sky or woods and not think about anything. It is a precious experience – I tend to remember those moments for a long time. Every now and then, when I’m angry or sad, I recall those valuable times and life becomes more tolerable.
29. Seeing how vast and amazing the world is
Sara from Our Kind of Crazy
Travel is one of our most favorite things. It teaches us so much, gives us tons of amazing experiences, and allows us to explore this world which is both great and small at the same time. One of our favorite things about travel is being able to see the greatness and vastness of this earth.
Just driving in the United States alone, you’ll see each state change in some magnificent ways. You can be in the snow in a moment, and the next, you’re surfing in the ocean. There’s deserts and mountains, rivers and lakes, and countries or oceans on either side. Each country is unique and each continent as well. We love seeing how amazing it truly is.
“It’s a small world” is a very true statement when you think of the people and things we all have in common. But it actually is a huge place. There will never be a time that we’ve decided we’ve seen it all, because it’s pretty much not realistic to see everywhere. The world changes so much on every continent, and every country…every province or state, to every city and town…even down to each neighborhood, and street…to each house, you’ll find something amazing and different. It’s a great and vast world out there, and we are so happy we are blessed to explore it!
30. Challenging yourself
Cally from How Not to Sail a Boat
Every reason to travel is a good reason to travel and believe me I travel for many of those. But I have found the perfect way to travel to keep myself challenged and engaged in living life every day. I am currently travelling the world on our sailboat, a 38′ boat from 1976.
Every day is a challenge in many ways: a challenge to live off-grid relying on solar power, a challenge to make a delicious meal with only what is available on our boat, a challenge to keep going in heavy weather, a challenge to adapt and be creative when gear fails (which it always does eventually) or just a challenge to live in a small space with a significant other!
These challenges not only keep me intellectually stimulated every single day but they also allow me to visit some of the most beautiful and untouched places on the planet as we work our way from North America back to Australia. How else can you visit uninhabited islands and beautiful atolls hundreds of miles from civilization?
31. Changing one’s outlook on life
Sander from Ars Currendi
Admittedly, solo travel might not be for everyone, but I strongly urge anyone reading this to give it a try. One particular reason for that is the fact that you get to see life from another perspective.
I strongly believe solo travel changes your outlook on life. Even if it’s just a city trip to a nearby city in a neighbouring country, you’ll see things that are different than what you’re used to. And if it’s further away, you might get to see Brazilian kids play football in the streets. Or an Italian mamma making fresh pasta. The possibilities are endless.
The world population reached 7.7 billion this year and the counter is not slowing down any time soon. Not one of these people experienced today the same way you did. And travelling can help you realise that. There simply isn’t enough time to go through all these experiences in one lifetime, so why not make the most of it?
I love travelling by myself because it gives me the possibility to broaden my mind and change my perspective, even more so than when I’m travelling with someone else. I want to be proven wrong by people I’ve never met before. I strive to be the best possible version of myself. And that is why I travel.
32. Worldschooling and enriching experiences
Jeanne from Learning to Breathe Abroad
Two years ago, my son and I set out for an adventure that has completely changed our lives. We started traveling and homeschooling, otherwise known as Worldschooling. This wonderful world we live in has so much to offer, so much beauty to see, cultures to learn, different foods to taste and a never ending array of things to experience and we are loving every minute of exploring it.
Traditional schooling confines one to a classroom where everything has to be learned from books. Worldschooling turns that concept on its head and the world becomes the classroom. History and geography are lived, breathed and experienced in whatever place you happen to be. Different languages are learned in order to converse with locals in each country. Maths is done all day from converting currencies to paying restaurants bills or haggling over prices.
In the 2 years we have been traveling, my 11 year old son has completed 12 scuba dives in Thailand, flown in a hot air balloon in Laos, zip-lined over the Tara River Canyon in Montenegro, explored the largest cave system in Asia at Phang Na Caves in Vietnam, white water rafted on the Soca River in Slovenia, hiked over the Albanian Alps, learned to drive a motorbike on his own, explored the temples at Angkor Wat in Cambodia and much more.
All of these experiences have enriched our understanding of the world around us. It has given us insight into how others live and their daily joys and struggles. We have learned so much and seen so many amazing sights. Traveling is possibly the best gift one could ever give to their children and to oneself.
All of these experiences have enriched our understanding of the world around us. It has given us insight into how others live and their daily joys and struggles. We have learned so much and seen so many amazing sights. Traveling is possibly the best gift one could ever give to their children and to oneself.
33. Disconnecting and going back to basics
Eloise from My Favorite Escapes
At home, I always carry my phone. I never wait for too long before replying to a message. I have notifications to keep me aware of all the latest news in the world and my Facebook friends’ lives. I refuse to get a connected watch as it would only make this addiction worse. But it’s not just about me. In our modern society, it’s not normal if you aren’t easily reachable, over-informed, and over-sharing.
But when you’re on the move, it’s a whole different story. “I’m travelling” is enough to justify being offline. It’s like we are allowed to disconnect, so it’s easier to do it. Receiving an update about your trip is a great surprise, not an expectation.
When I am in a remote national park, on the water, or in a foreign country, I love when the ‘No Service’ icon shows up. I love the feeling of leaving my phone behind because there’s no way to charge it. I love it when I completely stop thinking about it. That’s pure freedom.
We then go back to more basic things: talking around the campfire or the kitchen table without being interrupted, playing card games instead of video games, looking at a paper map and writing down plans for the next day, and even go into introspection about the great moments we are living.
Bad things may be happening in the world, but you don’t hear about it, so it doesn’t affect you as much. It feels good and helps to relax, enjoy the present, the people, and the place as they are. You worry only about what’s essential: having water, food, a bed, and friendly people around you. It’s a different life that I miss when I am home.
What’s your favorite reason to go travel
Why do you travel? Do you enjoy seeing breathtaking vistas, or do you like to travel because of the people you meet? Whichever of the different ways to travel you choose to partake in, a person who loves to travel opens their life to experiences and friendships that can’t be found any other way. Travel for you should be whatever it is that you’re looking for; and even if you’re not looking for it, peoples’ travels tend to offer things that one wouldn’t expect. This is why people like to travel.
For one, I want to visit every country and culture there is…whether or not it’s feasible is a different conversation! I like
Discovering that ambition, one of the most celebrated characteristics of an American, is almost frowned upon in Spain; going to Paris hating French toast, and leaving the country with a new-found love for it; going to Europe, and realizing I can travel to most any neighboring country with just 20 euros or so; that’s why I love traveling.
So, where would you like to go? Would you like to go to multicultural Madrid, or to a rural small town? One who loves to travel will tend to have a long laundry list of places to go travel. Comment below with a place you would like to visit!