Why Should you Travel?
Travelling and exploring what is around us can really open our eyes to diverse cultures and experiences, often making us appreciate aspects of our own lives even more, and that we have the opportunity to travel in the first place.
Authentic encounters with local people from a new place can round us, as we can then acknowledge the differences, we all have, and the similarities that can bond us together. Often, whilst out travelling, or backpacking especially, the people we meet can be very likeminded, and can be friends for life. Backpacking or volunteering in a country far away from your own, can create tight bonds with who you are with. Sharing an experience like this can be unique, and not one a lot of people can relate to entirely. Many will be in the same boat. It could be someone’s first far away trip away from their loved ones, so it can be nice to talk to those around you about how you’re finding the adventure. Sharing experiences and making new memories in a new place, with new people, can really solidify moments for a long time.
Memories can be special, and something that can change the way you see other poignant times in your life. It can be incredibly enriching part of travelling to make connections with others. Especially in today’s era, it can be beneficial to have connections with people from all over the world. You never know when their expertise can come in handy, or when you may need a place to stay abroad, as they could be happy to accommodate you. It can be comforting to know faces when abroad, knowing someone to trust and can guide you when you’re there. Going to new places can open doors to new friendships, that never could have been acquired if you didn’t decide to have an adventure and get out there and travel. It can be nice to keep contact with those you meet, check up on them every now and then, and see where their lives take them. Social media is great for this, as stories and photos can be shared and viewed by whoever you like. This can be a real insight into how someone lives, and how your friends abroad choose to spend their time.
Travelling can solidify bonds and the experiences shared can carry forward into work lives or can shape you as a person. Going somewhere new can be a source of inspiration for our own ideas about ourselves, or about little traditions or customs we may like to adopt from another. Being in a new place can be an inviting change. It can be good to escape the ordinary, and into the unfamiliar. Travelling, be it alone, with friends, or family, can be a way of gaining confidence and can shape your outlook on life to be broader and more diverse. New people can bring across innovative ideas that may never have crossed your mind, or the ways to view things can be different than your own, which can be beneficial to see other views.
The confidence and worldly knowledge that can be gained from travelling and being adventurous can easily transfer into a career setting. If you have been fortunate enough to experience travel, this often can build up your confidence to talk to anyone openly, and strong communication in a work environment is something to be respected and admired. Having a bold spirit can serve you well. This can reflect to you being a hardworking rounded person, who has developed, and who will have interesting stories to tell and share with friends, family or even employers who want to know more about you, and what you have previously done. Travelling can offer invaluable knowledge that can be hard to learn by doing anything else. It is something that can’t really be taught, it must be done first hand. It can often be a very special experience. Also, it can be a wonderful thing to show that you’ve been out there and have committed to take a leap of faith, going somewhere where there could be uncertainty.
Having a break from your usual schedule and work home life, can often give you a much-needed sense of relief from your perhaps mundane arrangements. A change can be great to show you what is out there in the world and reset your mind. No matter where you travel to, even if it is in the UK, a difference in environment can be a good chance to show you what matters in your life, and what things are important to you. Seeing new things, trying new foods, and enjoying fun activities all can accumulate to make everlasting memories. It can be great to try new things, fully immersing yourself in another way of life, or simply trying something that you couldn’t do at home. This can be hard to do, especially if you are a homebody, but if you push yourself, there are sights to see out in the world that can be unforgettable. Having a bit of confidence can get you far, and take you places you may never have thought of.
Travelling can have positive effects upon your mental health too. Exploring new places can be a chance to relieve stress and can improve your general outlook on life. Many people say it is good for the soul. It can be good to step out from what you know and recognise, into a place with new surroundings and people. Change can be really exciting. As you grow old, you’ll be thankful you got out and travelled whilst you could. It’s always great to have memories to look back upon, especially when you can say all the interesting of things you have completed all over the world, rather than simply wishing what you could have done. It’s better to try and seek out unfamiliar places, rather than regretting not trying. Traveller, Shawn Achor, believes that “the human brain craves novelty. The new experiences we have when we travel help us gain perspective and remind us that the world is bigger than our everyday problems.” His thought here helps us remember not to take things for granted, and how moments abroad must be treasured.
A bonus of going somewhere new abroad can be the joy of trying new food. It can be exciting to try new dishes and cuisines from all around the world, even more challenging will be attempting to replicate great plates you have tried. Introducing your tastebuds to new flavours can be a challenge, but you mustn’t neglect local traditions and famous dishes. Home comforts are loved, but they’ll still be there when you return, so in the meantime, whilst your adventuring, be brave! Try that dish you can’t pronounce, eat the unknown, and find new favourites that you’ll be talking about for years to come.
Some drawbacks that may prevent many from travelling could be the financial side. It all depends on where you wish to travel, as to how much the adventure will cost. Some shorter European trips can be bought through Wowcher.com or some other last-minute sites, saving you a lot of money on a getaway. Some of these packages include the flight and hotel too, others don’t, so it is best to pick one that accommodates everything you need. This can make things a lot easier, and less stressful. But there are ways to cut down the cost of financing your trip. These can be through fundraising if you are doing a volunteering trip, no one will want to fund your all-inclusive holiday unfortunately, but if you are going out to try and help make a difference, then many can be encouraged to help you out, reaching your goal. Raising money can be done through several ways. These can be through sponsored walks with the people you are going with: bake sales, car washes, bag packs at your local supermarket, or a car boot sale, getting rid of the things you never use in the process.
For example, The African Conservation Experience are an empowering project, allowing the chance to volunteer at a“real conservation project where your time and energy make a meaningful impact.” Something like this can be a chance to “live and work on the project, where you’ll get to know Africa’s animals, local professionals and your fellow volunteers.” This is all whilst “gain[ing] a breadth of skills and experiences, which could even help you advance your career.” This opportunity can typically cost around £1760 for a two-week volunteering project, where the accommodation, food and transfers are covered, and it is up to the individual which area they would like to participate in. These range from wildlife care and rehabilitation: wildlife management and research, veterinary care, or wildlife and conservation internship roles. There are a range of roles for everyone, with something to inspire and motivate travel. There are other similar experiences, which can really boost confidence levels and take you out of your comfort zone, trying something new and exciting.
If you decide to travel somewhere like France, Switzerland, or Canada, and you happen to love skiing or any snow sport, you could get paid for a season to teach the sport. Obviously, you must be well experienced and have some training to teach, but this can be an effective way to pay your way whilst you’re there. You can meet others who love the sport and can form bonds through this. It can be a chance to explore a new country, whilst gaining experience teaching a sport as an instructor, whilst taking in new views on the slopes. Or if you are out backpacking somewhere, you can hopefully quickly pick up some work if you need it. This can be bar work, if you’ve had experience, which can be a useful trade to know, as if you can work behind a bar, you should be able to work anywhere in the world. Or you could teach English in another country, but be careful, as a lot of jobs overseas require a work visa. To do this you need the course certificate to say you can teach, and often, a TEFL or TOEFL are required also, which are ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’ exam certification. Many places have a high demand for this form of work, so it can be a good qualification to have, as the money can be good too from this vocation.
Anxiety of flying or of the unknown in general could prevent some people from exploring new avenues for adventure. The unfamiliar can cause worry, as the process of travel itself can produce a lot of stress and unwanted anxiety for some people. Even if you have no history with anxiety, the idea of being out of your own comfort zone, and your bubble of the ordinary, could easily throw any traveller into panic mode. So, to combat this, many people plan out and envisage themselves going through the airport process in the calm setting of their home. This will allow the traveller to recognise what will happen before it happens in real life. Especially since the new way of travelling since covid19, airports may be different from the last time you have flown, so this could trigger anxiety for a passenger. Some tips to help soothe any travel anxiety can be to anticipate and recognise any triggers that may come your way, then you can react more quickly to try and remain as calm as possible. Bring some games or a book to pass the time, travelling with your trusted friends and family can make you feel more relaxed and comforted in the process of security checks and waiting around in airports, and seek medical advice to help deal with your anxieties if they get out of hand.
For those who do crave an adventure, there are some general things to remember that can apply to wherever you choose to travel. Make copies of your important travel documents, nothing worse than needing to pay for a new copy abroad. A nice thing to do can be to check in with your friends and family if you are away for a longer period of time, or you can even send them your itinerary so that they will know where you are and can get excited about your journey. If your hotel has a safe, it is a good idea to keep your passports, documents, and most of your money in here whilst you’re staying there. It won’t be ideal to walk around a new city with an access amount of money, so only take out what you need day by day, and you’ll have peace of mind that it is locked away securely, with a code only you know. Try not to stick out as a tourist, as this can make you more susceptible to pick pockets and scam artists. So, it can be best to research the place you are staying in, making sure you are familiar with the area. It is good to know the emergency phone number for where you are, just in case anything goes wrong. Each place will have its popular scams for its visiting faces, but mostly they are similar around the world, so it is best to be aware of the one in your destination, and best to avoid receiving any handouts from strangers, as they will more than likely want something in return.
Written by Holly Richardson