The Importance of Travelling

Wednesday 29 June

A life without travel to me sounds the most boring life to ever be lived. That way you never discover new cultures, new traditions, new lifestyles. You become closed off in your own sheltered bubble. To think that a good portion of the Western World lead this lifestyle makes me… sad.

Since a young age I have been fortunate enough to have travelled all over the globe on family holidays, from the West Coast (US) to Dubai, and Africa to the Seychelles, and around Europe too. I understand the privilege this is, as many of my friends have never stepped foot outside of Europe, or have only been to 5 or less countries. It’s fair that my friends and I are only 18 and so perhaps I am simply lucky to have had the opportunities to travel as I have. However, I also know of a lot of adults who are the same. You don’t need thousands and thousands of pounds to go off and explore. In fact, the best holidays are the ones where you spend so little but get to explore the country and its skeleton, observing its peoples in the streets at markets, or around the little windy cobbled lanes cooking fish on a grill outside their terraced house (something which I am amazed to have seen yesterday in Portugal). Travelling is so important.

The qualities in a person which I most value are open-mindedness, tolerance and acceptance. I believe these all stem from travelling and/or being raised in a diverse city. Parents’ attitudes and the opinions of those around you or in the media influence you so much, and sometimes it’s incredibly difficult to move away from those suffocating ideas. But travelling gives you so much more.

Why would anyone want to stay put in the same place for most their life, vacationing to the same resort each summer at the most, going for the same miserable Christmas dinner at the in-laws whom you don’t get on with each year? Being stuck is a horrible feeling. But the human mind has been conditioned (or in the western world anyways) to seek comfort and familiarity and fear the unknown. As I have said before, the unknown and the uncertainty in the world is what makes life worth while. Otherwise, you end up with the same monotonous routine and complain and wonder why you can’t escape it. It is quite simple: just escape, travel, go explore.

I am getting fed up of hearing people complain each day about their lifestyle. As you know as readers of this blog, I am an advocate for change and growth and self-exploration. It’s not cheesy or cringe or pathetic. It is a part of learning to love life and not go down that path of regret and self-pity. What’s stopping you to change? Why are you still so close-minded? Branch out, try new things, explore new places. Above all else, if I’m going down the hole of ranting now, stop complaining and just enjoy life. Don’t take things for granted – write down 5 things you are grateful for right now. Be in the present day, but also get excited for the life ahead of you (and all the travelling and new cities and beaches and mountains you are yet to explore). Be appreciative and mindful and don’t close your mind off to any ideas or opinions, simply because they may differ from your own. Be attentive and listen to other people’s points. It may one day change your life.

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