Tha thump, tha thump, tha thump. My heart was pounding as the sets rolled through at Lanes on the North Shore of Maui. I was just a small blip on the mighty ocean and I could feel the power of the waves undulating as they passed underneath me. It was exhilarating to surf in a new spot but also terrifying. I’m an avid traveler and I have been blessed to experience a multitude of places and experiences. I believe that travel is an important part of our existence and accounts for many positive things in our lives.
The three reasons why everyone should travel are that it encourages independence, teaches you, and encourages spontaneity and adventure.
Encourages independence-During my junior year of college, I had the opportunity to study aboard. I remember the first few days after I arrived, I felt petrified and almost incapable of action. I was homesick. Committing to a being in a vast new world, alone, was daunting and frightening to me. But by the end of the trip, the independence I felt was exhilarating, confidence-boosting and addictive! I was hooked. The travel bug grabbed me by the gut and yanked me into its grasp.
Teaches you things- New cultures and experiences are so inspiring! When you step out of your comfort zone, you are presented with an opportunity to grow. While studying abroad in Spain, I soon fell into the rhythm of Spanish life. We’d eat dinner super late, take a siesta in the afternoon and. Enveloping yourself in another culture you view how other people think. By experiencing another culture and language you see the world through a different lens.
Spontaneity/adventure/growth- It’s easier to be spontaneous when you travel. Humans thrive on adventure. When I first arrived in Spain, all anyone was talking about was Oktoberfest. Everyone was going. I hadn’t even considered it but of course was immediately enthralled. I found someone’s hotel room we could stay in for Friday and Saturday night. I called my best friend in Florence and convinced her to book tickets to Munich on a Thursday. We arrived, but of course couldn’t go to our room because that was only for Friday and Saturday. Instead we did the only thing we could think of- we headed to Oktoberfest! We ended up meeting a super sweet German girl who let us crash in her guest room that night. The lack of a plan enabled us to be spontaneous and build connection with other humans.
Yvon Choiunard said “It’s not an adventure until something goes wrong.” I interpret that to include spontaneity and facing the unknown. You don’t grow until the unexpected happens and you are faced with a new experience. Problems and the unexpected keep us in the moment. Fortunately I get to travel a lot. I make it a priority because I believe that it fosters growth in myself, exposes me to new ideas and cultures and sparks adventure and spontaneity to keep life interesting. I’ll leave you with my own words of encouragement. Get out there!