Why traveling should be your New Year’s Resolution

We’ve all heard it, “if travel didn’t cost a thing, you’d never see me again.” Why is that? Traveling makes you happier. Simple as that. I’m not a scientist, but I don’t need to be for you to see these simple non-scientific ways travel eliminates monotony, clears our vision of the world around us and gives us a sense of fulfilment.

Wandering the streets of Paris. January, 2016

Reason #1: different kinds of responsibilities. 

Think about it, for most people traveling happens during vacation, a leave of absence, a hiatus from our everyday life. As in, no school, no work, no meetings, no cleaning. Sounds heavenly, right? Responsibility doesn’t disappear. It transitions to less stressful responsibilities that you can manage while still having time to hang out – poolside.

 

Which responsibilities carry over? Well, if you have them – your children! If not, you’re still responsible to catch your flight, keep tabs on your passport at ALL times, understand appropriate local customs, budget your spending, and prioritize what comes home in the suitcase. Obviously this list is not exhaustive, but it’s a lot easier on the eyes than your office’s weekly goals.

 

Reason #2: you have new experiences.

Such experiences range from challenging your fears (see 4), to tasting an exotic dish, or attempting to barter with someone in broken English. My confidence skyrockets after I’ve successfully navigated the local customs. Not the first day. Oh no, the first day I’m experiencing culture shock. But if you’re living abroad, you’ll gain a handle on your new home in time. If you’re visiting, you can come home and say “oh yeah, I did that!” (which impresses those of us who have yet to venture to destination xyz).

Russian Christmas Markets! You betcha I bartered for my matryoshka dolls. December, 2014

Reason #3: I’m constantly learning 

It’s hard to summarize in my CV (resume) all the skills that living abroad taught me. My university degrees will be a wonderful base for a successful career. However, while traveling you will have firsthand experiences that a classroom can’t fabricate. Be this a language, a cooking skill, an interpersonal skill, the list goes on! Learning is a life long journey and I enhanced my learning by expanding my classroom beyond the walls of a university campus.

 

Reason #4: I challenge my fears that I might not do otherwise in my day to day life because I’m already outside of my comfort zone.

Walking out on a man-made ledge with a clear view of the almost 5000 ft drop (1500 m), spending the night on a haunted island, introducing myself to a famous youtuber, giving my number out on the metro (LOL sad, but true), and traveling truly by myself – all this just scratches the surface. If you have the courage to travel, you have the courage to do even greater things! It often takes getting out of your initial comfort zone in order to purse those other fears.

Mount Stockhorn (home of said “panoramic view” with glass floor 1500m above the valley below), Switzerland. August, 2015

Reason #5: you’re pursing your dreams.

Traveling involves such an intense investment of time, money and resources. If you’re reading this, I’m assuming you want to travel more next year. You can do it with the right attitude and a firm dedication. Remember why you’re making travel your resolution. Nothing worth doing comes easily. Traveling requires some sacrifice; but all dreams do.

 

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