Are you a traveler or, at least, a wanna be traveler??
In a down economy it is easy to short ourselves on our travel dollars. But, given that the world may feel that it is becoming somewhat isolationist with countries dwelling on their own challenges, I got to thinking about their journey and travel in general. Ergo, a short discussion on why Travel is important for you, your soul, your fears and your empathetic self.
- Travel widens your viewpoint. I have known a lot of people over the years who never once traveled outside their own town/city/community. I notice a big difference in the ability to think critically about the world when you’ve never been exposed to it vs. the traveler viewpoint. Imagine asking someone to have an opinion on anything – cauliflower, octopus, doubledecker buses, zen gardens if they have never once seen one. Staying in one place all of your life causes ingrown thinking. Like a toenail, that sucker’s going to hurt eventually.
- Travel makes friends. I am grateful for so many lovely people that I’ve met over the years from Australia, Shanghai, England, Spain, Italy, USA. With the social internet options we have now, maintaining that friendship until we see each other again is easy and fun.
- Travel teaches us we are all the same. Referring back to 2, those people that have become friends show me that they carry the same load I do and the same cares. Work, children, safety, security, emotions…we all want the same thing, to be happy and safe. To have our children reach past us and excel. To die old and remain healthy until we get to that day. Other things like religion, politics, economy all have some impact but at the very root of who we are, we are all just good people trying to make our way in the world and help others do so as well.
- Travel teaches us about art, history, food, wine and fun! Left brain, right brain. Without a rounding of education in the beauty of the world, No Brain! The first time I saw David in Florence, Italy was magical. I know, a marble statue, right?? But standing before him, the warmth of the marble, the magic of his gaze, the sheer size of him, the perfect musculature carved with love. I touched my soul and made me cry, I’m not ashamed to say.
- Travel makes you self sufficient. If you have never been lost in a city, trying to find your train, with no one around you that speaks your language, well my friend, you have not yet found your ability to master your own destiny! Some of the best travel stories come from what seem to be horrible disasters at the time. And, again, everyone is good at heart and will do what they can to help you.
- Travel allows you to break out of your comfort zone. It is really easy for me to get into a rut, a routine that I like. But, I know that it’s not good for me or my mood. Breaking up my winter, expanding my summer, growing my brain are all pointed at helping me be the best me. And that’s good for all those around me.
- Travel lets me keep my family tight. The best times I’ve had traveling involved my daughters, sometimes friends and sometimes family. My two girls and I are consummate travelers and we work well together. We have been to Mexico, Spain, England, Portugal, Italy, Cuba, Costa Rica, the Oregon Coast, Florida..well, I could go on, but you can see that we rock the travel. And my relationship with them is about experiences and shared stories that will remain long after any other gift I have bought for them.
- Travel makes you comfortable with loneliness. I have gone for days speaking only to the bartender at the pub or the servers or the staff at the museum. I used to think I was lonely but really, the introspective moments allowed me to grow to become a bigger person. Sometimes the things that are good for you are the things that you don’t want to do.
Travel has given me a box of assorted leftover currency that I hold onto, waiting for the next trip. A good set of luggage that meets my needs. A passport that is always up to date and ready to go. And finally, a sense of humor that helps me get through almost anything.
If you haven’t become a traveler yet, hopefully this will help you become one. And, if you need a travel friend, just call. My passport and I are here.
Do you have a travel story or opinion you’d like to share? Please do in the comments below! I love to hear from other travelers!!