Now a days, the idea of travel is something that my generation is all about. I don’t blame them, either. Traveling is something that I am fully invested in. It’s something that I set aside money for every month, it’s something that I make time for every two weeks, and travel feeds my imagination and creativity. I knew I always enjoyed traveling, being on the road, and discovering a new place. The thrill of the possibilities, the opportunities, and of course all the different and new friends I’m able to meet along the way; supplement my travel addiction.
The way I like to look at “traveling” can be deemed as romanticized. But, for someone who constantly overuses the word adventure, traveling is one of the best adventures I believe that people can have! There are an abundance of Pinterest quotes about why travel is amazing and so important. Below, are five reasons why traveling is my one true love, and why I believe you SHOULD travel, too:
Abre tu mente [Open your mind]
By traveling (within, or outside of the country), I’ve been able to open my mind. Travel helped me to open my mind to more ideas, more opinions, and taking things into consideration that I could have easily overlooked if I had stayed in the same place all my life. While I travel, I’m learning about different cultures and how sociology is applied to all parts of the world. I am constantly reminded that when I travel, I need to enter a new place with no expectations and preconceived ideas. Each place I visit has something very different to offer. I’ve learned that the more I travel, the more I am able to push myself, mentally and spiritually. I learn something new about myself with each new trip, more of who I want to be, and more of what I want my purpose to be.
Kicking ethnocentrism to the curb
Ethnocentrism or Ethnocentric | ˌeTHnōˈsentrik |
Evaluating other peoples and cultures according to the standards of one’s own culture.
I first learned this vocabulary word in high school, and it has stuck with me ever since. This word is constantly in the back of my mind while I am traveling or meeting different people. It’s an important word to remember! Like the definition above stated, ethnocentrism is also believing that your own culture is better than someone else’s culture. For example, traveling to Ecuador in January, made me much more aware of this word. While traveling breaks down these barriers, it is important to remember that your culture is no better than any other culture you experience. This also goes for all of the people that I’ve met during traveling. Their experiences, their stories, their thoughts, and actions are very different than mine because of their culture and own personal experiences. I cannot say that I am better or more educated than someone else because of my culture and own experiences. Traveling humbles me, and helps me to reevaluate where I stand.
Meeting fellow adventurers
This one is easy! As a very social generation (hello, social media!), we are always looking to connect with people in different forms. Well, while traveling, you’re connecting with people in so many different situations, that you may have never met before! Meeting fellow adventurers and creating connections with them always makes me realize that no matter what culture we come from or language we speak, a beer, shared dish, and good conversation are universal.
Food & Culture
I might be cheating by putting food and culture together, but, I think they go hand in hand! Traveling to a different country puts you in a different culture (this one is obvious), but even traveling to a different city or a different state also puts you in a different culture. Each place offers a different lifestyle that can be very different from your own; and with different lifestyles and different locations, comes different food. Now, let me get a holla’ for the foodies out there, who can’t turn down trying something new and different even though you’re so full (me!*).
The Grand Plan & Your Role
This may not apply to everyone, but I believe it’s an important reason why everyone should try to travel. Traveling has humbled me and made me realize that: no, the world does not revolve around me and my problems. There is a grand scheme of things going on here, and leaving where I was, to see more of the world, I have a better understanding of what I want to do to make a difference here.
I don’t want to sound like I’m preaching, because that’s the last thing I want to do. But, through traveling to other countries who may not have the amenities or luxuries that I have, it’s made me so much more humble and aware of how lucky I am. Who knows what the “Grand Plan” is for your life! I sure don’t, but I do know that by opening my mind up and understanding more of what is happening around the world, I’m able to figure out MY role and what I want to do to make a difference. I’m on a mission for world domination, y’all. Are you joining me?!
So, why do YOU travel? What does traveling do for you? Does it open your mind and help you kick ethnocentrism to the curb? Share in the comments below your 5 reasons for traveling! (: I’d love to hear them!