Ask anyone what their New Year’s resolutions were for 2016 and I’ll bet you a gazillion dollars that one of them was to travel more. But I’ll bet you another gazillion dollars that if you check back with that same person in December of this year you’ll discover they might not have even traveled at all.
This has been scientifically proved: traveling is one of the most popular resolutions people make each year (right after things like “lose weight” and “quit smoking”) – but it’s also one of the most commonly broken resolutions.
People make all kinds of excuses not to travel: it’s too expensive, there’s not enough time, the kids are too young, the S.O./friends don’t want to come along… and the list goes on. But that’s all these are: excuses. You don’t have to jet off to the other side of the world to travel – who knows, maybe your next adventure is just an hour away from home.
But in case you need a little more convincing to stick to your 2016 travel resolutions, here are 16 reasons why you
should need to travel in 2016:
1. Because you’ll learn something new.
You’re bound to learn something new when you travel. Whether it’s a few phrases in a new language, pieces of history about a particular country, or unique traditional cultural customs – traveling is all about learning.
2. Because you’ll make new friends.
More than the places you visit, it’s the people you’ll meet along the way that will make your travels worthwhile. It’s the people that you will remember most, years and years down the road. So, who knows, maybe it’s while you travel that you’ll meet some of your best friends.
3. Because you’ll discover yourself.
Whether you’re traveling alone or with company, traveling is a great opportunity to get to know yourself better. You’ll test your limits, see how far you can go, discover what you like and dislike, and learn about how you connect with others and how you connect with yourself. Not all those who wander are lost, but all those who are lost should definitely wander.
4. Because you will be challenged.
Traveling is not easy. All kinds of things can go wrong when you travel from missed flights to delayed trains, getting lost, and even the ocasional food poisoning. It’s these challenging moments that will help you grow as a person, learn to be more flexible and learn to adapt to rapidly changing situations.
5. Because you will bond.
Traveling with someone is the best way to get to know them. You’ll be stuck with them through long flights, waiting lines, at restaurants, when everything goes right and when everything goes wrong too. You’ll learn what makes your travel buddy tick and how far their patience can stretch. And, though it might be hard at first, this will only bring you closer together.
6. Because of the food.
I’ll just leave you with this:
7. Because you’ll get a new perspective on your life.
Visiting new places can really shine a new light on your own reality back home. I’m not saying if you travel to a poor country you’ll suddenly be grateful for everything back home for the rest of your life. But traveling in general will definitely make you appreciate certain things (even the most basic, i.e. a comfortable bed) and it will make you challenge other things about your life at home too (i.e. why can’t clubs here in Portugal open at 10pm too?).
8. Because of the crazy stories.
Not everyone can say they’ve been rushed to the hospital while traveling in India (Read: Travel Horror Stories | That Time I Ended Up in the Hospital in India), or that they’ve flown in a hot air balloon in Turkey (Read: My Favorite Travel Experiences Around the World) or even that they’ve been just two inches from a beautiful giraffe in the wild (Read: 5 Tips for Exploring Kruger Park on a Budget). You’ll start collecting even crazier stories than these when you start traveling.
9. Because of the freedom.
One of the reasons I love to travel is the sense of pure freedom I get from it. There is nothing better than being in a new place where you don’t know anyone or anything. Nothing beats the feeling of exploring a new place for the first time. And, sometimes, the best thing you can do is just leave it all behind and go some place where no one knows you.
10. Because it’s actually cheap.
Traveling on a budget is easier than ever. Travel agencies are constantly offering some kind of sale and flight companies feature crazy discounts year-round (seriously, earlier this year RyanAir was selling some of its European flights for €1!). If you don’t want to go through the trouble of finding these discounts yourself, there are countless websites out there dedicated to finding the best deals: here’s one, another one, and – oh – another one.
11. Because of the social media detox.
We’ve all become somewhat addicted to social media nowadays but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Traveling can be the perfect excuse to just go offline and connect with yourself instead of your followers.
12. Because it will make you miss home.
Sometimes traveling will really make you realize just how great you have it back home. Your friends, family, neighbors, local coffee shop, grocery store, your favorite foods – all of these will pop into your mind ocasionally while you’re traveling (and especially if you’ve been on the road for a while). And that’s okay: part of traveling is also missing what you’ve left behind.
13. Because of the beautiful places.
14. Because it’s fun.
Meeting new people, trying new foods, discovering different cultures, visiting beautiful places: doesn’t this sound like the most fun thing you could be doing right now?
15. Because you’ll regret it if you don’t.
We’re not guaranteed a long life. We’re not guaranteed old age. We’re not even guaranteed a 2017. So do it now. Because you can do it now, and you might not be able to do it tomorrow.
16. Because why not?
I could go on and on and on about why traveling is the greatest thing ever (yes, even better than wine). But your decision to travel really just comes down to this one question: if you are able to travel (and many people thankfully are), why the hell don’t you?
Have you traveled this year already? Where are you planning to travel still?