Mom — Your going where? Honduras? Isn't there like a civil war going on there?
Ya, like 25 years ago Mom...
You announce to your friends or family that you’re planning yet another trip. Instead of being excited or even plain jealous, these people just look at you quizzically, totally unable to comprehend why you would want to go away again or how you manage to afford it.
I’m guessing there are quite a few travellers out there who have experienced this situation and I sympathize with you. I'd like to explain a few of the reasons I choose to travel as much as I do, and why I feel it is important to my personal well being.
Taking things for granted
We've all heard a friend say "our home town is so lame" or "there's nothing fun to do here". Well guess what, everywhere is lame if you do and see the same things every week, for example, going out downtown every Friday gets repetitive. This is when I start to get antsy and know that it's time to go somewhere. The funny thing is, it's only when I leave that I realize how much I love my home, and where I live. It's always when I return from a trip that I take advantage of all the great things my area has to offer, from walking my dog, to hanging with friends. This is why I believe that sometimes leaving provides you with a better sense of home and belonging, perhaps where some people feel trapped.
Applying what you learn in University or College to the real world can seem like an impossible task. Travelling allows you to grow your understanding of how to deal with people and mediate your opinions and culture to others while simultaneously indulging in their own culture. Understanding how far you can push your limits socially, emotionally, and physically and bringing back what you learn from travelling allows you to live a better more balanced life.
Always having something to look forward to
If you sit in a cubicle 37.5 hours a week, you have to have something to motivate you to get through the week. Personally I need something to look forward to three times a day, which is why I make it a priority to establish these "rewards" well in advance. Travel is my best motivation to work hard and get things done. If I know I have a trip coming up I find it really keeps me motivated and helps me get through a busy week or month just knowing I have a big "reward" ahead.
My travel addiction has actually made me a financial wizard. I'm able to break down my finances and save money in ways that may seem impossible to the average person. The best lesson I've learned from travelling is understanding the true value of a dollar and not taking it for granted.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain
Originally written for Soulstice Swim
Follow Jesse' adventures @jdelgrosse, @gringosontherun or @soulsticeswim