5 Reasons to Start Traveling (or to do it again)
Tonight, my brother Raphaël is leaving for Spain. His first and main destination: the journey to Santiago de Compostela.
Raph’s blog (French): http://muybiencompostelle.blogspot.com/
The Pilgrimage of Compostela has been famous for centuries, and for many reasons. In our era, it’s been made even more so through Paulo Coelho‘s The Pilgrimage, a novel which I highly recommend you to treat yourself with.
I will leave it to Raph to describe his trip in more detail, hence the link to his blog. If you don’t speak French, here’s a great chance to learn it! As for myself, I will grab this opportunity to describe what, in my view, makes it the most worthwhile to partake in traveling.
Reason #1: To glance at how amazing the world is,
and to learn how all things amazing come at a price.
In California and Florida, the weather is amazing most of the time. However their people regularly have to deal with hurricanes for one, earthquakes for the other. Japan sports some very unique flora, famous mountains and a cultural heritage to be most proud of. They are crammed with people on a relatively small island which is even more prone to earthquakes and tsunamis. Peru, which I’ve been to, is well known for his majestic mountains and archeological heritage. However to see those you have to be willing to leave the majority of civilization’s commodities behind.
Everything in the world balances itself out with something else. This balance is, in truth, one of the most beautiful things about life.
Reason #2: To meet new people,
and to learn the impact of culture and local context on their lives.
Why do we make these choices we do? Why is it that we tend to live our lives this way or that? It is a fact that to know why actions are taken give them either their deserved recognition, or an affordance to drift them towards a better direction.
By staying in our own turf it is easy to take many actions and habits for granted; therefore not knowing why we do them. To witness how elsewhere, different traditions, different faiths and different conditions lead people to do many things different, even apparently absurd to us sometimes. Yet to see it happen, you are forced to try to understand. Most often if you try, you can.
Reason #3: To learn new languages,
and thus gain an even better understanding of the culture.
If you don’t know, learning a new language is one of the best services you can grant yourself. Humans are social by nature, and to be social you need to communicate. Each language you do not learn is a wealth of knowledge, exchange and fun you choose to refuse to obtain.
Moreover, you never adequately understand a culture until you have learned its language. I have observed many glimpses of that fact, and everyone who speaks more than one language will confirm this. I have already stated why you might want to learn about other cultures.
Reason #4: To grow,
and make other people grow, too.
Besides all the cultural-related growth, any trip will make you grow, if only by its very nature. Because you are in unfamiliar surroundings, your capacity to adapt is stimulated accordingly. Adaptation means growth.
You will learn how to locate where you are, and to figure your place in the world. If you’re traveling as a group, you’ll learn how to cope with the same people for a considerable amount of time.
During my trip in Peru, I have grown in patience. I have grown in my respect to my traveling partners, and I have learned to know them better. I have grown in my capacity to deal with the unforeseen and the unwanted. All these growths and many, many others.
Reason #5: To have fun,
and also to have lots of fun.
Do I have to explain fun? I mean, really?
Brother, I wish you the most wonderful trip you ever had.
And you, readers, what are YOUR reasons for traveling?