There are travellers and there are tourists; one is hell-bent on exploring the world’s offerings, and the other has a focus on vacationing.
Travellers have a need to travel and may spend a lot of time planning; whereas tourists, or one who vacations, is doing so occasionally and for short period of time, and it is usually for pleasure or rest and relaxation.
Regardless of whether you are a traveller or a tourist, there are plenty of reasons to travel. Here are some of them:
1) Good for your wellbeing
Travel can have benefits to your physical health because it gets you mobile and moving. It can also have benefits for your mental health and spiritual wellbeing, too. Sometimes, not always, distance is the great problem solver to our problems and woes.
I am not one to rest when I travel somewhere new, as I would rather push myself to hit the ground running and explore, but there are times when it is appropriate to chill. Either way, I feel better and healthier when my mind is engaged with learning and discovering a new place.
2) Great for creativity
When we are experiencing new cultures, and having distance away from the mundane and routine, it opens up spaces in our mind that were not there before. Spaces where creativity is sparked.
I am the most recreative when travelling. I am also the most productive when I’m trapped on an airplane for several hours with nothing else to do but focus on my work.
3) Get a different perspective
Sometimes we need to have a different way of looking at situations or events, or our work. Some cultures, such as those in South America, seem “slower” compared to our fast-moving North American way of living, where people are not in a rush, and that pace can can teach us a thing or two about perspective.
During a family trip to Argentina, I remember being quite late for a talk my nephew was giving at a local school where our family friend taught. I was concerned, but her reply was: “Don’t worry, no-one died.” It put it into perspective for me.
4 . Find meaning in your life
Volunteer tourism is on the rise, with people travelling to destinations to volunteer their time and/or services, whether it is human rights causes or natural disasters, or simply work at an orphanage.
5. Opens your mind
We fear what we don’t know. This is the root of racism. When we travel, we experience what others from different cultures experience and that develops into empathy and understanding.
When our minds are open, we are more open to different points of view and ways of living.
Okay, so there is nothing wrong with using travel as a means to escape – now and then. But beware of using it as a crutch. There are times when we just need to “shut out the stuff that is tormenting us.” Just be aware of why you are doing it.
7. Transform your life
Lastly, travel can be a wonderful way to transform your life and/or to spark necessary change. There are numerous stories of people making a conscious decision to change their life through the experience of travel and adventure. It may be as adventurous as an Indian wildlife safari, tasting Swiss wine in beautiful vineyards, or a visit to thermal baths in Switzerland for R & R.
Shannon Skinner is the creator/host of ExtraordinaryWomenTV.com, author, international speaker and travel writer.
Other posts by Shanon you may enjoy:
Shannon’s Indian Wildlife Sari Adventure