Even if you live in a vibrant city and have an exciting job and active social life, nothing can replace the unique experiences traveling offers. Visiting a foreign country opens your eyes to how the rest of the world lives; many therefore return home with a new appreciation for their own country while gaining a broader worldview in the process. Remember, you only live once, so passing up a chance to travel is tantamount to passing up a life-altering experience.
1. Break out of your shell
Foremost on the reasons to travel is that you discover a lot about yourself. Now I’m not talking about taking a family trip to Disney World. When I speak of a special vacation, I envision someone backpacking across Europe or driving along the coast of Australia — that is, a trip with cultural significance. Not many things in the world can inspire you like seeing the Colosseum in Rome or the Pyramids in Egypt.
That is why traveling is known to provide people with a whole new perspective, whether that means no longer sweating the small stuff or promising to get out there and meet new people upon returning home. Those who have left their comfort zone and headed for a foreign land have done the right thing; there is nothing like a trip to make you a new man who has no choice but to fend for himself. Whether alone, with a partner, or in a group, your development surely speeds up when you’re abroad.
2. Embrace new cultures
Not only does traveling provide a sense of adventure, but it also opens doors to cultures that do not revolve around MTV and McDonald’s (or at least try hard not to). Though Americana has spread its wings on an international level, even a week abroad can serve to prove that people do live without the symbols that North Americans encounter every day.
Better yet, you will become appreciative of other cultures; instead of instinctively criticizing that which is “different,” you will be motivated to accept new cuisine or alternative forms of entertainment. You never know; upon your return home, you might even forego the latest Vin Diesel blockbuster for a Bollywood flick.
3. Enjoy life like never before
Even for those of you who are not as culturally minded, traveling remains an appealing form of escape. In the dead of winter, with a foot of snow awaiting you outside your front door, what could be more tantalizing than a swim in the deep blue waters of Jamaica? Simply the attraction of the activities that are impossible to enjoy in your hometown make a trip worthwhile.
Experiences can range from the legendary (watching the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain) to the relaxing (enjoying a hot spring while snow swirls around you in Iceland), but they share one common link: they are all memorable. In every corner of the world, there is excitement waiting for you — it is simply a matter of sticking your head out and going for it.
Eat like crazy, and practice some tongue on the native ladies…
4. Satisfy your stomach
Food can make or break a vacation. If it’s bad, it will surely put a negative spin on your stay. If it’s good, however, then there is no limit to the amount of gluttonous enjoyment to be had. Sure you can buy coconuts from the local supermarket or make paella at home, but they cannot replace what you can find in their respective native lands.
In fact, the perfect dinner can make your stay complete; many insist that you cannot leave a certain city without trying a renowned dish, whether you’re in Malaysia or Brazil.
Though most of your epicurean experiences will be pleasurable in nature, other meals can be considered rites of passage. For example, not many people can say they really visited what Guangzhou, China, has to offer without drinking an elixir of snake’s blood. Sure, it may be unpleasant, but you’ll impress the locals and will likely never forget the experience.
5. Pick up new languages
If education of the alternative kind is not on your “to-do” list, just think about the benefits of learning another language. Taking a semester off school or a leave of absence from work may seem irrational, but what if you returned with a strong grasp of German?
In a world where becoming bilingual or even trilingual can be beneficial at the office and in day-to-day life, traveling can serve as your gateway to success. Business is not only conducted in English, but also Spanish, Mandarin and Japanese. You want to land more business trips in the future? Plan a trip and learn a language abroad; you’ll get a solid education and leave with great memories.
6. Widen your business opportunities
Speaking of moving up at the office, traveling can also increase your contacts if you keep your eyes open. Who knows what can happen over sushi in Tokyo; perhaps a new import/export opportunity for your business? The point is, as far out as it may seem, things always seem to come together when you least expect it. You could be partying it up on a remote island while on your two-week vacation and suddenly strike up a conversation with a fellow traveler, which could lead to some promising business talk.
7. Meet some lovely ladies
Okay, I know Copacabana is picturesque, but you owe it to yourself to take a look at who’s sunbathing right next to you. Traveling provides hundreds of chances to meet and greet ladies of all types in an atmosphere where you should be unafraid of backlash. The carefree attitude that brought you to your destination in the first place should transcend to the social scene as well.
At the same time, realize that “no strings attached” is not an invitation to engage in a lot of debauchery. In fact, the opposite is known to happen, as travelers return home with their new loves by their sides. As long as you keep an open mind, who knows what could happen?
8. Admire true beauty
Whether you’re a lover of history, architecture or nature, only travel will satisfy your passion. No words can describe the rush you feel when gazing upon the Mona Lisa or admiring the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It is this reason, as well as the shivers one gets when witnessing an ocean sunset, that leads many to hop onto a plane.
Being able to say that you’ve seen four of the Seven Wonders of the World (and have the pictures to prove it) or some of the most important historical landmarks, is a claim like no other, and should make you incredibly proud. At the same time, these feats enrich your life.
an invaluable experience
Whether you need to take a few weeks off to avoid the stress of work or need time off to contemplate where your life is headed, traveling should be your answer. At least once in your life, you should leave everything on pause and go somewhere, anywhere. Though it may not be obvious while you’re sitting at home, the knowledge acquired from traveling is invaluable. You’ll be enriched on many levels, and maybe you’ll even meet that special someone.
Remember to plan way ahead by researching hotels, hostels and must-see sites months before departure. Keep in mind, though, that it is important to leave room for some spontaneous decisions when you’re actually there.
Once you’ve reached your destination, remember that sacrificing cheap thrills for the real deal is well worth it, but not when it comes to tourist traps (i.e. places that are simply overpriced and overhyped, with little cultural value). Check out the sites that you will most appreciate.
The most important thing, however, is to keep an open mind. Traveling is a luxury, so make the most of it.
Source : http://www.askmen.com/fine_living/travel_archive_60/67b_travel_tips.html