Don’t Tell Me How Educated You Are. Tell Me How Much You Have Travelled. Unknown
I‘m a firm believer that travel is good for the mind, body and soul. We all need to experience the freedom of wandering at will from time to time.
I also believe that travel is the ultimate school of life and can teach us many life skills we don’t necessarily learn at school.
Travel can be our greatest teacher for these 10 reasons:-
1. Expands Your Mind
We go to school to expand our minds in terms of knowledge and travel is no different. When we experience different cultures, our awareness, beliefs and values rapidly alter, taking us out of the box we were born in. This helps us to grow in knowledge, experiences and maturity. We think bigger and expand our horizons in what we believe is possible.
2. Teaches Cultural Empathy
Travel can be a culture shock to the system, especially in lands very different to our native place of birth. When we walk in foreign lands, as we experience different ways of living, we can stand in the shoes of the native people and understand their way of living, their beliefs and values and become more tolerant and be accepting of different cultures. In the words of Mark Twain, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness”.
3. That We Are Global Citizens
When you travel and meet people from different backgrounds and cultures, despite the differences, you realise that we are all similar. We are all human beings, made up of stories and experiences with hopes, fears and dreams. We all are trying our best to walk the path of life and face similar challenges sometimes in different circumstances. We are global citizen united by our desire to live.
4. Travel Light
Most travellers make the mistake of carrying a heavy burden in terms of the baggage (backpack) they carry on our travels and life is no different. Travelling light makes the journey much easy. There’s nothing worse than carrying a heavy burden. Less is definitely more in terms of enjoyment and satisfaction.
5. Learn History
Travel brings history to life in a way that a school book never can. I have a favourite memory when I travelled around India. I spent a sunset sat on a hillside, above a tea plantation in Kerala, sharing stories and Chaukha Mamra (stir-fried puffed rice) with an elderly Indian man.
In his youth, he served as a Cook to the last Raj of the area. He shared his experiences and brought to life a time when my home country Great Britain ruled over India. I was enchanted and a little embarrassed by his stories and felt a much deeper understanding of that period of time which is part of my history.
6. Taste The Difference
Travellers don’t tend to be fussy eaters and experiencing different cuisines is an expanding experience in itself. My most memorable foodie experiences took place in China. I was never really sure what I was eating.
In the end, I took a picture of a bowl of dumplings and noodles after being served all sorts of delicacies including chicken stomach lining in a Chinese hotpot. Not all cuisines will be to our liking but it’s always good to try different things.
Travel is exciting and life changing but also includes a lot of waiting around and boredom when travelling between places. Delays are frequent, journeys are long and, well, let’s face it. Things break down. Travel teaches you how to be patience and how to keep yourself entertained when boredom sets in.
Travel teaches you how to be independent and stand on your own two feet. When you are responsible for yourself, in a foreign country, far away from home, you need all of your social skills, street savvy and a fair bit of courage to make your own way.
9. That Life is In The Journey Not The Destination
Most travellers will tell you that it’s not about reaching the destination, it’s all about the journey, the moving forward. Like a flow of energy. Life is like that too. Our destination is death. Life is all about the journey in between.
10. Collect Memories Not Possessions
My greatest possessions are the memories that I’ve collected from my travels and from living as an expat in Spain. They are part of me and have shaped the person I’ve become in a way that physical possessions never could. They are my treasure.
So remember my friends… travel really is the only thing you can buy that definitely makes you richer AND gives you a first class life education that no classroom could ever teach.
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(c) Samantha Wilson 2017. All Rights Reserved.