‘Not all those who wander are lost.’
‘I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.’
‘To travel is to live.’
‘Travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer.’
These clichés are typed again and again in Insta posts around the world. We often use these travel quotes as a generic caption rather than as a legitimate reason for hitting the road (or the skies). But when you think about it for a few seconds longer than it takes to upload a photo, you’ll realise there’s a reason why they’re so overused. It’s because they’re fucking true- travel changes your whole perspective on life; cheesy instagram caption included.
Travel is about more than just sight-seeing. Travelling is about more than just ticking off another country on your list. To travel is to experience another way of life. To gain a small insight into the lives of thousands of other people. To step back in time and learn about where we’ve come from and why things are the way they are. To stare at the phenomenal beauty and diversity of nature.
If this sounds like it’s straight out of a guidebook it’s because it might as well be- but that doesn’t make it any less true.
Travelling comes in many different adventures.
Maybe it’s drinking beers on tiny plastic stools on the edge of a busy Vietnamese street. Or touching down on a palm-covered coral atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Travelling can be standing at the base of the tallest mountain you’ve ever seen and staring upwards in awe. Travelling can be getting on a plane halfway across the globe to sit in a stadium full of fans and screaming for your favourite team in the World Cup. For some people, it’s walking into a hostel room for the first time and meeting the nine people who are about to become your best friends for the next 48 hours. And for others it’s spending time seeing the world while constantly intoxicated with your best mate.
Travel makes you richer in life experience through its complications, adversities and curveballs. It makes you an independent and savvy problem solver. It challenges you to step outside of your comfortable bubble and stay there.
And above all else, travel drains your bank account.
Travel is hard earned dollars being spent paying off flights or accomodation. It’s nights of mi goreng because you need to scrape together every cent and seeing those precious coins fall into the hands of a dodgy scammer. It’s crappy hotels that definitely aren’t like the photos and delayed flights that mean you miss your bus. It’s buying the wrong travel pass in a different country and forking out for travel insurance. It’s losing your key to your room and figuring out how to get out of paying the replacement fee. It’s not understanding the language and paying ten times more than you should at the local market. It’s confusing your currency and tipping a shit load, only to come up short when you try and pay for lunch the next day.
But despite all that, travel is always worth it.
Because it makes your relationships and friendship circle richer, wider and more diverse as you befriend people from places you didn’t even know existed. When you arrive home, the places you visited are more vivid when you picture your new found friends living there. And the pain is so much more real when the places you’ve wandered through are affected by tragedy.
It enriches your empathy and understanding towards others a thousand times over. You can never see your world the same way again after witnessing the world through the eyes of another. It makes you more aware of cultural and personal differences and more accepting of them too.
Travel makes you realise that every single person on this planet, has a life as colourful, busy and unique as you do. Whether you’re standing in a crowd of thousands of people, or on top of a mountain completely alone- travel is a reminder that we’re all in it together, regardless of how different we all seem. And what could be more worthwhile than knowing you’re not alone in this world?
Travel is always worth the money. Trust me.