Regardless of your age or where you live, there is no time like the present to drop what you’re doing and plan a trip overseas! If getting out of the country and discovering a new place wasn’t incentive enough, here are our top ten reason to travel abroad right now.
Top 10 Reasons to Travel Abroad
1. Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
Taste a food you never thought you’d like, immerse yourself in a different culture, and spend time in a place where English is not the first language — getting outside of your comfort zone is fun!
You’re not religious? Explore Western Europe’s gorgeous cathedrals and learn about their rich history. Afraid of heights? Maybe now’s the time to conquer mountain climbing one of the Seven Summits. Feeling a little out of shape, but intimidated by the thought of working out? Nothing like the motivation of the steep (yet gorgeous) hillside towns of Greece to get you on the stair-climber! When you step outside your comfort zone, you not only expand your perspective of the outside world but learn a little more about yourself too.
2. Learn to Be Independent
Taking a solo trip overseas can sound terrifying for those who have spent their lives by the side of parents, best friends or a significant other — which is exactly why you should take a solo trip, now.
Throwing yourself into a different country or culture encourages you to think on your feet, and is super empowering! Nothing builds confidence like learning to navigate on your own and making your own decisions overseas, whether they be what attractions to explore during the day or where to eat dinner. Having no one else to rely on — and no one else relying on you (ahem, your children) — is strangely freeing and such an awesome experience in your adult years.
3. Material Possessions Lose Their Value
It only takes one trip to put into perspective the value of money and material possessions.
I’m not going to throw around the “money can’t buy happiness” cliché, because it can; money can buy you plane tickets, and a room at a hidden-gem hotel, and authentic international cuisine, but the latest iPhone model or pair of designer sunglasses seem so insignificant when you put it all into perspective! Learn to budget your money appropriately in your everyday life, and you’ll have plenty left over to explore new cities comfortably.
4. Learn a New Language
No matter how many semesters of Spanish you took in college or Rosetta Stone programs you’ve begun (but never finished), nothing compares to first-hand immersion when it comes to getting serious about learning a new language.
The wonderful thing about learning a language in a native setting is that it takes little to no effort on your part. Putting yourself smack in the center of a foreign language-speaking country — especially rural areas where English is less common — is by far the best and easiest way to become fluent in a second or third language.
5. Meet People You Otherwise Wouldn’t
Even if you live in the most diverse of cities, you won’t experience the hospitality and friendliness so much of the world offers to travelers passing through their towns!
You’ll find commonalities with the unlikeliest of friends, share meals with neighbors, or be offered a place to stay by strangers you meet on the train. I’ve found staying in hostels to be one of the easiest ways to meet fellow travelers, but even starting up conversation with the waiters at local cafés can lead to a lifelong friend and contact abroad!
6. Escape the Patterns of Everyday Life
Oftentimes we get so caught up in our daily routines and busy schedules that we forget there’s more life to live beyond our backyard. Planning a trip overseas can spark creativity and give you something to look forward to, even months in advance.
It’s time to ditch the boredom of unwavering day-to-day patterns and start packing your bags for a vacation of a lifetime.
Is there a birthday, anniversary, or graduation coming up? Did you get a promotion, or conquer a long-time goal? It’s not hard to find a reason to celebrate!
Commemorating an achievement or special occasion with travel is SO much more memorable than a gift card or mediocre dinner.
8. Travel is Education
Every second you spend in a different country is a second you spend learning about another way of life. Whether it’s how the natives dress, eat, interact, or make a living, seeing that your own way of living is not the only way of living is quite humbling.
9. Get Healthier
It only takes a single online search to find all of the scientific studies proving travel relieves stress, promotes physical activity and improves mental health. Burnout is normal, and there’s a reason most employers offer paid vacation days!
No need to feel selfish for taking a week off and jetting off on a getaway — take responsibility for your own health, enjoy some sunshine and the great outdoors, and drink a glass of water or two in between the wine and margaritas.
10. Life is too short NOT to!
This may seem a bit morbid, but the reality that we are never guaranteed another day always drives me to make the most of every opportunity I get. Don’t wait until you’re retired to travel the world, or until your kids are grown. You will never regret crossing destinations off your bucket list, but you may be sorely disappointed if you put it off so long you never get the chance to.
Carpe Diem, friends!