There are few things in life that I believe I have a narrow-minded perspective on, but travelling is one of them. The pros of travelling vastly outweigh the cons, in my opinion, making people who don’t have an interest in travelling at all quite curious creatures to me – in fact, curious creatures due to the fact that seem to be so impossibly uncurious. Why would you not want to explore every inch of the world that you’ve been bestowed? Why would you not want to know how other people live, the people who came from exactly the same cell as you, billions upon billions of years ago? Why would you want to deprive yourself of breathtaking sights, quirky cultures, new knowledge and experiences that beg belief upon relaying them?
There is so much to learn and so much perspective to gain from travelling – to me, nomadic jaunts comprise the essence of living itself. Just do it.
More than this, I invite you to embark on a travelling experience that goes beyond your expectations, at least once in a while. Of course, when you spend a lot of money on going abroad with the sole ambition to relax, it might be tempting to opt for an all-inclusive package. But always going abroad to do something you’re expecting doesn’t create new pathways the way that adventurous travelling does. It can’t thrill you. Why always go abroad to do something that you could do in your own back garden (weather provided)? Why not go for a trip in which you can ride a camel, cook interesting, unheard-of cuisine, see traditional festivals and/or attend cultural markets? Why not go somewhere where you can hike stupendous mountains, make lifelong friends in cutesy hostels, get grubby and dirty and hands-on with a totally new lifestyle and allow yourself to become wholly intoxicated within a new, artistic climate? Why not dance to the beat of your own drum?
Throwing yourself into an adventure is the best way, I think, to switch off. We are so plugged in with our phones and the internet and our social forums that we forget to live in the wild, primal sense of the term. We forget to taste, to see, to wonder. We rely on our platforms to do that for us. Do it yourself. You want to hear a different language with your own ears, see the wonders of the world with your own eyes, smell the scents of exotic lands with your own nose. The internet will never be able to transport you both physically and mentally the way that physically transporting yourself can. It is up to you to free your mind and your body, to embrace the spirit of exploration. Go yourself. It’s so much more worthwhile.
I understand that home equals safety. The big wide world is as scary as it is beautiful – but the latter is so prominent, the former is automatically abated. Sure, not every travel experience is going to be wholly positive and you will have to deprive yourself of some of your creature comforts, but you get a worthy exchange every time for the price you pay. Perhaps the exchange is that you learn more about humanity itself and become more empathetic as an individual, improving yourself. Perhaps the exchange is that you just know a lot more than you did before, that you have a story to tell. Perhaps the exchange is that you realise a new passion or a new pursuit.
Whatever the exchange, it always has a value. That’s the only kind of maths I understand.
But if you never leave your front door, how do you expect to find these things?
So I encourage you to go out there. See what Lonely Planet and Adventurous Kate and Google Images hark on about all the livelong day. Have your own adventures. Turn the kaleidoscope.