View from the hill!

View from the hill!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Why Travel?

As I sat in the trendy McCafe in the Frankfort Airport during my 5 hour layover on my way to Bangkok I found myself watching the constant flow of giant aircrafts passing by the window. Massive 2 story planes bound for Singapor, Ontario, Mumbi and countless other cities across the globe carry thousands of passengers every day. Watching as each plane took off into the sky I was amazed at the sheer number of people traveling on this Wednesday morning and I began to think about the reasons why people travel. Some travel for work others to visit family members. I travel to learn, to explore, to discover.

If you have been following along on my blog you may think it is crazy that I voluntarily put myself through some of these adventures (i.e. 19 hour bus rides, 11 hour hikes through landslide zones and staying in a room with 15 strangers and no running water) but there is something about the adventure of it all that drives me along. It is hard for me to pin point exactly what is that I love so much about going to foreign cities around the world, but here are a few reasons why I love to travel and why I encourage every single person to do more traveling....

- Getting outside of your comfort zone. It is good to feel uneasy, if you never challenge yourself and experience the unfamiliar you will never truly know yourself or what you are capable of.

- Learn about the world. One of the pleasures of travel is learning about your destinations natural and cultural heritage. No matter where I go I always try to fully immerse myself in the country's day to day life. By going to the local markets, riding public transportation and eating at the same restaurants you will get a glimpse of the cultures daily rituals. It is these glimpses that may make you realize just what it is that you appreciate so much in your own life. We take so much for granted (education, running water, toilet paper- or having a toilet at all, etc.) and seeing how the rest of the world lives may just give you a deeper appreciation of what you have and how you live.

- To explore the world and see all of the amazing natural beauties that are spread across the 7 continents. From Iguazu Falls in Brazil to the African Sahara there is so much to see out there!

- To open your mind to other ways of thinking. Being surrounded by people that are different than you (whether that be their skin color, religion or social class) gives you a more global perspective and helps to minimize stereotypes and prevent close-mindedness.

I could go on, but those are just a few of the motives behind my travels. I honestly feel like I have become a different and in a sense better person in the last few months. From living in London to exploring South America I have learned so much about myself and also about the world around me. Now I just need to figure out how to help other people discover the joys of travel!

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