I will never forget it. March 1995, my family and I went on our first family vacation. I was in the 5th grade. My family decided to take my siblings, my cousin and me to Myrtle Beach, SC during spring break. I can admit I was very excited. This was my first time going to Myrtle Beach. It was also our 1st big family trip.
Being that the trip was 22 years ago, I can’t remember too many details. What I can remember is that it sparked something in me. After that trip, I knew that I had a new addiction. That was when I realized that I loved traveling! Something is amazing about visiting a city that is not your own.
Circumstances didn’t allow us to take another family trip until 19 years later. I didn’t let that stop me. As a kid, I told myself that once I turned 18, it was on. I was going to try and travel as much as I could. In today’s post, I will be sharing five reasons why I love traveling.
Be Grateful For What You Have
I entered Savannah State University as a freshman in August 2002. I had the chance to meet some people that felt almost the same way about traveling as I did. Those people became my travel buddies. We took a lot of road trips back then. As a freshman and a sophomore, I took advantage of going on alternative spring break trips with my school to New York City and Nashville, TN. Not only did I get the chance to visit two cities that I’ve never been to before at the time, but I also got the opportunity to do volunteer work in each place.
In New York, we helped out at a soup kitchen for two days. We read to underprivileged kids during our trip to Nashville. Both trips put things into perspective. I was grateful for the things that I had and glad that I could help out for a few days. Traveling can do that to you. Depending on where you go, it will remind you to be grateful for what you have. I’ve heard that going on mission trips can do that to you as well.
Experience New Things
Traveling allows you to experience new things. I have been on a lot of trips in my life. No two trips have been the same. They have been different. You see various sites, mingle with different folks and travel with different people. Those experiences can help to shape your life.
Expand Your Comfort Zone
I was 23 when I took my first flight. My frat brother and I went to Las Vegas for New Year’s Eve 2007. Was I nervous about flying? Hell yeah, but I wanted to visit Las Vegas. I damn sure wasn’t about to catch the Greyhound to do so. Traveling has a way of expanding your comfort zone. It gets you out of your regular box. It pushes you to do something different. I was 32 when I traveled outside of the country for the first time. It was an experience that I will never forget. I’m looking forward to expanding my comfort zone on a few trips next year.
Learn About Culture
When you’re traveling, you get to learn about a city or countries culture. Reading about it and seeing it in person are two different things. Having a chance to visit Cuba in person opened my eyes. I had an opportunity to learn about the country and see it for what it’s worth. You can’t do that by reading travel guides.
Until I’m able to get my freedom and create the life that I want to have, travel gives me an escape. I don’t hate my job, but the 9-5 life is very repetitive to me. It’s the same thing over and over again. Traveling a few times per year allows me to get away for a few days. Those trips allow me to escape for a few days and recharge. Once my debt is paid off, I will travel even more.
The final reason that I love traveling is that I get a chance to talk to the locals. Tourist places are cool, but sometimes you want to get a feel for what the locals do. I’ve found that the locals know the best bars and places to eat. Talking to them will get you off the beaten path. The locals can show you the good and the not so good of the city. I wouldn’t advise having a local show you around unless you already know them.
Since I turned 18, I’ve traveled to several cities including Washington D.C, Chicago, and Milwaukee. I also had the chance to see America from coast to coast. If you have an opportunity to do a cross-country trip, do it. You will never be the same. I’ve also had a chance to use my passport a few times. Get your passport if you don’t already have it. It’s not that expensive. If you don’t have the money, try one of these side hustles.
I have several travel goals that I want to do in the near future. It’s one of the reasons that I work so hard. I love traveling so much. I’ve said that it is my anti-drug.