Unless you live under a rock, you must be aware of the fuss around travelling. Those quit-your-job-to-pursue-travel videos must have made you want to pee on the face of your boss and resign to travel! (Excuse the language.)
According to 2016 statistics published by Trekksoft, 69% of global travellers—of all age groups—are planning to try something new in travel for adventure and new experiences.
It is not just your body or brain that evolves, your soul evolves too.
Chances are that you belong in this group.
So, why exactly do you want to travel? Is it just because you find it intriguing and dreamy? Or is it because the internet is telling you what to think about travel? Oh, so you say that you love to explore other local cultures and talk to strangers? You say you want to get out of your comfort zone?
Sounds ridiculously cool!
However, why on earth do you want to explore these cultures? What does travel give anyway apart from happiness and some good pictures to post?
Yes. There are many people I have met who love travelling and exploring, but they rarely realise the real deal! Travelling is not just about happiness and a few pictures. It is much more than what you know it to be.
I cannot really jot down every aspect of the benefits of travelling, but here's an attempt at delineating my understanding of it. This understanding has sprung from my latest Deoriatal-Chandrashila Trek.
It is a journey towards you
When you travel, you apparently travel towards a destination. However, deep within the boundaries of your soul, you travel towards yourself when you set out on a journey.
"To travel is to take a journey into yourself."—Danny Kaye
You get to know yourself. Beyond your comfort zones, there lies a place where you can be above and beyond what you typically are. You discover yourself- be it about how you talk to strangers, how you manage in a camp, how you feel in an unknown place, what is it like to live in a hotel and make the best use of your time, how you tackle with immediate decision-making and so on. The list is endless.
"A traveller am I, and a navigator, and every day I discover a new region within my soul."—Kahlil Gibran
A well-travelled human is a wise human
"A fool wonders, the wise man wanders."—Susan Rea
When you explore new places and interact with nature and unknown people of an unknown territory, you learn. You don't just learn their culture, you learn from their wisdom. You learn to appreciate life. The stories, the lifestyle, the occupation, the language, and every bit about their lives make you find new ways of finding happiness. You learn to be happy in life, and not just be happy while travelling.
"Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen."—Benjamin Disraeli
Not just that, travelling makes you realise the value of your home. It makes you love your bed so much more and be thankful for things and luxuries you have.
"No one realises how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow."—Lin Yutang
While making you proud of your life, travel also makes you humble by bringing you face to face with the vastness of the world. You realise how small you are, how little you know, how much more is still left to know, and that there's so much you won't ever know.
Travel boosts confidence
With wisdom comes an aura of confidence. Travel makes you resourceful. You gain skills at combating obstacles. Trekking, for example, unfolds a side of you that you never knew existed. Eco-tourism takes you so close to nature that you shed the luxuries of life to explore the wilderness.
"In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks."—John Muir
Every trip in a foreign place makes you adapt to those unknown situations. You build confidence as you go forward and realise that obstacles can be overcome. Each time you return from a trip, you are more confident about turning obstacles into challenges. Moving about in your own city becomes so much more fun knowing that you are a better version of yourself.
"I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world."—Mary Anne Radmacher
It is a spiritual experience
"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God."—Kurt Vonnegut
It is not just your general knowledge and wisdom that takes a big leap with every trip, it is your spiritual being that evolves as well.
"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware."—Martin Buber
Travelling is a spiritual experience. Your communication with the enormity of the universe brings you closer to the Ultimate Being and the existence of God. It is not just your body or brain that evolves, your soul evolves too. Every act of kindness you receive in a distant land brings you a step closer to a conviction in God's existence.
Travelling is far from being just a break or a vacation; it's a way of self-development and self-realisation.
Did travel make you a better version of yourself? Let's talk about it in the comments section below.