Why You Should Travel to Europe
Is traveling for you? It seems that there are two types of people in this world. Those who love to travel. And those who haven’t traveled. It’s hard to experience the rush of a new adventure. Likewise, it’s also hard to commit to the long arduous journey that travel entails. There’s the long flight across a vast ocean. You will have to contend with lines, security checks, random security checks, lines to get on the plane, lines to get off the plane, walking your suitcases around, dragging them up stairs and down stairs. There are plenty of reasons to dislike travel.
If that wasn’t reason enough, there’s the expense part of it. Traveling is expensive. Especially international travel. The flight alone is enough to make you gasp from sticker shock. But then there’s the cost of attractions, meals and lodgings. Wouldn’t that money be better spent elsewhere?
In reality, there are few things as rewarding as travel. And if you have been putting off a big trip, perhaps to Europe, perhaps to France, or even to Japan or China, there are a few reasons why you shouldn’t put it off any longer.
Ultimately, traveling creates far more memories than you ever could have imagined, teaches you more about yourself than you thought was possible, and gives you a new perspective on life. What’s even more, through traveling, you will rediscover your sense of wonder.
The Memories Are Worth the Price of Admission
There are so many things we spend our money on in life. Traveling, at times, can feel like an overly privileged and maybe even irresponsible thing to do. Surely you should wait to pay off your student loans, for example, before you go traipsing off to Europe? Unfortunately, I have some news for you.
The only easy day to travel was yesterday.
There will rarely, if ever, be a time to travel when it is the easiest thing to do. It takes a considerable amount of planning and preparation to muster the material you need to go abroad. And as time passes, the challenges will only grow. Your career will take first place, as will your family, the more the years progress. Plus, there is absolutely nothing like experiencing the beauty, art and culture of foreign places when you are young to help shape and mold the person you are going to be in the future.
Ultimately, investing in your travel plans means investing in yourself.
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes
As you move from place to place, event to event, and experience new and challenging occasions during your travel, you will be stretched as a person. Your assumptions about yourself will be tested. Ultimately, you will learn more about who you are, what matters to you, and where you want to go with your life.
Travel with Purpose
There is a vast difference between travel and vacation. You may use your vacation time from work to go traveling, but that doesn’t mean you should necessarily take on a vacation mindset. When traveling abroad to Europe, you are simply going to be inundated with far too many opportunities to live and to experience all the joys that the old world has to offer to be sitting around on a beach sipping a Mai Thai. Save the vacations for when you are older and need to slow down. Start traveling, really, hectically traveling, from one location to the next, under way too much time constraint, today. You can handle it now.
Traveling with purpose also challenges you to grow and change your perspective on life. While you are traveling, your material possessions will shrink down to what you can take with you in a carry-on, and in your backpack. You won’t have your blender, your sofa and your linen closet available to you. You may even go without some of the basic comforts you are used to, depending on where and how you travel. You will challenge yourself to live with less, and to do more with your time. Learning to live this way is something that you can take back home with you.
Traveling really is like a sort of life reboot bootcamp. By eliminating excess, you learn what is really truly important in life.
It Changes Your Perspective
The greatest thing about traveling, and what makes it more valuable perhaps than anything else that money can buy, is the fact that traveling changes your perspective. How it changes your perspective will vary from person to person, and trip to trip. That’s part of the magic of it. You never know how your next adventure will broaden your mind.
It can very much change your life back home, too. Learning to see things with the excitement and wonder of a new born can have a profound impact on your life back home. Old forgotten alleyways suddenly become places of inspiration. Restaurants down the street that you never explored, friends that you haven’t spoken with in years, and pastimes you forgot your love for, all are reopened before you. While traveling, you rediscovered your sense of wonder.
“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
― E.E. Cummings
Most Importantly, Traveling Teaches You to Wonder
Do you remember what it was like to be awed by the first time you saw fireworks on the Fourth of the July, or the first time you fell in love, or the first time you saw a beautiful landscape? Life has a way of getting in the way of our sense of wonder. However, you could argue that our sense of wonder is the very most thing that keeps us human. While it’s easy to lose our sense of wonder as we traverse the difficulties of everyday life, it’s nearly impossible to travel abroad and not be forced back into that same sense of wonder.
Traveling in Europe, you will be faced with buildings and places that are far, far older than you ever experienced before in your life. You will have the time to really experience things, and think about things in a way that you might not have for a long, long time. Ultimately, that time to take things in with your senses, to wonder at the great eons of time that have gone before you and all of us, will instill in you something powerful that is hard to control. What you do with that wonder is up to you.
Either which way, chances are that once you travel abroad your first time, you’ll be counting down the days until you can go back again.