If there was one piece of advice I have for people today to experience more joy in life, it is to travel more. I don’t mean taking vacations or going on pre-planning trips, I mean making the journey out to somewhere you’ve never gone before with an open schedule, to let life show you what opportunities were waiting for you that you couldn’t have even imaged before.

Traveling is wonderful in many ways. It captures us with a sense of wanderlust and has us longing for more destinations to visit, cultures to experience, food to eat, and people to meet. As amazing as traveling is, most of us think we need to wait until our later years to really explore a lot of the world. I want to inspire you to travel more now and I will do that by sharing 9 wonderful benefits of traveling so you can take the leap of faith you’ve been waiting for.

1. You’ll find a new purpose

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” – Danny Kaye

Traveling is an amazingly underrated investment in yourself. As you travel you’re exposed to more new people, cultures, and lifestyles than you are living in your homeland all the time. With all the newness in your life, you’re also opened to new insights, ways of seeing the world and living, which often gives people a new purpose for their lives. If you’re feeling stuck on what your purpose is, what you want to do with your life, the career or educational path you want to pursue, go travel…you might just be surprised about what you discover as a new sense of life purpose and direction.

2. You’ll appreciate your home more

“All travel has it’s advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.” – Samuel Johnson

When we spend time away from home, especially in a place where we don’t have the same luxuries readily available to us…like a village in Fiji that runs without electricity…we become more aware and appreciative for the luxuries we have back at home. I remember a time where I visited my cousin in Argentina after she’d been living there for about a year. I was visiting her around Christmas time and brought her the new Harry Potter book along with some basic goods that you can find almost anywhere in Los Angeles. She was over joyous and filled with gratitude, like she just got the greatest gift in the world. In other parts of the world, like India and Ethiopia, people don’t have as much access to clean drinking water…especially from what’s readily available on tap. Traveling through areas like that really make us appreciate what we do have, and often can spark the movement of something to support people living there experience a greater quality of life.

3. You’ll realize that your home is more than just where you grew up

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang

The more we travel, the more we realize that our home is so much more than the town, city, state and even country that we’ve grown up in; we realize that our home is the world, this planet, and we become more conscious of how we can harmoniously live and support one another. And in that knowingness and state of consciousness, people like those supporting the movement of charity:water come into fruition.

4. You’ll realize how little you actually knew about the world

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

There’s concept, and then there’s experience. When we travel, we may notice that some of the things we’ve heard about the world end up being very different than what we were indoctrinated and conditioned to believe. Many of the initial myths that get dispelled are often about traveling itself. Where you once may have thought it was too expensive and dangerous, you may realize how you can actually save more on your lifestyle expenses traveling the world than you do living at home. You may also realize how kind and friendly strangers can be, and how they are even willing to take care of you with a place to sleep at night. Beyond that, you have the whole world to learn about with every place you discover, every person you meet and every culture you experience.

5. You’ll realize that we all share similar needs

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

Tony Robbins has said many times that no matter what your background is, all human beings share 6 common needs. As you travel more, you notice the truth of this even more…and as that happens, you are more adept in being able to relate to people regardless of their background.

6. You’ll realize that it’s extremely easy to make friends

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill

One of the first things I learned from traveling solo is how easy it is to make friends. Something magical happens in how people can show up more raw and real when they’re out of their conditioned environment and open to express themselves without feeling judged. That rawness and realness ends up inspiring others to be authentic, and that’s how you can become best friends with people when you’ve only known them for a few hours.

7. You’ll experience the interconnectedness of humanity

“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou

Just as we notice how we share similar needs, how our perspective of our home expands, and how we become close friends with others from different backgrounds and cultures, we begin to realize how we are all connected. This state of awareness is a jump in consciousness, and what I mean by that is in the way we perceive the world, the life experience and ourselves. Ken Wilber speaks about consciousness as spiral dynamics, each level of consciousness inclusive of the one previous. I feel that traveling often helps people experience a world-centric view of consciousness, and some even on that’s integrated…able to see, understand and accept all states of consciousness, and utilizing the gifts of whatever is best and most appropriate in the moment.

8. You’ll experience serendipity and synchronicity

“Traveling is one of the easiest ways to become aware of the magic that weaves all of creation together through serendipity and synchronicity with perfect timing.” – Adam Siddiq

Serendipity: luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for. And here’s Synchronicity: coincidence of events that appear meaningfully related but do not seem to be causally connected

I’m going to share one story of how I experienced serendipity and synchronicity in Spain. It was early in the morning and it was time for me to return the motorcycle my friend had rented with me yesterday. She left very early in the morning on a flight home so it was my responsibility to return it. I woke up to a beautiful sunny morning in Spain and went out to the street to start the motorcycle. I started to drive, forgetting that the chain was left on the wheel. Having no previous experience with motorcycles, I realized I was in a predicament. Two minutes later, a car drove and parked behind me. I had a feeling that someone in that vehicle knew how to fix motorcycles and was going to help me remove the chain so I could return the motorcycle. As they got out, I spoke to them in Spanish, telling them what happened. One of them motioned the other to go on. He mentioned they were mechanics and here for a job, and that he could help me get the chain off…and he did. I thanked him and he seemed gratified to help a fellow soul on their way. In that moment, I realized that no matter what…the world is here to support me, which leads us to the last benefit of traveling.

9. You’ll realize life is a wonderful gift

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Life is a wonderful gift. It really is, and as we travel and experience more of the world and life, we often become overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for all the beautiful moments we enjoyed and people we’ve shared them with. More often than not, this is a realization that we can experience and take action from now while we’re still alive with energy rather than stacking up regrets by the time we’re on our death bed. Rather than waiting until you’re saying “I wish I had”, live so you can say “I’m glad I did”.

Featured photo credit: Woman Traveler with Backpack relaxing in Mountains with rocks on background mountaineering hiking sport lifestyle concept via shutterstock.com

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