5 clichéd but bonafide reasons why you should travel…

Written by Lottie Croker, alottielost

Lottie is a 23 year old Brit who recently traversed South America and South East Asia for 6.5 months. She started a blog to document her journey and in doing so reignited a passion for all things travel, writing and photography.

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Are your cocktail-sipping, jet setting friends turning you green? Your sunset-filled Instagram feed fueling your wanderlust? Maybe it’s time to take the plunge and start packing your bags. The beauty of travel is that you do it in your own way. So no matter who you are, where you want to go, for how long or how much you can spend, I truly believe there are many fundamental reasons why making travel part of your life might just be the best decision you ever make. Sure, they’re cheesy and totally clichéd, but there’s a reason they’re not going anywhere…

  1. Because ‘the bad news is time flies, but the good news is you’re the pilot’

Time really is our only asset, so don’t squander it. You’ll never have that time again. What is life if it’s not an adventure? Our world is a wonderful place, so get out there and make your travel dreams a reality! The sad truth is that no one is guaranteed old age, nor do we have some magical pill to make us live longer. ‘One day’ is a pernicious disease you don’t want to catch; if you wait for that elusive day to come along then you’ll end up taking your travelling dreams to the grave. You could spend the rest of your life saying ‘I don’t have the time’ or ‘I wish I’d done that’. But guess what: only you can make it happen! Try to take agency of your time and your choices, and never stop ticking things off your bucket list. We also need to stop picking on Mondays; it’s not Mondays you dislike, it’s your job and living for the weekend! When you’re on the road, a Monday is every bit as good as a Friday. This isn’t to say you have to give up your job or make significant sacrifices in order to travel. Whether it’s for a long weekend, for a work trip or for a few months between jobs, travelling offers pure and genuine freedom from many of our day-to-day stresses. Allow yourself the time (your time) to unwind, recharge, and enjoy the world around you – you’ll thank yourself if you do.

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  1. To ‘find yourself’

It’s true that ‘not all who wander are lost’ (sorry, couldn’t help myself), but travelling really can be a voyage of discovery in more sense than one. The journey doesn’t need to be spiritual or clothed head to toe in tie-dye, but some time removed from the daily grind allows you to ruminate, reflect and be totally honest with yourself. How do you know what you want to do when you don’t know what’s out there? Travelling is a catalyst for personal evolution, and even if you don’t intended to explicitly ‘find yourself’, you may end up discovering hidden talents, passions or simply affirm the path you have paved for yourself. The way I see it, life is a bit like a jigsaw; we’re all trying to find the pieces that fit together properly to expose and build the bigger picture. Each experience we have and every person we meet, is another piece of the jigsaw. Before I embarked on my 6.5 month world adventure, I was in a state of motivational anhedonia and in need of some direction. I definitely didn’t find myself along the way, but with new landscapes and people comes new outlooks and ideas; so now I’m finally starting to build the inside of my jigsaw instead of just the easy edge and corner pieces. Before leaving home, I never thought I’d be cycling the world’s most dangerous road in Bolivia, scuba diving with sharks and turtles in Indonesia, or even just writing this blog for STA Travel! Who knows where life might take me, but with travelling under my belt, the world seems a little less daunting and I’m a little less lost.

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  1. Because ‘travel is the best form of education’

Learning about yourself: tick. Learning about everything else: tick. At the tender age of 23, I certainly don’t profess to know everything. However there are a myriad of things I learnt from my trips that I simply didn’t gain from 16 years of institutional education. Travelling is officially the most interactive and fun history/geography/sociology (etc, etc) lesson you could ever attend! Seeing the world past your doorstep makes you realise that however much you think you may know, there’s always more to learn. Long term travelling can be testing at times which teaches you important life skills that make you that ‘well-rounded’ person your parents always bang on about. The list is literally endless, but travelling will teach you independence, budgeting, planning, cultural understanding, the ability to adapt and time management. As well as being important in daily life, these additional skills make you very employable and way more interesting in an interview.

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  1. Because ‘life begins at the end of your comfort zone’

Comfort zones are static places that don’t allow growth. We’re not trees, and we aren’t meant to be grounded with solid roots. Give yourself the space to grow and challenge yourself often – whether it’s a bungee jump, eating the seemingly bizarre local delicacy or starting up a conversation with a stranger. Travelling is a great way to overcome these fears that previously seemed insurmountable. The chances are your confidence and courage will grow and soon enough you’ll realise there’s absolutely nothing you can’t do. Pushing boundaries when you’re travelling throws you into interesting and sometimes difficult situations that highlight your strengths and weaknesses and your likes and dislikes. Nothing beats the feeling of fulfilment when you stand up on your surf board for the first time or don’t get mugged off by a taxi driver because you’ve learnt the local lingo. Sure, stepping out of your comfort zone can be daunting, but it’s also exhilarating and you’ll probably find yourself coming back for more. You might find leaving your comfort zone could also open doors, offer new opportunities abroad and at home, and help build your friends and professional networks. It’s incredibly easy to stay in your comfortable bubble and forget there is more out there, but try to challenge yourself as often as you can and do so on foreign soil too. Curiosity killed the cat. But you’re not a cat. So go explore!

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  1. Because ‘travelling is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer’

Unless you work whilst abroad, chances are your bank account may deplete during your travels. But, arguably you’re still going to find yourself richer. Travel is a real investment in yourself, and your future. You probably won’t actually realise how significant and valuable your trip is until you take it. As well as the aforementioned skills, you’re going to return home with hilarious stories, unforgettable experiences, new friends and the comforting knowledge that you now have many second homes across the globe. As beautiful as that new bag is, the limitless list of things you stand to gain is undoubtedly more valuable to your happiness and definitely won’t ever go out of fashion. I can promise you that no amount of money or assets will surpass the experiences you have on your travels, so try to choose those experiences and memories over material possessions. And you never know, you might just find you fall in love with somewhere, something or someone.

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Travel is a personal experience, and one you may or may not share with other people . It’s an experience that may happen just once in your life, or repeatedly. The important thing is to jump at every travel opportunity that comes your way, and keep finding ways to incorporate it into your life. Travelling may not be for everyone but don’t knock it until you try it – you might (you will!) discover a world you never knew! ”

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There you have it, Lottie’s cliched reasons but absolutely 100{67e156e4ee2ef9246962f65a4f1efdaee88fb3c7951f538c2a80b1896ec79ca1} true. Follow more of Lottie’s adventure on Instagram, @alottielost or read some of her incredible adventures on her blog.