I met someone the other day who didn’t like travelling. Has this ever happened to you? She was certainly the first person I’ve met in as long as I can remember who just didn’t feel the urge to take to the open road (or sky) and discover somewhere new. The love of travel is such a given that I’d never actually thought about what it is I love about it, but meeting this non-traveller inspired me to think of the top 5 reasons to love travelling. Ready? Here goes…
1. New sights
I think it’s entirely possible to stop seeing things we see every day. I have an absolutely stunning walk to work, with Table Mountain on full display in front of me, but unless there’s something unusual about the weather (crazy mist, beautiful light) I don’t really notice it. Travelling forces your eyes open because you’re seeing things you’ve never seen before.
2. In the present moment
When I’m working, it’s easy to get caught up in the future, or thinking about things that have passed, or wondering what’s going to happen next week. But when I’m travelling, it’s all about the present moment. Right now, and no other time. Who knows what will happen next? Who can imagine what we’ll be seeing this time next week? It brings a marvellous immediacy to every day.
3. Unfamiliar food
Most people will eat the same kind of food, over and over again, at home. I certainly will (bread and cheese for lunch, anyone?) But plop me in a different culture with all kinds of unfamiliar food, and suddenly my tastebuds come alive. It’s like an instant broadening of horizons for the palate.
4. Meeting new people
It is possible to meet new people at home, of course, but many of us stick to our same group of friends when we’re in our comfort zone. Out of the comfort zone, though, now that’s where the magic happens. That’s where you’ll meet people who are either entertaining for just one conversation or day, or will become friends that last for many years.
5. A renewed appreciation for home
And this is perhaps my very favourite thing about travelling. Leaving home, even if it’s just for a few weeks, makes it come alive again when you return. You can see just how vibrant, how wonderful, how beautiful your hometown is.
What’s your favourite thing about travelling?