The Top Ten Reasons I Love Traveling
February, 2012—Cha Jones
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day I thought it would be nice to look at why I LOVE to travel.
1. I can see the world from a different perspective. As the old saying goes “Perception is Reality.” When you get to see a place through your own eyes everything you ever heard or read begins to get challenged based on what you are seeing first hand for yourself. So, it is my thought that it’s not real until you have discovered it for yourself.
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2. Humanity and putting a face on the people of the world. This is a run-on of #1. We all have heard about the people in said country (Iran, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Egypt, etc.), but if we have never met them, touched them, or communicated with them, then unfortunately we tend to see them as just faceless creatures we've heard about. However, when you actually get the opportunity to meet the people in person they become real and your compassion for how they are treated, living, and for them as whole begin to change…it becomes AUTHENTIC. If you could see the starving children in an underdeveloped country, then they wouldn't be a commercial story, they would become conversation that has heartfelt meaning behind it, and just maybe the world would change.
3. Beauty is in the eye of its beholder. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. So, if you go the beach and feel the sand sifting through your toes and you smell the ocean as the warm breeze tickles your nose, how many more words would it be worth to describe your experience? Traveling to the place gives you so much more than the photo could ever give you. Sure, pictures are wonderful, they help you remember, but the experience of being and seeing firsthand leaves an impression that will live with you forever.
4. I love to EAT!!! Now, I know you can feel me when I say AUTHENTIC. There is something very different about eating at an authentic Mexican restaurant rather than a good ole commercial Tex-Mex restaurant. The Tex-Mex can’t even compare. Now, I happen to love Tex-Mex, so don’t get me wrong. However, I would rather eat authentic Mexican food any day of the week. So, when you travel you get the opportunity to eat the food the way the people of that particular area intended for it to be. Remember, real is always better than the replica anyways!
5. Learning experience. When you travel and you visit a different city, state, or country you learn so much more than you could ever learned reading, hearing about it from someone else, or watching a movie, documentary, or television show. So, I encourage you to get out and travel and you will come back with so much more knowledge, which will also allow you to teach other people who will not get the same opportunity.
6. Expanding your thought process. We live in a world that can be very narrow, but when you travel you get to experience things that will hopefully enlighten how you think or see things. Sometimes you even get to dispel rumors about places that you have believed all of your life. Traveling opens the door to many new beginnings.
7. Rest and relaxation. I love living in the city and I really love having many options, but sometimes I just want to rest and leave all the worries of life behind. Traveling allows you the opportunity to do that. If you take a day or two to sit on the beach and just be, then everything that you do in your day to day hustle and bustle becomes worth it. Relax and take a moment to smell the roses. When you take this time away from everything that you think you must do, you then learn to appreciate life and you also get the opportunity to rejuvenate your thoughts and prepare to move forward.
8. Pampering. Now, you should always take the time to pamper yourself no matter where you are, but some of my best pampering has been done while I was traveling. When you go on a nice vacation it’s always a good idea to go to the spa and get pampered. Make sure you eat the best of the best and experience the best parts of the place that you are visiting.
9. Interesting stories. Life is fascinating, well at least mine is, and when you get the opportunity to travel and see different places, meet interesting people, eat really good food or bad food, do things you wouldn't normally do, and just live without boundaries, then you tend to develop the best life stories ever. Remember, everyone is not going to take a chance, veer off the beaten path, or will be able to afford the opportunities to travel, so your stories allow others to vicariously live through you. Live and then tell about it!
10. I get to reinvent myself through my experiences. It’s great to go see a different place, meet new people, eat new foods, learn something different, and create lifelong stories to tell future generations, but one of the reasons I love traveling is that I get to reinvent myself through the places I've been and the things I have done. When you travel, look at it like you’re a snake shedding layers of dead skin you've been lugging around for years. What you may have brought to a situation can be shed by being open to seeing, feeling, and being in the moment. At home in your own environment you may have become complacent, but when you go somewhere new you have the chance to try something you have been dreaming about. If you don’t like who are anymore, then you can become someone knew (as long as you aren't lying to others or yourself). Reinvent yourself and find the courage to live life outside the box, because inside the box there isn't much room for living at all.