Travel makes us happy – it’s scientifically proven and I 100% agree. For years I’ve said that life’s too short to pay off a mortgage. It’s the perfect justification to keep travelling and one that has served me well for over 25 years.
So many family and friends tell me that they plan to travel “one day”, but for many of them that day never comes. I’ve known so many people who wanted to travel, but by the time they’d paid off their mortgage, waited for their kids to grow up or established their careers, they’d lost their health and were unable to realise their dreams.
That’s why I believe it’s important that if you want to travel, you don’t delay. Travel does require sacrifices, but it’s definitely worth it. So if you’ve been making excuses that are holding you back from travel, here’s five reasons to ditch them and make this the year your travel adventures begin:
5 Reasons To Stop Making Excuses And Make Time For Travel This Year
1. It puts the world into perspective
I remember the first time we stopped over in Doha on our way to London. As our plane began it’s descent and we caught our first glimpse of the city at sunrise I said to my son “out that window are millions of people waking up who live completely different lives to us.”
That’s what I love about travel the most, that it gives you a world view. Travel puts everything into perspective. It’s also why I love staying in neighbourhoods, especially when I travel with my kids. I enjoy a fancy city hotel as much as the next person, but staying in the suburbs of a new city gives you a glimpse of what life is really like. You realise how much you are alike or different.
2. It’s the best history lesson you’ll ever have
I’m a book person, but when it comes to history, there’s no substitute for the real things. As an Aussie anything more than 200 years old is considered ancient, so it’s mind blowing to visit somewhere as rich in history as Rome or medieval castle ruins in the U.K.
To walk in the footsteps of historical figures or visit the site of famous moments in history is such a gift. Quite often I find myself doubting that things are real and not a Disney re-creation. The more you travel, the more you’ll want to know about the places you’ve been and things you’ve seen.
3. You’ll discover your strengths (and sometimes your weaknesses)
There’s nothing like travel to test your patience and resilience. From airport delays, to lost luggage and jet lag, travel can be as challenging as it is rewarding. But after overcoming a few obstacles, you’ll probably discover you’re tougher than you thought, more innovative and able to negotiate like a pro.
Along the way you might also discover the things you’re better off delegating to others – in my case, navigating. And when you need to bite your tongue or not sweat the small stuff.
4. You’ll step outside your comfort zone
Travel has a way of helping you to push your boundaries. For example, at home nothing short of a significant monetary incentive could convince me (a lifetime claustrophobic) to go caving. But when my family were desperate to visit Speedwell Cavern in the U.K, I somehow mustered up the courage to don a hardhat, walk 127 steps underground and climb into a boat to tour an abandoned mine.
Similarly, when visiting new places there’s many opportunities try foods that you wouldn’t normally consider or might not have known about. One of my favourite places to visit in any city is the grocery store and a farmer’s market.
5. It’s probably cheaper than you think
Every time I’ve travelled (except once when I was a penniless student) I’ve come home with money in my bank account. In my experience, travel makes you frugal or just more savvy with money. Depending where you visit, travel can be expensive, but there are so many ways to make savings. From travelling in the off-season to staying in an apartment and cooking most of your meals, you can trim costs and splurge on the things that bring you the most happiness.
If money is your reason for not travelling, try breaking your trip into small financial milestones. Save for the airfare first, then pay your accomodation, transport and insurance before you go. That way you’ll only need to take spending money for food, attractions and shopping.
What do you love about travel?