I have friends who don’t understand why I like traveling so much, especially when they find out I go to some countries where backpacking can be slightly more demanding, like India.
“Why visit places where you won’t have a nice time?” They ask. Well, the answer isn’t that simple; it’s not only about liking to travel, it’s a need.
First, one has to decide what “nice” means — I find using a squat toilet a lot “nicer” than sitting in front of a computer, working for long hours! Well, you get the picture. What’s a struggle for one person might be a delight for another.
The more I travel the more I evolve. One could argue it’s perfectly possible to achieve the same type of personal development without traveling. Fair enough, but how many people put themselves in tricky situations in their home country in order to become “better people”? Not that many.
When you travel and you’re thrown in the deep end, you evolve a lot quicker — believe me — especially if you’re doing it with an open mind, willing to absorb as many experiences as possible.
Throughout my travels I changed a lot. Here’s why you must travel and do the same:
1. It Gives You Perspective
At home, your knowledge about the world is very limited — you have to believe what the media tells you. You might be lucky enough to meet people who’ve traveled and can tell you stories, but still, it’s their experiences, not yours.
When you traverse the globe with your own feet you see violence, poverty, and the effects of global warming and you stop to think about whether everything you believed was really true. When you have a feijoada (black bean stew) in Brazil, for instance, you start questioning the food of the local Brazilian restaurant.
You have to understand the real world in order to create your own opinion about everything. You challenge every new piece of information, because now you know it can be filtered through someone else’s experiences and it may not be the real deal.