You learn so much about other countries and cultures when you travel.
Travel helps you figure out who you are.
You make new friends when you travel.
And couples who travel have stronger romantic relationships.
This reason alone should be enough to inspire you to travel.
But, wait, there are even more good reasons to travel!
Reasons to travel
Several years ago at a local joint SATW and TMAC travel writers’ meeting, Katherine O’Shea-Evans, a journalist and former Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure spoke on travel trends and the business of travel writing.
Her comments on the guilty pleasure of travel resonated with us.
Sometimes it’s hard for us not to feel a little guilty pursuing our dual passions – travel (especially luxury travel) and travel writing/photography.
Perhaps you too feel a little guilty sipping mai tais on Maui, when so many people in the world have so much less than us?
Shouldn’t we be doing more to help “save the world” instead?
But there are many benefits of traveling.
So ditch the guilt, and check out these 5 really good reasons to travel!
1) Travel creates and supports jobs
About 1 in 10 jobs around the world are supported by travel and tourism – almost 320 million jobs in 2023, in fact.
Now, don’t you feel good slurping spaghetti in a Tuscany trattoria, knowing you’re supporting your server’s job?
2) Travel bridges cultures
Travel opens your eyes to new cultures and helps you understand the world better.
It fosters tolerance and empathy. It also helps people in other countries understand where you come from.
You’re a good ambassador for your own country just by being a “nice” person when you travel (i.e., you’re patient with restaurant servers, you tip the chambermaid and you’re polite to touts and shopkeepers).
3) Travel supports the world economy
Travel and tourism represent more than 10% of the world’s GDP (gross domestic product).
The contribution to global GDP is more than double that of the automotive industry.
4) Health benefits of traveling
There are other benefits of travel too.
You catch up on your sleep (no alarm clock going off) and sleep quality improves when you go on holiday.
Studies also show that active vacations (like golf and hiking trips) help reduce job stress. And getting some sun in winter (hello Mexico!) helps combat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) if you live in sun-deprived northern climes.
5) Why travel? It’s fun!
Do you need another reason why travel is important?
Travel brings joy into your life and re-connects you with your family. Aren’t some of your happiest moments those of building sand castles on a holiday beach with your children, or exploring a new city, hand-in-hand with your significant other?
That happiness is contagious…
Photo credits: 3, 6, 7, 10 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase