I think that travel makes the world a better place.
Yes, I suppose on the surface that sounds like glossy brochure-speak – I do appreciate that travel creates problems of its own (carbon emissions, anyone?). But I truly think that people who travel, see a little bit of the world, and stop for a minute to reflect on it are better people for it.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a round-the-world traveler or you’re just skipping across to the next country over, it is time to put down the guidebooks and television programming and get out there and see something.
Here are four reasons why travel makes the world a better place.
Travel makes the world a better place
1. Travel is a learning experience
In today’s modern age, it seems we’re all in a rush to learn what we’re required to learn, then rush into the workforce, settle into a routine, and “enjoy” life. So much for the Renaissance, eh?
Slow down and learn something along the way – even if it’s the small things. You’d be surprised how interesting world culture can be.
You might not have the time to learn another language, but tell me how you feel when someone smiles after you learn to tell them thank you in their native tongue.
2. Tourism is a powerful economic force
How many places do we know where tourism is the major, if not only, economic industry keeping villages and cities financially afloat?
Some poorer countries are better than others at keeping tourism growth at a healthy pace so as to not lose sight of local heritage, but in so many places one of the best ways to lend a helping hand is to visit.
Eat in the cafes, drink the coffee, buy a few souvenirs.
Why not do a spot of volunteering while you’re there?
3. Travel forces you to examine yourself
At home, we tend to have a lot of baggage – and I’m not talking the wheelie suitcase you take with you to the airport. There’s just a lot going on between our home and work life.
But when you’re traveling, a lot of that gets left behind, and the result is heaps of time left to fill.
What thoughts fill your mind while you sit aimlessly at a café or sipping a pint in the local pub?
4. Tourism makes you appreciate what you’ve got
So many people grow up with blinders on – they assume their culture and ways of doing thing are just “how it is.” But those who have traveled and have seen the good and bad of other cultures can appreciate exactly what they have back home.
Think your government is corrupt, or that you have it bad? Why not see what other people put up with before you complain. Maybe your complaints are justified, maybe that’s the way it is everywhere, or maybe you have it better off than most. Only one way to find out.
About the author: Andy Hayes is the managing editor of Sharing Travel Experiences, a travel lifestyle magazine. He’s doing his bit to help make the world a better place, and asks you to travel more and do the same!