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5 Major Reasons Why You Need To Travel The World

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Experience

It never fails that whenever someone finds out how I’ve made a living for most of my life or with whom I’ve been fortunate enough to work with, one of the very first questions I’m asked is; what’s it like to travel the world? Being the storyteller I am, I love being asked the question and I love engaging in the conversation even more!

Just the other day I received an urgent e-mail desperately seeking my immediate availability and now here I sit currently in London about to fly into Marrakech, Morocco.

Life is crazy sometimes!

Photo Courtesy of www.tcsignature.com

Photo Courtesy of www.tcsignature.com

The image above is the venue for this amazing awards ceremony, fashion show and concert featuring John Legend, Youssou Ndour, Akon, and Mos Def, just to name a few.

Traveling back across the “pond” has got me to thinking, once again, of the many great lessons I’ve learned from traveling the world. So in the continual effort to answer the above question, here are 5 major reasons why you need to travel the world.

1. It hits the refresh button on life. If you’ve ever surfed the internet and experienced a web site not load correctly, and then refreshed the page and suddenly that seemed to correct things, then know exactly what I’m talking about here. Sometimes in life, tunnel vision gets the best of us. We forget about others and even forget about what’s truly important in life. Last week I wrote about Awesome’s Ending, and frankly one of the beautiful rewards from traveling the world is that it hits the refresh button, reminding us of the brevity of life.

2. It awakens your soul to new senses and experiences. There are really two sides to this but both are ultimately good. Traveling the world awakens your soul and provides you with experiences that you otherwise would never have. Experiences like the lack of personal space, say on a 18 hour flight across the Atlantic. Or the sensation of rare and exquisite cuisine from a foreign country. All have a unique ability to stoke the fire of our soul, awakening, what many times are hidden desires and passions.

3. Traveling the world teaches you life is not all about you. Did I just remind you of something there? Like a parent or spouse, perhaps? It’s interesting that there was a time, in fact, when it was commonly accepted in the scientific community that the Sun rotated around the Earth, and the Earth was at the center of the universe. We’ve since disproved that theory, but isn’t it curious how many times you and I live like we are the center of the universe. Traveling the world teaches you in no uncertain terms that this life is not about you.

4. It forces you to grow and adapt to new environments. The best example of this is can be found by learning how to use a phone outside of your familiar homeland. Oh, it may sound simple enough, but trust me, just try it. Ever heard of a country code? When you’re out of the country, you can’t just pick up and start dialing, you have to think about where you’re dialing, what’s the country code, then the areas code etc. There’s a bit of learning curve to it. And then there’s the whole idea of currency exchange. And on, and on, and on… That’s just naming a couple quick examples.

5. Last but not least, traveling the world gives you the best gift possible: perspective. I’ve already hinted at how traveling reminds of the brevity of life, but beyond that, upon entering a foreign country, say Africa for example, you’re quickly given a culture shock, revealing just how lucky you are. Those aren’t actors in those commercials on tv. Things like poverty, famine, and genocide exist and are brutally horrific to experience first hand. Traveling the world and intentionally reaching outside your comfort zone is one of the most beneficial things you could ever do in your lifetime, no matter your age.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

I love the quote above from St. Augustine and I love that I have been so blessed and fortunate to encounter the many awesome experiences I have over the years.

If you could pick one place, one destination that you’ve always dreamed of going, where would that be?

Share in the comments below!

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Josh Collins

Josh Collins is a Communicator and Experience Architect who lives in Franklin, Tn. His passion is to create awesome experiences that change the way we engage audiences and help you do the same.
  • CKottmann

    I agree with your list completely. I would only add that travelling the world makes you more confident. You might do the things you never would at home – for fear of professional reputation, cultural norms, or peer opinions – but abroad, it’s just you, and if you don’t decide to tell everyone back home about it, then it’s your secret. I don’t mean indiscretions, more like having the confidence to approach someone you find interesting, or try the food that is squirming on your plate. As a personal example – I went skydiving in Australia. Part of my decision was the thought that I was in AUSTRALIA! Why not!? I’m here, not there, this is separate from my “normal” life and I should take the “once-in-a-lifetime” chance to do it. You learn what you are truly capable of when you travel, and you take that confidence back to your normal life when you return home. Just remembering that you climbed the Rock of Gibraltar or tried salsa dancing in Rio de Janeiro, can make you more confident in your normal life. Travel naturally pushes your boundaries, and that’s why I love it.

  • Natalie

    Ahh, that’s a tough one! I don’t know that I could pick just one place. I grew up in South Africa and came to the States almost 13 years ago. I have also traveled to some Caribbean islands and a few countries in Europe. I would love to go back to all the European countries I’ve been to. There’s a part of me that yearns for life on the international road – 3 months in France, 6 months in Germany, and so on and so on. For me, the greatest part of being exposed to different cultures are the people I encounter. There’s a level of humanness that’s not easy to find within the environment we live in. People take the time to talk and listen. REALLY listen. They generally go out of their way to be helpful and find pleasure in the simple things in life. Don’t get me wrong – I love my modern conveniences, but traveling reminds me that it’s okay to disconnect from the THINGS around me and instead connect with the PEOPLE. I find it freeing. Everything you said (and the comment below) is true as well, and I’d have to agree that traveling the world is something we should try to do.

Posted on: May 24, 2013

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