“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert
1) Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
For some people, travelling is second nature. My husband, Zack, seems to be born with a wandering soul and the road is his home. To be honest with you, that’s not me. I would consider myself a homebody; I like spending my days cleaning my cute little townhouse or watching the latest movies my brother (an actor) sends my way. But I’ve always had this innate desire to step outside of my comfort zone.
*I think it’s because I know growth comes from conquering fear.
Not that I’m scared of travel, my mind just tends to wander towards the logistics: how much will it cost, how long will it take, when will I get to eat (honestly, my main concern), what if there aren’t many bathrooms, and so on. You can probably see why I’m more hesitant to travel. But I can honestly say that I have been internally rewarded each time I’ve decided to give up my worries and trust. If you’re at all like me, then travelling challenges you in the most beautiful way possible.
Even my husband, the Wandering Prof himself, must step out of his comfort zone when we travel. You give up control, go with the flow, and live in the moment rather than try to micromanage every detail. This goes against most of our instincts, especially in our American culture where every day is planned. There’s freedom in letting go and allowing adventures to sweep you off your feet.
2) Experience What Life is for Others
One of the greatest reasons to travel is to educate yourself on what other cultures are like.
We were blown away when we went to Pompeii, Italy. We came from the hustle and bustle of America to the slow, relaxed pace the Italians are famous for. While we spent most of our time in the touristy parts of the country, it was still vastly different than any city we’ve been to (shops closing during lunchtime? I could get behind that).
*It is especially crucial during these times to learn respect for other cultures and peoples.
You gain so much respect for a nation or culture when you are immersed in it. There are positives and negatives to every culture; however, travelling allows you to see that people are people, no matter where they are born. Things like music, art, and food, transcend language barriers and are prevalent parts of any culture. Travelling gives you the gift of experience and true tolerance. It shifts our view off of ourselves and focuses on the world around us.
3) Learn More About Yourself
Perhaps one of the greatest gifts travelling can give you is a mirror to your own heart. When we stepped foot in Italy, we were hit with the sudden realization that we were in a foreign country where we knew no one (technically Zack’s sister, Bethany, was in Italy, but we wouldn’t see her for a few more days) and didn’t speak the language… not sure how we missed that, but I’m glad we didn’t let it stop us. In that moment, I had 100% confidence that we would be okay; that somehow, we would get to where we needed to be.
*We are constantly growing in the Faith that things will work out, even if we don’t see how in the moment.
You realize what you value when you travel. One reasons we like day trips so much is because we don’t have to spend a ton of money to have new experiences. We love going to DC because of the plethora of free knowledge (seriously, so many museums are free!!). The beach is always a favorite because we both like to sit in our own thoughts while aweing over the vastness of the Atlantic. You learn how to trust and let go of your worries (my biggest issue). The immensity of the world leaves you speechless, so you learn to observe, contemplate, and truly experience what it is to live.
If you have more reasons why you think travelling is important, please let us know! Drop a comment or suggest more blogs for us to follow. We love hearing from fellow travelers and your personal experiences!
– Wander freely, and may we meet on the road as friends.