1. Exploring the Unknown: Reading about travel is like reading how to ride a bike, the experience is completely differently stimulating when you actually ride the bike. It’s listening to a story, reading a novel that takes place in a historical land, or watching a movie that sets itself in a distant place, and being able to actually live, breath, eat, and feel those places that were once part of your imagination.
2. Getting to Know You: It’s incredible that dropping yourself off in a place where you have never lived, know practically no one, might not even speak the language, can actually lead to a crash course in Yourself. All the unknown surrounding yourself is a vulnerable place. You have to decide what is it that you like or don’t, what’s ok with you and not, where you feel like going or not, and finding a way to keep yourself out of trouble or danger. In the end, exploring others leads to exploring yourself.
3. Getting to Know Them: The more you get to know other cultures the more you realize how different yet similar we are. Traveling gives you insight of everyday life from completely different perspectives. Getting to know them will make you understand how and why the world works the way it does.
4. Getting Ahead: As you travel and begin to understand how different cultures work, you start to learn how to communicate efficiently even without knowing a language. Communication today is everything. You can have a Harvard Degree, but without good communication skills, moving up or ahead will be more difficult.
5. Style: Traveling exposes you to all different types of fashion and decoration styles. This exposure can influence your style and fine tune the choices you make everyday.
6. Taste: Besides being overly stimulated visually, tasting local foods is in of itself an experience. I always love to find a local spot wherever I am, ask the waiter for the typical dish of the area, pick a table outside, and watch the people go by as I explore their flavors; this truly adds to the experience. Being open to taste new foods, preparations, combinations, and styles influences my own cooking. You can pick and choose flavors that you like and can add them to your own dishes.
7. Relaxation: Sometimes travel is not so much about being overly adventurous, but more about getting break from the world you live in. It’s important at times to disconnect, charge your batteries, and get ready to face whatever might cross your path.
8. Perspective: Leaving what you call your own little universe is extremely important. It can give you more perspective about life in general. Pissed off about not being able to buy the newest Louboutin’s? Visit any third world country and you will realized how blessed you are for having even running clean water. Life in the end is all about perspective.
9. Get Involved: Tourism is not only about sight seeing, it’s also about getting involved. Talk to people, go to their cafes, clubs, markets. Who knows you might even make great life long friends.
10. Let Lose: Ok, I’m not saying get crazy drunk and make a fool of yourself, or sleeping around because no one is there to see it; I am saying however, travel gives you the opportunity to try new things. No one knows you, and who cares if they judge you, try things you normally wouldn’t do or eat.