Very often, traveling to foreign places deeply changes a person’s perspective on life. Most of the time that change is for the better: experiencing different ways of living encourages open-mindedness and compassion towards others. It enhances an understanding of unity and equality among people. Traveling broadens the mind and opens the heart.
It is often quipped that travel is the only thing that a person can buy which makes a person richer. This old adage is true in countless ways. The benefits of traveling go far beyond visiting popular tourist destinations, spending time sipping cocktails on the beach, or even exploring ancient sites. Traveling offers the chance to leave an indelible mark on your soul that changes who you are inherently.
Sometimes, this change can make a person realize that the troubles he faces in his daily life are small and trivial, even superficial, compared to the problems faced by many others around the world. Experiencing foreign places, witnessing different ways of living, and meeting people from all walks of life forces a person to truly examine the way he lives and his place in the world. It opens his eyes to look at the things that are taken for granted in his own life, and to be thankful for even the most simple things.
The change that occurs as a result of traveling becomes deep and permanent, ingrained in your very nature. Those experiences become a part of your identity, and this influences how you view the world. Once you have experienced this change, you cannot go back to the life that you used to live; and it is a change that cannot be understood by those who have not had the same experiences.
Through traveling, we become aware that our way of living is not the only way of living, that our truths are not the only truths, and that other perspectives on life can be just as valid as our own. We realize that we cannot hold onto the convictions, etiquette, and other societal norms that we hung so desperately to in our former lives. These constructs melt away, and a more basic understanding of human nature emerges. Love, empathy, compassion, kindness, forgiveness: these are the things that become the language of the soul through traveling.
Travel transcends the notion of vacation. It changes the way that you view yourself, and the way that you live, in the world.
Life is short. Live it well.