One of my favorite quotes is “Collect moments, not things” (I’ve also seen it as “Collect memories, not things” but same idea!). While I, unfortunately, do my fair share of spending money on more things than I need or probably even want, I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment.
When I look back over time, there aren’t that many things that I’ve bought that stand out to me. The main things that stand out are the big things, like my first car, a piece of nice jewelry to celebrate my divorce, or my first really nice bag (I have a thing for nice leather bags!).
But, if I really assess those, it’s the memory of what those signified, not the actual thing itself (okay, I do still cherish the ring I bought for myself after my divorce!). The ring signified my new independence and my ability to take care of myself. My first car signified that I was finally an adult and was leaving the old, crappy car behind! And the leather bag signified that I was finally making enough to be able to treat myself to something I’d never had before.
As I look around my house, I see it filled with all kinds of things that I need to get rid of. I have too much clutter, too much junk, too many...things. The exception are the few items I’ve picked up on my travels because they remind of those experiences.
Having done a fair amount of traveling in my adult life, I have come to realize that I never remember what I pay for my travels or trips, but I remember the experience in layers of details. From the raw bitter wind chapping my cheeks in Iceland, to the taste of a Nutella crepe beneath the Eiffel Tower, to the way my heart felt like it would burst when gazing upon the glaciers in Alaska...I wouldn’t trade any of those experiences for all the things money can buy.
I hear a lot of people complain that they can’t afford to travel, but yet they’re ordering all kinds of stuff off Amazon every day or swinging by the mall and walking out with bags of things they probably won’t even wear half of.
Traveling is one of those things that is always worth the money. Even when you get lost, you find something new to discover and you learn that you are smart enough to figure it out.
As I reflect back on my various traveling adventures, I put together a list of all the reasons why investing in traveling is worth it in the long run...
Why Traveling is Always Worth It
#1 | Expands your horizons
@@When we don’t travel, we’re only exposing ourselves to one world.@@ By getting out there and exploring somewhere new, you expand your horizons and it allows you to see things from a different perspective. You don’t even need to leave your country to do that! All you need to do is go somewhere you’ve never been before.
#2 | Shows you how other cultures live
One of my favorite things to do when I go to a different country is to go to a local grocery store. You won’t see that on any Top 10 Things to See list, but to me, it’s fascinating! You get to really see how other cultures live. While visiting a grocery store may not be your thing, I occasionally encourage you to venture away from the tourist traps while traveling to really experience other places and people.
#3 | It makes your world smaller
When you don’t travel, everything seems so far away and virtually unknown. But, when you travel, you realize how amazing it is to be thousands of miles, an ocean, and a continent away in about as much time as you sit at the office every day working. @@When you travel the world instantly becomes smaller@@, which is pretty freakin’ cool.
#4 | It awakens your curiosity
While exploring those non-touristy places, it’ll awaken your curiosity. I, inevitably, hop online while I’m in a city (and after I return home) to learn more about the history of the places I visited. I can’t help but wonder how things came to be the way they are now. You learn so much more after you’ve seen and experienced a new place!
#5 | You learn new things
Every time I return from a trip, I come home having learned something new. Maybe you learn how to say thank you in a different language, or how to prepare a local dish in a way you had never considered. There are any number of things that you will enable you to walk away armed with new knowledge.
#6 | It stretches your ability to handle challenging situations
Your luggage is lost, you make a wrong turn and can’t find your hotel, your bank card won’t work in the ATM leaving you cashless (happened to me on my trip last month!), or any other number of things can and will go wrong when you travel. This alone scares some people enough to never travel and that’s a shame. You are tougher than you think you are and when you encounter these situations and you inevitably figure your way out of them, your confidence goes up. You start to learn that you can handle what life throws at you and you start being less afraid of the unknown in your life (this transcends outside of traveling).
#7 | It’s fun
And finally…the obvious! It’s just fun to go to new places and experience something new! It’s exciting and gives you something to look forward to!
At the end of the day, @@traveling shows you that we’re all just people wanting the same things@@ - security, love, acceptance, and a chance at happiness. No matter where we live, the color of our skin, the history of ancestors, or the job we clock into every day…we are all cut from the same cloth.
I know money can stand in the way of a lot of people traveling, but nobody is saying you have to travel every day or every month or even every year! If you really want to hit the road, start passing on the random things that you don’t need and save your pennies so you can collect new memories down the road. You will get there, eventually! Some will get there quickly and for others it may take years, but if you have that desire, make a plan to get there and I promise you that someday, you will stand in your dream destination!