I never knew I was obsessed with travel and travelling until I first went to Singapore and Malaysia back in 2012. Now I’m absolutely addicted and there is no cure for it. You just need to indulge yourself, and I’m happy with that. There are a number of reasons that influence my decision to travel. Money and time might always be on my side but the reasons below are so much stronger than convenience. It’s easy to say oh I can only afford this or I only get weekends off work. But travelling can be so much more than going abroad. Why not visit a part of your country or city that you’ve never visited before? Here’s why I travel and some reasons why you should too.
Travel Pushes You Out of Your Comfort Zone
One of the great things that I love about travelling is that it forces you to get out your comfort zone. The majority of us have a daily or weekly routine. We work, shop, eat, sleep, repeat (some of us blog, too!). But once in a while it’s great to throw a spanner in the works. Personally, new environments and situations get me excited. I love to get outdoors, challenge myself, experience new experiences, understand new cultures and basically improve my worldly perspective.
One of the biggest trips I’ve taken was to South East Asia. Going to the other side of the world gave me the opportunity to live like I had never done before. I ate pad thai, I spent thai baht, I rode a tuk tuk, I wore traditional thai clothing, I met new and interesting people (locals and fellow foreigners) and visited some of the most beautiful temples I had ever seen before. I was even abandoned in a Cambodian Crocodile Farm once. All things I couldn’t have done in Scotland.
Learn About History First Hand
Travelling also let me do some of the craziest activities, including visiting sights that enlightened me about either the history of the country of society itself. I’ve been lucky enough to visit places like the Chu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam, the Killing Fields in Cambodia and Auschwitz in Poland. Before, I had only ever read about these places and the events that took place. But going allowed me to experience their history first hand; and nothing can compare to the real thing. At Auschwitz, our guide was a woman whose grandfather had lived and died in the very concentration camp which we were being guided. The personal accounts and the emotion in our guide’s storytelling just made it all the more harrowing.
Discovering new countries and ways of life
It might seem really obvious, or maybe you haven’t really thought about it. But travelling abroad lets you experience new cultures and new ways of life. You might be so set in your ways that you don’t realise people on the other side of the planet don’t live their lives the same way as you. Like, have you ever thought about how a normal day for an average worker goes in Thailand, I bet it’s not the usual 9 to 5. And in Singapore, did you know it’s illegal to chew chewing gum. Think yourself grateful next time you’re munching on your Hubba Bubba.
You get to try different food that you probably didn’t know existed
I’m a really fussy eater, I’m a Plain Jane as my mum would say. But there’s still something fun about trying new foreign and exotic food where you’re travelling or on holiday. Or even tasting authentic food can be an experience. Like having pizza and pasta in Italy is so much better than what you get in the UK (although there are some pretty decent Italian restaurants!). But be careful, once you find something that you love, you will be forever trying to replicate it at home to no avail. The joys of travelling!
I needed to see more than what was around me
I grew up in a little place called Springburn in North Glasgow. If you Google it, chances are the majority of the news stories that crop up are about violence, drug abuse, the housing disaster or some other criminal activity. Not the greatest place to live and it’s only getting worse.
I would go to school and read about my little inner-city district in politics and sociology textbooks, read about how we have one of the highest morbidity rates, read about how people from Springburn very rarely ever go to university, read about my chances of breaking away from the poverty was pretty much slim to none. It was then, when I was 15, that I knew I wanted to be more than just a statistic in a textbook that would be a product of my surroundings. So now I travel as much as I can. At first it was just to prove to myself that I could do it, now I can’t stop!
I love airports and airplanes
There’s just something amazing about being in airports that gets me so excited. I don’t think I can quite put my finger on it yet. Maybe it’s because the airport and airplanes are synonymous with travelling, with moving, with adventure and of course escaping from your daily routine. (It’s certainly not the overly priced food and drink, or the long security queues!).
When you step back for a second and actually take a look at a plane for what it really is, a flying machine that carries hundreds of people 39,000 feet above the ground! How amazing is that?