When I was twelve years old my parents sent me on a mission’s trip to Mexico City, Mexico. They hoped it would open my eyes to a world beyond myself and it did. While there I served in the cities’ garbage dumps which was home to many impoverished people. This trip made an impact on my young, impressionable mind. It taught me to be grateful for what I have and made me compassionate to the needs of others.
Since this trip I have continued to travel going to fifteen different countries. Traveling has enriched my life in many ways. These are just some of the gifts that traveling gives.
Traveling gives you a crash course in flexibility. I can’t tell you how many delayed flights I’ve had and changes in plans when traveling. Although these things can be frustrating, frustration never fixes the situation. Ultimately, you learn to go with the flow. Traveling teaches you to not sweat the small stuff and just enjoy the journey.
Understanding of Cultures and People
Exploring the world introduces you to different cultures and people. You see how big the world is and in comparison, how small you are. You realize there are many ways to do the same thing. You learn how different people can be, yet how similar we all are at the core desiring to be loved. You learn a smile communicates in every language. In learning of other cultures, you learn more about your own. You are exposed to yourself.
Traveling, especially alone, helps you to grow in responsibility and independence. There is an overwhelming sense of accomplishment that comes from traveling alone. Being able to navigate your way to a grocery store in a foreign land and make it home safely makes you feel like you could conquer any task thrown at you (best groceries I ever got in Austria). While you develop an independence from people you also develop more of a dependence on God. You are away from the familiar which makes you press into Him even more.
Traveling gives you memories. Some of my favorite memories are from my travels. Whether it was jumping off a waterfall in Fiji, stargazing under the Mozambique sky, or playing with kids in Haiti. While material possessions fade with time and decrease in value your memories are priceless and will last you a lifetime.
Traveling teaches you about yourself and opens your eyes to world beyond yourself.
So, whether you want to buy an airline ticket to go half way around the world or you just want to visit a nearby city - go out there and travel. I can promise your life will be enriched by it.