You could describe me as someone that has wanderlust. I have always been a traveler and dreamt of where to go to next. Whether it was trips to Europe with my parents or even a 6 week trip to Australia when I was in grade one, that desire to travel was bred into me. My parents traveled like it was their job.
They were part of a franchise that required them to attend conferences in the US and Canada, as well as spiffs with suppliers, which would qualify them for trips around the world. Myself and my three siblings got to know our nannies well because of how much time we spent with them and it was awesome.
4 awesome reasons to travel the world and expand your life
Our parents would rotate who got to travel on each trip and because of their lust for travel, I have been to Hawaii, Australia, Jamaica, Bahamas, France, Italy; the list goes on. Traveling became part of who I was! It was always a part of what I was saving for and it became like a drug; the more I saw, the more I wanted.
I have now moved 10 times in ten years and I am not planning on stopping. I have lived in Switzerland, England, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, British Columbia and even in Vietnam. Because of all of this travel, I feel like I have lived 10 lifetimes. There are many reasons to travel but here are the seven most important reasons that will change your life.
1. You realize what you can’t live without
Every time I travel to a new place, I am connected to new experiences that I either want to remember forever or forget. Travel opens up a whole world of different possibilities and you start to see patterns with what you can’t live without. Healthcare is an example of this for me. When I was living in Vietnam, I didn’t realize how great I had it in Canada until I was in need of a hospital. I was in a minor motorbike accident and needed to see a doctor. When my husband and I arrived at the hospital, the technology didn’t allow me to feel safe if I was ever in danger.
Appreciate before it’s gone…
The first thing that was brought out to wipe our wounds was a brown liquid. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but it felt archaic and it happen to be iodine. Healthcare is now on the top of my list when I think about where to go next. If the unforeseeable happens, I want to feel safe and that I am in a hospital that is using that latest and greatest technology. Healthcare is something I never take for granted now and am so grateful for. When traveling abroad again or considering where to live, healthcare will be at the top of my list.
2. You will meet people that will change your life.
I have met some pretty amazing people by traveling; an Australian that ended up officiated at my wedding; a famous photographer that took photos for National Geographic and I even had a Russian roommate, whose parents had ties with the mob. The stories of how I met these people seemed very random but were serendipitous.
Meeting the man that would officiate our wedding started with a simple ad we placed for a roommate. The first bloke we met arrived and my husband and Damien instantly became great friends. They would drink beer at the Saigon river together, go on a day long adventure with a bus full of Vietnamese locals and not come home until sunrise. We lived with Damien in a huge 3 bedroom home in Saigon and we were even there when Damien started dating his wife to be.
Flash forward 5 years
Flash forward 5 years to a beach in Mui Ne, Vietnam and Damien was Bill’s best man and officiated our wedding. Damien introduced us to Aiden, who was a friend that worked for National Geographic and he talked him into being our photographer for our wedding. We have the most incredible photos of us riding down sand dunes on crazy carpets, popping champagne on the beach and having the time of our lives. Our pictures look like they came out of a magazine. None of these experiences would have come together without our initial 3 week trip to Vietnam. It planted the seed that we would one day move there and so many great memories unfolded when we did.
3. You have time to get inspired
The more places I travel to, the more time I have to day-dream and get inspired. Removing myself from my typical environment makes room for the new and the new pathways of thought are rampid!. Days walking around Paris have inspired me in may ways. I love the simplicity of life in Paris; getting coffee and sitting at a cafe; people watching and taking in the gardens at Le Louvre. Walking is something I do a ton of when in Paris and you can walk for hours. It is a city where every turn provides a beautiful scene of history, simplicity and beauty.
A new view point
The new scenery and way of life always inspires me and allows me to see the world with a different perspective. Sometimes getting out of your own head and into a new environment can provide you with a different set of emotions, a new appreciation for life; time to yourself to allow for creativity to flow. While sitting at a cafe in Paris, I could people watch and write for hours. There are no distractions and I can just enjoy what is right in front of me. Travel is a time I give to myself to get inspired. I have the freedom to think about my goals, my dreams and what direction I want to see my life go. Every place I have been to has opened up time to be inspired and envision a new way of life. New places help create new possibilities.
4. You get to experience a different culture and way of life.
I have lived like the Swiss, the British, the Vietnamese, East Coasters and West Coasters. I feel like I have lived over 10 different lifetimes because of the travel I have done. Every new country provides a glimpse of what life could be like if you lived in that country. You can take it all in; the people, the food, the culture and the way of life. You can live like a local and try new food, new customs and be a part of something that may be totally different than how you grew up.
Different celebrations and mournings
While in Vietnam, we were invited to one of my student’s houses, Katie, for Tet holiday. We didn’t have any family in Vietnam and Katie opened her doors to us for the holiday. Her father had passed away earlier that year and we were invited to celebrate him with the family. We watched them open a beer for him, light a cigarette for him and place it all on the mantle. We were blessed by a huge dragon that was running around the city and manned by 4 men; it gave out lucky money to all of the kids on the street.
The reasons to travel are endless
It was an amazing experience and one I will never forget. It opened up my eyes to a different way of life and really helped me connect to the Vietnamese way of life. I am so grateful for the 1st Tet holiday I ever spent in Vietnam and I am always the first to say “Chúc Mừng Năm Mới” when I encounter a Vietnamese family during the holidays!
There is no doubt about the fact that travel has changed my life. It has made me appreciate what I have at home and also wettened my appetite to see the world. I am a more interesting, caring and curious person because of the travel I have done and if anything, it has heightened my awareness and appreciation. I am so grateful that my parents had the travel bug and that I inherited it.
What other awesome reasons to travel the world would you add to the list?
Tell u in the comment section below.