6 Benefits of Traveling

The Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
– Lao Tzu
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[Great Wall of China]

Hello again, dreamers and schemers!

This is my second article for the Writers Team and I chose to write about something that I am incredibly passionate about:

Traveling

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[Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Orlando]

For as long as I can remember I have been traveling. I don’t even recall my first time on an airplane because I’m pretty sure I was a tiny baby at the time.

In the twenty years that I have lived on this planet, I have been to forty-five of the fifty United States and have traveled to nine countries.

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[Sunsets in Phuket, Thailand]

For some of you, especially the ones in Europe, this doesn’t seem like a lot because new countries are super close to you, and I hope you know how incredibly lucky you are!

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I should also mention that every picture in this article has been taken by me, so I hope you enjoy them :) [Teton Mountains in Wyoming, USA]

But enough about my experiences, I’m here to convince you why you should travel:

1 | Step outside your comfort zone

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[Seoul Tower and Lock Wall in Seoul, South Korea]

Traveling to a new country where you might not understand the language or the culture can be daunting—but do it.

  • Ask questions (politely please!) about things you don’t understand or things you want to know more about.
  • Try to pick up a few phrases, especially ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. These two phrases can get you further than you’d expect because most people appreciate that you are trying to speak their language.
  • Try new foods and delicacies of the area. I’ve eaten some pretty far-out-there things, including guinea pig in Peru (and might I add, it was delicious).

Traveling alone can also push you outside of your comfort zone, just be prepared and have fun!

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[Harry Potter World at Universal Studios Orlando]

2 | Expand your worldview

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[Gateway Arch in St. Louis Missouri]

By traveling and experiencing new cultures, religions, and customs, you get a better understanding of the world around you.

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[Macau]
It makes you think in ways you hadn’t previously and gives you a different perspective.
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[Female & Male Chinese Guardian Lions in the Forbidden City in Beijing, China]

Traveling breeds empathy, kindness, and love.

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[Forbidden City in Beijing, China]

3 | Meet new people and new connections

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[Skyline in Hong Kong]

I have gained valuable friendships from across my country and the world. I know that if I travel back to their city, I will be welcomed with open arms and a delightful meal.

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[Me after being kissed by this baby elephant in Phuket, Thailand]

I encourage you to meet as many people as possible. If you’re generous, caring, and happy, you can meet tons of people and make some wonderful lifetime friends.

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[Beaches in Phuket, Thailand]
Also, if you make friends online, you could always travel to meet your online friends! Just be careful :)

4 | Have special life experiences

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[Cristo Blanco in Cusco, Peru]

I am a firm believer of spiritual places; therefore, when I travel, I try to visit as many churches, temples, and shrines as I can.

I meditated at the top of Machu Picchu in Peru, visited Tian Tan Buddha in Hong Kong which is surrounded by the Po Lin Monastery, and prayed at Wat Chalong in Thailand.

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I have been to many other holy places because I enjoy the feelings I receive when I visit these places.

If there is something that you enjoy learning about or feeling, I would travel to as many places within the country that you can see.

My goal is also to visit all Seven Wonders of the World! I've been to two of the seven already (as you can see).
  • If you like learning about history, visit museums and ruins.
  • If you like to party and have a good time, visit parades, clubs, and street parties.
  • If you like art, visit statues, art museums, and architecturally beautiful buildings.
  • If there is something you like, there is something in the city or country for you.

You just have to find it.

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[Church in Lima, Peru]

5 | Relax

Image by sborek
[Dahila]

Don’t forget that between running around to see everything you want to see, to take some time to relax.

Take a bubble bath in your hotel room; walk along the beach; get a massage; snuggle with your bae; watch a sunset or a sunrise; window shop (or actually shop).
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[Sunset from Hotel in Phuket, Thailand]

Just do something to relax before returning to your hectic-filled life back at home.

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[Snow-capped mountains in summer in Idaho]

6 | Take some amazing photos and collect unique trinkets

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[Seoul, South Korea]

As I said previously, every image in this article was taken by me. And these are not the only pictures from my travels— I have way more.

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[Views from Machu Picchu, Peru]

I also have unique items from all the places I went—I’ve got a hand-carved elephant from Thailand, a fan with my name in Korean from South Korea, and an alpaca-fur stuffed animal Alpaca from Peru.

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[View from Hong Kong Tower]

If you have the ability to, support the local economy by buying items from local/family-owned businesses. Sure, airports have items, but it feels too much better when you buy something from one of these businesses.

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[Beijing, China]

_____________________________

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
– Mark Twain

_____________________________

I hope this inspired you to travel as much as you can, even if it's to the town over. If you have any traveling stories, please send me a message or a postcard!

Thank you all for reading and remember that I believe in you :)

As always,
XOXO
sborek

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This article was written by @sborek on the We Heart It Writers Team.