5 Reasons Why You Should Travel Internationally

Leaving home is scary. Whether you’re leaving your parents’ home for the first time to go to university, or exploring a foreign country, there’s a lot to think about and a lot to be anxious about. The world is a huge and complicated place, full of dangers and risks, but it is also a place full of incredible experiences and opportunities that you can’t fully appreciate without seeing more of it. So, here are 5 reasons why you should travel internationally, at least once in your life.

 

1. Sightseeing

Morgan Mallinson​ / Venice, Italy

One of the most obvious reasons to travel is for the sightseeing, particularly famous landmarks. Standing in the Red Square, walking along the Great Wall of China, taking the typical “I’m holding up the Leaning Tower of Pisa!” photo, and many more examples are a large part of what makes travel so valuable and memorable. While seeing major landmarks like these is often a priority for people, it’s also important to appreciate the less grandiose architecture of a destination. Together, they make famous and beautiful cities what they are, and by appreciating both you are also appreciating the beauty and creativity of architects and artists in other countries and time periods.

In addition to man-made beauty, every country has its own natural beauty. For example, the black sand beaches of Iceland, the lush jungles in Costa Rica, and the stunning Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania are just a fraction of the beauty the world has to offer. Go for a hike and take some Insta-worthy photos.  

 

2. Appreciating art and history

Kevin Laminto

Seeing the Mona Lisa in a photo is an entirely different experience than actually visiting the Louvre and seeing her in person. “It’s just a picture,”  you might say. “Why should I spend all my money to go see a piece of art or history when I can just look it up online?” Well, sure, you could just look it up online, but you could also look up photos of the Eiffel Tower and the Great Pyramids and pictures of Bora Bora, but what all those photos are lacking is the experience. Much like sightseeing, travel allows you to experience things such as art and history like they’re meant to be. It allows you to stare at a piece of artwork in full detail, every mosaic tile or brushstroke, wander through palaces where kings once slept, and walk on paths and streets hundreds of years older than you. Go on a journey both to another country, and into the past. Take a tour of a historical site, visit museums, and make some time to really appreciate the depth of history that you’re seeing.

 

3. Trying foreign food

Henrique Félix / Buenos Aires, Argentina

Taco Bell is not actually Mexican food, and a frozen pizza is a sad, if still tasty, substitute for Italian. Travelling the world means being able to experience and enjoy foods from different cultures in their countries of origin, where you will get a more traditional and authentic taste. Try having your favourite food as it’s meant to be, or give something new and different a try! You might find a new favourite, and even if you don’t you can at least say you’ve tried it!

 

4. Change your perspective

Melvin Ayam​ / Chinatown, Singapore

Travel opens up a whole new world, with different people, traditions, cultures, and ways of life. It’s interesting to see how other people live around the globe, especially if you visit a country vastly different from your own. It allows for new experiences that you might be less likely to have at home, and these experiences are often valuable learning opportunities about what life is like for other people. If you’re looking for ideas for a trip, maybe consider volunteering abroad, or go to a country you’ve never really considered before.

 

5. Gaining confidence in yourself

Grant Richie / Seville, Spain

Leaving home takes no small amount of courage, but realizing you’re managing on your own in a foreign country where no one even speaks the same language as you can be a huge boost to your confidence. Being so far from home and handling problems on your own seems like a daunting task, but once you realize you can do it, you’ll feel much more able to tackle new problems in your life. Travel can help you gain confidence by taking you out of your comfort zone (quite literally) and helping you realize you actually kind of like it.

 

Some people never travel the world because of fear of the unknown, but the unknown is what makes travel so exciting and beneficial. The memories you make and the lessons you learn while travelling enable you to grow and improve. Travel is the door to the rest of the world, and can be life-changing if you take the chance to step through it.