10 Reasons Why You Should Travel NOW

I want to travel the world! Everybody should travel. You should travel; your mum should travel; your ex’s new partner’s grandad should travel! This is a post on why you should travel.

Many people are scared that they are not quite cut out for a life on the road or that travelling may somehow damage their career prospects.

Is now really the right time to travel? Do I have the right reasons to travel? What if, by travelling, my whole life careers headfirst into one giant burning, awesomely-devastating wreckage on the highway of life? (Metaphorically, of course.)

Well, I’m here to tell you that this will literally never happen. I’m here to tell you that you should travel and, frankly, there is nothing else that shall do.

Will Hatton - world traveller

I got some reasons you should travel…

There are thousands of reasons why everybody should go travelling at least once in their lives, and there are thousands more why you should get your face out of the screen (after you finish reading this, of course), go book a ticket, pack a bag, and leave.

Fortunately, for you, I’m a busy bee and don’t have time to list ten-million-billion reasons why you should travel the world. Instead here’s just ten.

 

The 10 Reasons Why You Should Travel NOW

Ready for some heartfelt lessons in life and love and pain and trials and tribulation? Because that’s what travel is all about. And that’s why people should travel.

 

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1. Increased confidence

Whether you’re a shy kid or accustomed to being the centre of attention, travelling the world will increase your confidence. You will meet new and exciting people every day, conquer perilous peaks and confusing bus routes, eat strange foods, and haggle for enchanted lamps.

Reasons to travel 1 - more confidence getting nakey

Dicks out for the boiz!

Travelling, whether you’re hitchhiking through a war-zone or admiring cathedrals in Europe, will develop your confidence in both yourself, your ability to problem-solve, and your ability to make new friends. Speaking of…

 

2. New Friends

Some of the best people in my life are folks I randomly bumped into upon the road. Many newbie travellers worry that if they head off by themselves then they may be lonely but this simply isn’t the case. There are so many solo travellers and so many different ways to meet people that you will never truly be alone.

Travelling the world and making new friends

Indian weddings are full-fucking-power! (24-hour; no toilet, no shower.)

I backpacked around India for over a year, all by myself. I was very rarely alone. I made lasting friendships with other backpackers and with locals.

Travelling is kind of like speed-dating. People zoom in and out of your life like there’s a buzzer attached until a special one comes along. Suddenly, you find yourself both going in the same direction. Suddenly, you have a friend that you never would have had you stayed at home.

 

3. Falling in love

Love, or lust, is always around the corner when you’re on the road. The connections you make with people, especially romantic ones, are heightened whilst travelling. There is nothing quite like holding the hand of a new lover whilst watching the sunrise up over the ocean and hearing the jungle behind you come to life as the light dances on the sand. To find a love that truly reflects the freedom and independence of the road is another reason why you should travel.

The reason travel changed my life: my wife

Love is worth it.

I know many couples who have met on the road and in my opinion, a relationship formed with somebody else whom you meet travelling is the strongest relationship of all. Go, travel, explore, let down your guard and let someone in. Travellers look out for each other; it’s kind of like a tribe and in general, on the road, away from Facebook and all that other crap, people are more honest with each other.

 

4. Volunteering opportunities

If you fancy giving back whilst travelling, there are loads of ways to get involved with reputable organisations. Here’s a quick list for volunteering abroad:

Volunteering obviously looks great on any CV but it’s not really about that and it’s certainly not about getting a new Facebook profile picture of you and a bunch of school kids. Volunteering is about connecting with people. It is about giving back to the planet.

Travelling abroad vounteering.

The pics still make me smile though.

Everybody should travel and everybody should, at some point, volunteer abroad. It is a potentially life-changing experience that will allow you to see another side of the world you have very little knowledge about.

Another reason to travel by volunteering is that you’ll hone new skills. I’ve always been handy with a pick-axe but after volunteering I can lay water piping and work with cement with confidence. I also milk a pretty mean goat!

 

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5. New skills

You’ll gain other new skills too but not just from volunteering! Whether it’s learning how to drive a motorbike (or manual), practising your Spanish in deepest, darkest Venezuela, or simply getting the hang of haggling, travelling offers plenty of opportunities for those seeking to widen their skill-set.

Whilst travelling, I have learnt how to write, how to pitch, how to take decent pictures, how to haggle, drive, make new friends and how to play beer-pong. I’m particularly proud of that last one.

Why you should travel: tuk-tuk adventures

I can also drive a tuk-tuk!

Seriously though, before I went travelling, I was pretty good at squash. Now, I can speak three languages, I can design an entire website from scratch, I can survive in the desert with little more than a compass and a packet of sherbet lemons, I can read a map, I can barter for a group discount, and I can function on just two hours sleep!

 

6. You appreciate the little things

Another reason why you need to travel is that it will teach you to appreciate more and worry less. The more you travel, the greater your perspective will be. The more you’ll understand just how truly blessed you are.

When you’ve survived arduous bus journeys, wandered through slum communities in Colombia and seen the sorry state of hospitals in developing countries, you learn to appreciate your ‘normal life’. Suddenly, first-world problems, such as your iPhone charger not quite reaching the bed, or the hot water running out mid-shower, really don’t seem like that big of a deal anymore. When you’ve met with some of the world’s poorest people and see how they are happy with a simple existence, it really does change how you feel about material possessions.

A smiling happy child without much

Gratitude turns what we have, into enough.

Travelling taught me to not worry so much about what other people think of me and to instead take joy in all of the amazing little things that happen to me every day; whether that’s stretching out in the morning or sipping on a piping hot mug of chai with a finely rolled J.

 

7. Increased awareness

No matter how you travel, you will be sure to find out more about how the world really works. You may have only a basic understanding of history or politics but when you actually delve into a country, meet with its people and get a first-hand view of what’s actually going on, you will develop an increased awareness of just how the world works.

Old picture of a conflict in Lebanon - learning history from travel

Some things will hurt you. Some things will teach you. But you will learn.

I knew almost nothing about history, politics, or world trade agreements; now, I’m kind of an amateur expert. I can give you a full breakdown of why Venezuela has the worst inflation in the world, I can explain both sides of the coin to the two-state solution in Israel and Palestine and I understand how moving goods from one country to another drastically increases their value.

 

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8. Self-development

Travelling develops you as a person. When I first went travelling, I had no idea who or what I wanted to be. I’m still figuring it out now, but it’s going pretty well. I personally have become a much kinder, more patient individual who is willing to give pretty much anybody the benefit of the doubt.

Samurai lessons in Japan - the best reason why everyone should travel

Legends say I can now kill a man by looking at him. Not that I would. …Or would I?

This is true for most travellers, your social skills develop much faster whilst travelling, and if you don’t like something about yourself, this is the perfect time to test-drive a new personality. Travelling offers you an unparalleled opportunity to reinvent yourself.

 

9. Improved job prospects

Increased confidence, a friendly personality, honesty, charitable deeds, a greater skill-set and the ability to function well under pressure: that’s why you should travel. Everybody who wants a decent job should travel.

Working while travelling the world

Level up.

Travelling turns you into the ideal candidate for pretty much any role. Not only will you come back with some great stories to tell, the kind of ice-breakers most people can only dream of, but your increased confidence and ability to remain cool under pressure will shine through in any interview. On paper, you stand out. If there are two candidates for a job with identical qualifications, the one who has spent six months volunteering abroad and now speaks Spanish is the obvious choice.

 

Convinced you should travel yet? Here’s some more reading.

Here, before you travel (because now you totally agree that you should travel), have a look at this list. It’s a little summary of some of the best pieces on this site that will get you inspired and started. It’s a kick-start to your brand-new-fan-fucking-tastic life as a swahbuckling adventure!

Oh, and seriously, get travel insurance. It’s a necessity.

 

 

Find out why I recommend World Nomads; check out my World Nomads Insurance review.

 

Reasons You Should Travel #10: Change is Inevitable

Remember before how I said that people always hold themselves back? That they wonder if  ‘now is the right time to travel’. I’m gonna tell you a secret.

Right now, you’re dying. Every breath you take is bringing you closer to your timely end. There will never be a good time to travel.

Someone will always be sick. Somebody will always be heartbroken. Work is always going to be stressful and you will always find every reason under the sun to not travel. That’s why you should travel: because time is now.

Ever heard of ‘Rocking Chair Theory’? It states that for every important decision you must make in life, picture yourself 80 to 90-years-old, sitting on your porch in your rocking chair, thinking back at the life you’ve lived. When you reminisce over this decision, which choice will you regret not having taken more?

For me, when I’m that age, I’m starting to learn I will have very little to regret. If you’re reading this now in that state of limbo, on that tightrope, don’t wait. Close this tab, open Skyscanner (here’s a link just for you – no affiliate kickback to us), and book a flight.

Don’t wait another breath. There will always be another job. Go and travel

Driving a rickshaw while travelling in India

These are the pictures you’ll look at and smile over when you’re old

 

Updated: January 2020 by Ziggy Samuels at Zigz Writes Things.

 

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Need more inspiration?

32 Comments

  • Avatar Tim says:

    Came across this post when searching for how to travel if you’re a third world country citizen. Traveling is something that life style gurus have vouched for from the late 2000s. What I’ve realized, in my attempt to travel, after being bitten by the living off the land kind of lifestyle propagated by life style gurus, that traveling depends on 3 important factors – 1) your country of origin 2) your race 3) your primary currency.

    You actually cannot travel if you’re from a country like Pakistan or Haiti or Nigeria because for virtually every country you’ll need a visa. Most of the times your visa will get rejected. Secondly your currency is so weak that you need to be at least a millionaire in your own country to afford it. Thirdy from my personal obeservation I’ve seen that the local people are more welcoming if you’re a white. If you’re a colored guy even in Asian countries like Taiwan or Thailand then the glares you get tells you that why you’re here.

    In my opinion, traveling or backpacking is a very western thing. It’s easy for someone who is from the west or from a developed asian country like south korea or japan to travel because there passports are strong. And even if they do need a visa for any country its easy to get it, because those countries want them to be in their countries.

    I’d suggest that the gurus of liberation through travel shoud also tell people who are not created equal by virtue of where they’re born not to travel.

    All those backpackers who live off on their paltry home income because of the higher exchange rates around the world, ever seen a backpackers from sierra leone or bolivia or mongolia?

    • You’re not wrong, man. Travel is an unequal game and the world is a vastly unequal place. Passport, economical differences, and a number of other components affect the ease of travelling. Furthermore, your race, gender, sexuality, hell, even your disabilities, change so much. It’s fair to say that travelling as a straight white man – though not always easy – is the most accessible of the various paradigms.
      To answer your question, no, I haven’t met backpackers from Sierra Leone, Bolivia, or Mongolia specifically (though I do believe they’re out there). I have, however, met backpackers from Mauritius, Iran, The Philippines, Malaysia, India, Morocco, Chile, Mexico, Egypt, and probably more that I’ve forgotten. I’ve also met travellers from Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and others who though not specifically backpacking do find other means of accessing travel through study and work.
      I do however contend with the suggestion that “lifestyle gurus” should tell people of from non-highly developed countries to NOT travel. Travel, though definitely not equally accessible for everyone, is still a worthy goal. It requires a hell of a lot more work for a lot more people, and it certainly isn’t fair, but ultimately, would it possibly not be more damaging for gurus to preach to people from third-world countries “Give up, don’t even bother, the cards are stacked against you and you’ll fail,” rather than to try and access travel and the opportunities it brings?
      As a side note ‘how to travel if you’re a third world country citizen’ is a killer idea for an article. Thanks, dude, I’ll look into it. For what it’s worth, it sucks and it’s not fair.

  • Avatar Travelwaka says:

    This is really mind-blowing, the advantages of travelling far outweigh the disadvantages. Travelling gives you a better perspective about a place, people, culture, way of life and most importantly allows you create your own experience

  • I was really intrigued with your blog. You are correct about most everything. I am one that has a fear of traveling outside of the United States, but knowing all the people I could meet and all the stuff I could learn about a different area, makes me want to venture out of my comfort zone. Thanks for you blog.

  • absoulity inspiring… really love your articles specially “10 WAYS TRAVEL WILL MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON”

    I want to keep this article on my website to Inspire people…

  • Avatar Rajat says:

    What a wonderful post it is… Truly inspiring

  • Really inspiring and motivating post. Thanks to you and many other bloggers out there I started traveling in April and don’t plan on stopping soon! Thank you 😉 http://www.lucidlucas.com

  • Couldn’t agree more! Travelling is a good excercise on 360°, it helps you see things clearer, develop as a person, head towards the right direction, take decisions and finally shape your life. I enjoyed the read.

  • Avatar Thirumal says:

    I couldn’t agree more on volunteering while traveling. I volunteered at a turtle camp in Mexico last year. It was definitely a life changing experience. I learned a lot about conservation of wildlife and also made some everlasting friendships through the camp. Your post is very inspiring Will!

  • Avatar Patrik says:

    I just got back from an eight-day and tri-city solo travel birthday escapade in Thailand and I couldn’t wait to book my next ticket! Haha. In fact, I have been researching every now and then for my next travel destination.. solo for the second time around!

    I agree with everything in this post. Traveling proves how there is sooo much to see in this world. Great blog post!

  • Avatar Charles McCool says:

    Love your reasons why everyone should travel. Spot on and great job!

  • Avatar Abhishek says:

    Couldn’t agree more Will. I was 18 when I first set out back-packing in the UK by myself. It was an amazing experience. The hidden gems like Norwich and Bath were something else. Haven’t traveled in the past 2 years as I moved to the USA to study. But I’m really itching to give it a go again !

  • Avatar Mary says:

    What an inspiring post! I absolutely agree. I travel, but I have not traveled for more than 2 weeks and I really would like to. My constant worry was, “what if I can’t find work?” All of your points are valid and made me realize that I would come back more qualified than when I left!

  • Damn right these are all true.

    I’m actually volunteering at a local yoga studio, three hours per week of my cleaning services in exchange for free drop in classes. I very much doubt I would have sought out this opportunity back in Scotland!

  • Avatar Anna says:

    Can’t agree more, currently thinking of leaving my tech job temporarily to travel more.

  • Avatar Will Stephenson says:

    Fantastic Post!

    The best one and the one that gives me the most confidence is the idea about getting better job prospects after travelling.

    A lot of people give up their ideas of travel because they think it might hinder their progression in their career and this just isn’t true. It might even find them on a career path they enjoy more, who knows?

    • Avatar Hannah says:

      How do you find work abroad and what do you do if you run out of money? I know it varies obviously but money is the only challenge right now especially having third world currency value mehh, i really wish theres hope for me, I’d love to just see and learn everything before that spark dims out

  • Avatar Stephen says:

    I love your blog dude and I’m inspired by your advice but just one constructive criticism you need to be careful with the word “your”
    Whether your a shy kid or accustomed to being the centre of attention, travelling will increase your confidence. You will meet new and exciting people every day, conquer perilous peaks and confusing bus routes, eat strange foods and haggle for enchanted lamps. Travelling, whether your hitching
    Should be:
    whether “you’re” a shy kid
    and whether “you’re” hitching…
    Noticed it a few times. Just a heads up
    cheers!

  • Well said. Couldn’t agree more! 🙂

  • Avatar vidyarth says:

    Hey,

    Loved your idea on travel and how good it is for everyone to travel once in a while. I love travelling as well, but I am afraid to leave everything behind and taking the plunge. Any suggestions??

    • Well man, the answer to your question is within the question… you need to just leave everything and take the plunge. Perhaps experiment by simply stepping out of your comfort zone for short periods of time, a few weeks maybe, first..

  • Avatar Alex says:

    I’ll be heading to university next year, and I want to go backpacking during the summer of 2016. I was just wondering what sort of preparations I will have to make beforehand, such as cost and where would be a good place to start?

    • Make sure you have a decent pack and a good pair of shoes 🙂 Prep wise – really, all you need to do, is book flights a while in advance so you get them cheap. Decide on how long you can travel for and go for the maximum length of time, the longer you travel the cheaper it gets (per week) – if your new to the game, choose South East Asia; it’s the best place to start 🙂

  • Avatar Tine says:

    This is so true! But somehow I still find it hard to convince (some) people to travel. They don’t know what they are missing 😉

  • Hi Will,

    Agreed 1000%. On every one.

    I am a different dude from the guy leaving NJ 4 years ago. From depressed security guard to globe trotting, blogger/author, and pro entrepreneur, life is a 180, and all because I hit the road. Nothing to add dude, fab post and a serious call for homebodies to hit the freaking road!

    Ryan

  • Avatar Amanda says:

    Pretty much agree! There are more reasons to travel than not! I travel with my kids and I love that I am teaching them about the world in a way that they will never learn in a classroom alone. I love how they appreciate their home and family after travel.

  • Avatar Tim Hirtle says:

    I find the increase awareness I get from traveling often leaves me disappointed with friends and family at home. They will state some one-sided opinion about a place/culture/people they’ve never seen. And it doesn’t matter if I’ve been there or even lived/worked there, the opinion they’ve formed from watching TV (etc) is the only opinion they want to believe.

  • Avatar Anna says:

    I see! Maybe not the right thing for me but I always admire people who just go and leave the life they had. 🙂

  • Avatar Anna says:

    Your post is pretty inspiring and you brought some ideas to my mind. 🙂
    From my point of view one needs to have some savings to travel the world and quitt the job. So far I am fine with travelling through Europe, but I am missing a lot of pins of many places. So I save money for a next big thing.
    How did you started? Directly travel the world or taking vacation for travelling?

    Best,
    Anna

    • I pretty much just went for it with a couple of hundred bucks in my pocket, I ran out of money quickly but got good at picking up work when I needed it.. I’ve had a couple of ‘real’ jobs but always casual and never for very long – the road is my home 🙂

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