One of my dreams as a child was to travel. I wanted to travel across the country, across the continent, and across the world. Well, I’ve finally started on achieving this dream over the course of the past 3 years. It feels amazing setting goals and achieving them. Progress is intoxicating.

Though I love to travel for many reasons, I’ve listed out seven that come to the top of my head:

  • Traveling allows me to have experiences that I otherwise wouldn’t have if I remain at home all the time.

If I hadn’t traveled, I’d never have gotten to see the atelier of Yves Saint Laurent in France (now a museum created in his honor). I’d have never had a picnic by moonlight along the river on Roosevelt Island in New York City. I would have never been introduced to Vernor’s Ginger Ale (try it; it is life-changing) by my cousin in Michigan. When it comes to experiences, I consider myself rich. Traveling is a large part of that.

  • Traveling allows me to continually have empathy for other cultures outside of my own.

We humans can be afraid of what (and whom) we don’t understand. By traveling, I gain that understanding of others around the country and the globe. If one visits other parts of the world, it gives a lot of context for why people in other places react in certain ways to certain situations. We can never truly know what it is like to walk in another’s shoes, but we can try to understand. Traveling gives you a powerful way to do that.

  • Traveling makes me a more interesting person because I have plenty of stories to tell.

Before I began traveling, I would often run out of things to talk about. I went to work, came home, watched a few movies, read when I had time…but that was about it. When I’d be around my friends and coworkers, I always felt that I had nothing valuable to contribute because I did the same thing all the time. Once I started to travel, I instantly became more confident that I wouldn’t bore everyone with whom I chatted. I had experiences to share. I was having fun! I still am. Others may feel that travel isn’t needed in order to be captivating, but traveling is such a deep part of who I am that it’s inseparable from what I like to discuss.

  • Seeing different parts of the country/world infuses my projects, work, and personal habits with invaluable levels of passion and excitement.

Let me give you an example. When I visited Paris, I saw that they seemed a lot healthier than the average American. Upon a closer look, I saw that they don’t exercise as much as their US counterparts. They also eat much smaller portion sizes than we do. And their lifestyle is built to make them happy. I now watch my portion sizes carefully – especially when I eat out – and I try to build a lifestyle around activity because it seems that this is one place where the French have us beat when it comes to being in top form.

  • I’m building memories while traveling.

Some of the happiest memories of my life have been made while traveling. I’ve made new friends, seen new places, and learned so much about the world that it’s fascinating. True, you can build memories anywhere, but I thrive off of trying new things.

  • Accumulating experiences as opposed to material goods is of the utmost importance to me.

I love to organize. I like for things to have a clean look, and for there to be a lack of clutter. It’s kind of fitting, then, that I like to do things instead of accumulate things. One can get tired of items pretty easily, but it is hard to get tired of activities/traveling (unless you’re a homebody, which is entirely okay).

  • I love new adventures!  

I like newness! Granted, routines have their time & place (having employment, for example), but even routines can be injected with a bit of novelty every now and then. I see traveling as a way to have an exciting adventure.