Why Travel Is Important

why travel is important

Why is travel such a common desire among people? Why do we want to go through the trouble and the expense to visit a foreign land? A place where we most likely don’t know the language or how basic things such as transportation work. It would be so much easier and cheaper to stay close to home.

Travel makes us happy. It is that simple. And that is the start of why travel is important. 

All through history humans have had a strong desire to travel, to explore, to see what is behind the horizon. There was a time (not too long ago) it was more of a mystery. People wanted to travel so that they could learn more about this planet and the other people that live on it.

Keep in mind that travel was much more expensive and very dangerous just 100+ years ago or so. But people still did it.

I believe these days that exploration and adventure are still at the heart of travel. Sure we can read about life in Paris or watch a documentary on Nepal but that just serves to fuel our curiosity to experience these places for ourselves.

Because experiences make us happier than most things, especially material things.

Before I go too far I should mention I feel there are two types of travel. Curiosity travel and leisure travel. Some just want to go to a beach somewhere and lay in the sand being served drinks all day. Just as there are some who want to hitchhike from Cape Town to Cairo thriving on the adventures such a journey will bring.

For my money, the best trip is a mix of both leisure and curiosity. When I am in a new country or a new city I want to experience as much of that place as possible. But I also want to set aside time to just relax and enjoy being away from the routines and normality of life back home.

That said – this blog has a heavy focus on curiosity, adventure, and exploration travel.

Joyce and I like to travel with a curious and open mind because that makes for a deeper experience. And that makes us happy.

The pursuit of happiness is a big part of life. So much so that it shows up in historical documents such as the United States Declaration of Independence. Day to day we are all doing what we can to be “happy.”

From an early age many of us are taught, directly and indirectly, that stuff – material things – are what we need to make us happy. With children we can see how that type of happiness is very short lived.

Ever see the excitement of a child the moment they get that new toy? For most things that excitement fades very fast and almost all toys quickly get put on a shelf because of the next new thing.

We continue this cycle throughout our lives. The toys just get bigger and more expensive. But are we happy?

“Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy.”  ~Louis CK

Psychologists have studied why experiences make us happier and it comes down to adaptation. Shortly after buying something it quickly becomes part of your new normal no matter how cool or expensive the thing is.

Personally, I experience this with camera gear. I can spend months wanting a new lens or gadget and get very excited the day I make the purchase but in no time it is just another of many things sitting in my camera cabinet.

why travel is important article

Some might argue that it does not make sense that a two-week vacation could possibly make someone happier than a tv or car. After two weeks the vacation is over but a car or tv can last for years.

The difference is the vacation is an experience that becomes part of your identity. A car or tv are external items that do not become a part of you.

A vacation creates a well of happiness that you can draw from for the rest of your life.

Think about all the stories you create and how fun it is to share those stories. Or simply how nice it is to reflect back in the exotic experiences that make up travel.

Even bad experiences can make us happy as time goes by. We’ve all experienced bad times that we know “will make a good story one day.”

That reminds me of a guy we met in South Africa while taking a road trip from the Eastern Cape to the Western Cape. We were at the bar of our backpacker (hostel) sharing a few rounds with this Spaniard who shared a story about his motorcycle breaking down on the side of the road. As he pulled over and looked down at the broken drive chain on his bike he told us his just smiled and had to laugh. When we asked why he said because when something bad happens you know it is going to be a good day because of the great story it will make.

Travel and vacations are full of experiences. Experiences make us happy. Travel makes us happy.

This is why we travel. This is why travel is important. 

And this is why we want to help you travel. Travel is a common desire among people yet so few actually take the vacations they dream of. It is estimated that only 29% of Americans have a passport. Joyce and I have experienced hand how getting out and exploring a bit of the world has enriched our lives and given us a deeper understanding of what it means to be human. And of course, we’ve had a lot of fun!

We’ve learned a lot and we continue to learn so we want to share our discoveries to help more people gain the know-how and the confidence to travel anywhere in the world they desire. We want to help you not matter if it is the best two-week vacation or the best two-year sabbatical you seek. 

With that in mind, we are working on a system that teaches the A – Z steps of planning travels or a vacation. A trip planning blueprint that will help anyone experience the travels they dream of. Life is short and travel is important so we want to help you make it happen. Joyce and I hope you will join our community of travelers here at Learning To Travel. The best way to do that is by sharing your email so we can send you great travel know-how directly to your inbox. 

Sign up now and receive our free ebook on how to get over some of the fears that are common with travel. We look forward to connecting with you!

All photos by: Yu Kato