I’ve been a bit of a rolling stone
my entire life – moving 10 times before graduating high school and making a living as a professional photographer, which has taken me to almost 100 countries.
I think if I had to give up traveling, I would wither and my spirit would die.
Here’s my top 10 reasons every American (and other citizens of the world) should travel:
- It gives you a much better perspective on our world than experiencing it virally.
Let’s face it, when you are an armchair traveler, you are getting someone else’s perspective.
- It makes you grateful for what you have. Many, if not most Americans are very privileged but you don’t really have an understanding of that when you contain yourself to your own environment.
- You get to be a true diplomat for your country. When I’m traveling, I try to give people from other countries and cultures, a more realistic idea what an American is – beyond our government’s policies and how we are depicted in the movies.
- It creates lasting memories of importance – or at least far more important than buying more consumer goods.
- It teaches you a lot about yourself. When you travel, not everything goes according to plan all the time. You see how you handle stress in situations beyond your control.
- You learn how to communicate. Many times, you don’t understand the language. You learn to read body language.
- You meet people you would never get to meet at home.
It makes you less fearful when you meet people from other lands.
- As a photographer, my camera has given me access to incredible experiences, which I can share with the world.
- You can affect change. When you travel, you realize that regardless which country you are from, you are part of the human race. We all share this planet and we are all stewards of keeping it healthy.
- It brings wonder to your life. I have had many awe inspiring moments and not all of them were at your typical tourist sites. Some of my greatest memories have been simple conversations I’ve had with people from around the world.