Some people would choose to spend their time and money on material possessions, such as a new car or a game console, rather than on a trip to a new place. Unfortunately, many don't realize just how rewarding and incredible traveling can really be. Going to new places is beneficial in all aspects of one's life -- socially, intellectually and even emotionally. Here are some reasons why traveling should be your new favorite hobby.
1. Break out of your everyday routine. It is very easy to be so caught up in a pattern, and this is only facilitated by being surrounded by the same people, in the same setting, doing the same things as yesterday. When you decide to pack up and go to a new place, you're venturing out of your comfort zone. And not only does this make life more exciting, it also makes it harder to get roped back into the same groove.
2. Distance yourself from drama at home. We don't always realize how our home situations affect us. Sometimes we need an escape in order to see our lives more clearly and evaluate what we need. In visiting new places, we can separate ourselves from our situations and rough patches and look at them with a more objective perspective.
3. Meet new people. When traveling, you inevitably come into contact with people that you might never have met before. It's a great feeling when you realize that you have friends scattered across the globe -- friends that you can visit, that can teach you things that may be foreign to you and that offer a fresh perspective on issues.
4. Become more cultured. Everywhere you can go has its own history and idiosyncrasies that make it unique. Traveling to places with rich cultures, famous historical occurrences and renowned sights can transform you into a more cultured individual with more knowledge about the world.
5. Explore your interests. It's tough to know yourself when you have to do so in the confines of the same setting, with the same people. You can explore what you like and what you dislike and become more self-aware when you are forced to leave your comfort zone. Simple differences such as a change in weather or population can open your mind to a lifestyle that you may prefer.
6. Become a citizen of the world. With technology and the Internet rapidly advancing, the world is becoming a more globalized place. It's important for us to know what is happening in cities and countries internationally because nowadays it has an effect on everyone, regardless of where you are. Being aware of national and international issues is becoming more and more significant, and the ability to see and experience these issues firsthand can help bring you a unique insight.
7. Acquire new experiences. Studies show that people receive more overall happiness by investing in memories and experiences rather than material possessions. A new toy will get old, break or go out of style, but the memories of an amazing trip will stay with you forever. New experiences through traveling bring you knowledge, new connections and entertainment, amongst many other things.
8. Understand what you want out of life. How are we to know the lifestyle we want to live without being exposed to the manners and ways of different cultures? If you think that you could benefit from a life with scheduled nap times or siestas, then pack up and move to Spain.
9. Have an open mind. Meeting people with ideas that differ from yours, living in places with governments, economies and social values that differ from those of your home, and experiencing a way of life that you may find to be better or worse than what you're accustomed to allows you to have a fresh perspective and keep an open mind.
10. Food. Canada has gravy and cheese covered french fries, France has hazelnut macaroons, Australia has potato wedges with sour cream and sweet chili, Japan has puffer fish sashimi, Italy has black truffle pizza, and Hong Kong has peanut butter french toast. Enough said.