As a Georgia native, let's just say that visiting the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola get a bit boring after the first few times. And even traveling out-of-state loses its luster when you realize that every single state in your country is just a variation of the same old, same old. Yeah, the highway signs look different when you're in a different state, but after that, what's new? If you're that person who ends up lounging around the house each vacation because you don't think there's anything new to discover, here are 11 things you're missing out on that the world outside of your home country has to offer.
1. Picking up bits of a new language.
If you're in America, you've definitely heard so many different languages in conversations you're secretly eavesdropping on, but have you ever been somewhere where the majority of people around you are speaking a language other than English? At first, it's intimidating, but you quickly get in the habit of picking up on as many words as you can from that language to use in future conversations.
2. The chance to explore completely unfamiliar areas.
As long as you know you're safe, you should explore everywhere you go. Traveling is all about taking a brand new location and turning it into a place filled with memories and lessons. If you feel up for taking a different route than usual to get back to your hotel, go for it!
3. It'll help you appreciate your home.
A lot of traveling also results in introspective thinking, especially about how privileged we are for living in a first-world country. Immersing yourself in a new country means seeing the bad as well as the good, so it'll teach you to be thankful for how much you have access to at home. Lying on a couch at home all day isn't exactly the kind of comfort most people can say they have.
4. Meeting new people, even if only for a few moments.
Whether it be the store owner next door who you see every time you buy something or some other tourist who you keep seeing wherever you go, it's nice to make new friends — even if it's just temporary. I've come to find that people are inherently nice, and saying "good morning" to someone will probably make their day.
5. Going on a long flight.
For some reason, it's just more fun to be on a plane for more than two or three hours. Just be sure to get up and walk around a bit when you're in-flight to prevent blood clots!
6. Trying street food.
Street food is always something you have to try when you're in a different country. In India, people tend to say that we have to be careful eating street food because of water quality in the food, but I haven't had any negative experiences. If there aren't any apparent issues with the quality of the food, try it! These are the places where you'll find the most authentic renditions of the classics.
7. Maneuvering through crowded areas.
Walking in a large group of people is always uncomfortable, especially if you're moving against the gradient. But that's one of the typical parts of traveling to densely populated regions, and it's a good skill to learn. It'll come in handy if you're looking to move to a big city!
8. Getting accustomed to different music styles.
Every country has some music genre central to the region's traditions, so be open to that! If you're a fan of the same Top 40 songs that always show up on the radio, take a step in a new direction. Your ears will seriously thank you.
9. The opportunity to venture outside of your comfort zone.
You'll never fully enjoy a trip around the world if you don't try new things that are different from the activities you usually participate in. Besides, what's the point of traveling so far from home if you don't take risks? The whole point is to explore aspects of everyday life that you normally wouldn't find yourself partaking in — like visiting monuments, trying new foods, and moving around the area as much as you can.
10. Seeing landmarks that are actually breathtaking.
You need a change from the usual spots in your hometown or city. No need to keep fooling yourself into thinking that the same few destinations are actually special after all this time, you've got to physically see what you're missing out on.
11. It'll improve your street smarts.
You might be really good at taking tests or working behind a desk the entire day, but how well can you interact with other people in the world around you? Do you know the smartest ways to utilize transportation, shop at local stores, and talk to strangers (in case you might need directions)? Traveling is probably the best way to get some practice while having fun.