BY CAILIN BURKE
I have the travel bug so badly that for some reason I think everyone else wants to travel as much as I do. However, some people don’t want to spend the money or would rather spend their money on something else, while others have never even thought about it. Most people say you should travel to “expand your horizons,” “learn about yourself,” or “immerse yourself in another culture,” but there are many more reasons that you should consider traveling… some less typical than others.
1) You can try some amazing food. You may not like to travel, but you probably like to eat… right? Some foods you’d never be able to try in your own country, and in other countries your favorite foods might taste even better! When I went to Nice, France for example, I had a beignet filled with Nutella and it was the most delicious thing I’ve ever had in my life. Also, I discovered that Nutella in England tastes better than the Nutella in the US. Plus, you know you want to try the pizza in Italy… and pasta… and gelato.
2) You can see some of your favorite things. Maybe museums, architecture, or famous landmarks aren’t particularly interesting to you, but there are other things you can see in a different country! If you’re a Harry Potter fan than you NEED to go on the Warner Brothers Studio Tour in England. Or if you’re a huge Beatles fan, there’s nothing cooler than going to Abbey Road to mimick their album cover. Doing this is actually known as pop-culture tourism where you purposely go to locations found in movies, literature, or any form of entertainment.
3) You’ll really bond with the people you’re with. Traveling with your friends or family will definitely bring you closer. You’ll have new inside jokes, something to always talk about, and times where you can say, “Remember when…?”
4) If you have a hobby or activity you like doing, chances are in another country it’s better. A skiier? Go skiing in the Swiss Alps. An art lover? Go to Paris and visit the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay to see some of the world’s most famous pieces. Hiking? What’s a local mountain compared to hiking Machu Picchu? Love cute animals? Walk down the streets of Cinque Terre and you’ll see cats everywhere. Not a cat person? You could pet a koala in Australia, see sloths and monkeys in Costa Rica, or see a lion on an African safari. Music lover? Discover underground bands in London.
5) You get some great pictures for Facebook or Instagram out of it. Chances are you like having a really cool profile pic or an artsy Instagram. Go to a different country and there will be endless opportunities to take incredible pictures. You’ll probably get a ton of likes too!
6) You can step in the same footsteps as your idols. It’s always fun to live out something your favorite actress did in your favorite show or movie. Walk down the streets of Paris with macarons like Blair and Serena did in Gossip Girl! Or go to Rome and throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain (in hopes that Paolo will arrive) like in the Lizzie McGuire Movie. Even better, pretend you’re Kate Middleton on her wedding day and walk through Westminster Abbey.
7) You can see a part of history. There’s nothing like revisiting history exactly where it happened. You could see what’s left of the Berlin Wall in Germany, Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam, or imagine gladiators fighting in the Colosseum.
8) You can let your guard down. You may not want to go somewhere that’s new and uncomfortable, but think about it this way… no one there knows you! So do some things you would be too embarrassed to do in front of your acquaintances. Sing in a karaoke bar, have a silly photo shoot near a landmark, or even doze in a public area. You may get some funny looks, but chances are you’ll never see those people again.
9) You can buy some unique trinkets. Want a cool bag? Go to South America and get one that’s crocheted by local artisans. If you want something more fancy, go to Italy and shop at a leather market. Some things you can only buy in certain places. My favorite souvenir is my Loch Ness Monster stuffed animal. Saying you got a “Nessie” at the real Loch Ness is so much cooler than saying you got it off of eBay.
10) You’ll have great stories (and memories!) to last a lifetime. Needless to say, traveling gives you tons of great memories to reflect back on, but it also gives you a lot of stories. Traveling is the perfect conversation starter and can help you relate to others. If you meet someone new and you’ve both been to London, there you go! You’ll have tons of things to talk about and stories to share back and forth. You’ll also have a bunch of cool things to share with your friends when you get home!
Even if you’re scared to go somewhere unfamiliar or didn’t think you were interested, there are a lot of great things about traveling that you may not have even thought about!