I have long been an advocate of the fact that everyone, at some point in their lives, should go traveling and I have felt this way since I was younger and first strapped on a backpack. When I talk about traveling, I don’t mean heading somewhere sunny for two weeks, I am talking about taking motorcycle tours through the Himalayas, overloading through Central America, hitchhiking across the US or train hopping though Europe, in short, I mean real travel. If you are in any doubt as to why you should go traveling, here are some things that I have learned, and some reasons as to why you should go.

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Learning to Appreciate

It isn’t until you step out from your own bubble and see how other people live, that you can learn to appreciate what you have  and what you desire. I remember meeting a family in Nicaragua who were very poor, lived in a small shantytown and had to work incredibly hard for everything that they had. In spite of this family’s predicament, they were without question the happiest people I’ve ever met. When you see situations like this, you really begin to question yourself, and learn.

Meet People

Most of the friends which I have around the world are those that I met on the road and you really do meet some fascinating characters when you travel. Not only will you meet locals of the country which you are in, you will also meet fellow travelers with whom you can strike up a bond. You will find that people who are traveling are much happier and much more likely to open up, given the fact that they aren’t stuck in the daily grind, this enables you to make better friends.

Health Benefits

Believe it or not, traveling is actually very good for your health and recent studies suggest that those who travel actually live longer. The reasons for this are primarily that those who travel are happier, secondly, you will be exposed to a wide variety of new bacterias which means your immune system can build up its defenses. Finally, when you travel you are far more active, you will walk more, go on adventures which require a bit of fitness from you and this additional exercise can really help you to stay in shape.

Feast Your Eyes

Our planet is truly breathtaking at times and when you hit the road to travel, you will be able to visit some of the world’s most breathtaking spectacles. Whether you decide to watch the wildebeest migration in Africa, go to see Christ the Redeemer, Turkmenistan’s  Gates of Hell or head underwater to pore over a shipwreck, you will find some amazing sights on the road. Seeing these natural and man-made wonders is amazing and provides you with an experience which you will never forget.

And so, if you have not traveled yet then no matter what your situation is or what age you are, it is time to get that backpack on, and go to see the world.