When friends see you, they’re more surprised than happy. Your house may have been gathering a bit of dust from lack of use. Your clothes look a little rugged, and your backpack has seen better days. Almost nothing you wear or own is brand new; it’s gone through rain, mud, snow, in almost all weather conditions. The only thing you’ve tried so hard to take care of is your tickets and your passport, almost full with stamps and visas.

Traveling is the modern man’s way of getting in touch with more of the outside world. In a world where technology has reigned supreme and cities are sprouting up all over once-serene countrysides, the only way to reconnect is to see what the world has to offer.

It’s such a popular hobby that your tales of adventure and misadventure become the topic of many good nights with friends over some steak and beer. You tell of that time you nearly got scammed in a seedy bar somewhere during a wild night out in Madrid. You tell of how you had to chase down your bus in Prague because you forgot your backpack. Friends listen as you tell them how you moved from bar to bar in Paris, a couple of girls hanging out with you. It’s these tales of youthful adventure that make traveling a popular hobby.

Aside from the thrill of adventure and of the unknown — you never know what’s going to happen next — there’s a degree of self knowledge and wisdom that comes with exploring the world with your own two feet and seeing other cultures with your very own eyes. You get to understand how other people in different parts of the world live and survive; what they do for a living, how they have fun, how they cope with the misadventures of their daily lives. You get to share your stories with them and they tell theirs; you get to form a connection and a bond on a truly human level.

You get to know more about yourself too. When you’ve been scammed one too many times, you learn your capacity for dealing with frustration and things going wrong. You learn to be more patient, careful, and you eventually get to find out people’s kindness. It’s an eye opening experience that you just can’t learn sitting on your couch all day. Explore the world, learn about yourself and other people’s cultures, and it truly is the best thing you’ll do for yourself all your life

You Only Live Once: Why You Should Travel
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