We all have our favorite family vacation spots, or that one beach we have been going to for years. You know the one – it’s next to that restaurant that you look forward to all year. We love those places, they are comfortable and wonderful and why would you ever want to change that? The comfort of a familiar place is always nice, but have you thought about the benefits of going someplace new?
Just in case you needed some extra convincing, here are six reasons why you should consider traveling to a destination you’ve never been before.
1. Culture Shock is Good for you
Hearing the term culture shock makes a lot of people feel like the need to pack a single bag and fly off to a life in a new country. While that would be totally awesome, that’s not always an option for everyone. Culture shock is just traveling from a place of familiar culture to one that is not familiar. Especially in the great US of A, you don’t have to go far to notice a change in culture. Experiencing and overcoming culture shock improves your confidence, broadens your worldviews and helps individuals to better understand their own cultural biases and values. So get out there and let yourself feel weird in a new place, it only makes you stronger when you return home (or don’t!)
2. Travel can make you Better at your Job
Going somewhere new can expose you to new challenges. Deciphering new languages, learning new modes of transportation, handling exchange rates – all of these are experiences that improve your ability to problem solve, and can give you a unique perspective when tackling the tough tasks at the office. We bet you’ll notice a difference, and hopefully your boss will too 😉
3. You Can Build Your Global Awareness
If you are a history buff or even deeply involved in international politics and foreign policy, there is nothing like visiting a new place to learn more about why the world works the way it does. Different regions and countries operate in different ways according to tradition, family relationships and cultural priorities. Meeting the people and experiencing their lifestyle can not only build your personal global awareness, but sharing your travels can create a better global understanding among your inner circle.
4. The Awesome Travel Photos
We apologize for following up “building global awareness” with “awesome travel photos”, but we can’t help it if they are both true. If you live in the Midwest and you take a trip out to the west coast for the first time, you might lose that glorious view of all those stars, but that California coast isn’t something you want to come home and forget about. Travel photos are a great way to hold all your trip’s memories and share them with your family and friends.
5. Foreign Practice can Add to your Current Lifestyle
Going somewhere new can give you the opportunity to experience new practices that you want to bring back to your own home. Have you ever traveled somewhere and become so obsessed with the food, etiquette, or clothing that you just had to stock up before you returned to the motherland (or motherstate?) Like when you came home from your trip abroad and you said “ciao” to everyone you saw? Or tried to kiss your bosses cheeks when you got back to work? Traveling to new places can allow you to glean new lifestyle practices to enhance your day-to-day.
6. Make New Friends
While the adventure bug bites us all at some point, not all travel is centered around vacation. Signing up for a trip to volunteer abroad, or choosing to attend a work conference that’s outside your region can be an opportunity to build new relationships. Whether it be a new business contact or a fellow study abroad student, sharing a unique experience can build a strong bond that could last a lifetime!
While most of us will use any excuse we can find to hop on a plane and tackle a new adventure, some of us need a little extra motivation. These are just a few of many ways you can benefit from traveling somewhere foreign to you – what is your favorite reason to go?!