We live a fleeting life and it is numbered to say the least, and as we are counting days till our breath runs out we are what we experience and live through. A life is colorful and vibrant if lived with character building experiences, and one such as well as a vital aspect that contributes to this is traveling.
We have also heard about how traveling is importance countless times, but we seldom reflect on why it is so important on a personal level.
First and foremost, unlike materialistic things we acquire through our lifetime, our experiences and memories are something that remains with us almost on a permanent nature. The experiences and what we discover or observe through living often becomes the factors that shape up our perceptions and beliefs about the world and everything within it.
How can one say a specific country's people are extremely nice and welcoming or unfriendly without personally experiencing it? It is one thing to read about it on a travel blog, like what you are doing right now. But it is a completely different matter altogether to live it – literally!
The people who travel tend to build on their experiences comparatively stronger and on a more profound level than those who do not travel. But we are living at a time where traveling has become an extension of ourselves; for some it is their bread and butter and for others it's their identity. Still we cannot ignore those who have yet to embark on life altering journeys themselves.
As someone who is keen on traveling, I have had my fair share of experiences on traveling domestically. I hail from the island nation of Maldives and visiting across the various residential islands will constitute towards traveling – even if it is within the home country.
What I can say from personal experience is that whether you are traveling to foreign and distant lands or to parts of your own country which you have not visited; it helps you to broaden the horizon on the livelihoods of people. It also allows you to identify what you possess in your own life and what you yearn for; when you come across a people living within a community that is entirely different from the community you have been brought up in, it gives you fresh perspective on just how authentic each and every one of us are. Traveling to various places helps you to learn about the respective communities, their culture and cultural identities, religion even as well as how they go on about their daily lives – it is not just exciting but educational as well.
The other thing that had always pulled me towards traveling is our inherent need for well-being both physically and mentally – traveling provides me with that on both fronts.
Traveling requires me to physically do the traveling bit, both pre and post trip involves several tasks that I must follow through to successfully execute the journey whether it is to pack my bags and book my tickets or to unpack the items and prepare the itinerary during trip. This means I am required to be active in my nature and that contributes towards my physical well-being on a holistic fashion. As for the mental well-being aspect, it is quite subjective and I must confess that I had found myself at an unexplainable state of peace whenever I have traveled – maybe it is due to the excitement of experience a new place or because of the deeper and more profound traits within us as human beings, after all, we are all travelers living through a temporary life.
The whole "you cannot truly understand something unless you live through it" is in fact a statement in the affirmative when you insert traveling as a topic. For instance, growing up I have had heard so and so about a specific local community from the Southern end of my home country. I decided I will contest these pre-conceived and perhaps ill-conceived notions by making a trip to the specific destination myself – and what I discovered from there was nothing close to what I grew up hearing.
Instead of unfriendly locals, I was greeted by smiling faces. Instead of angry traditions, I was lost into the trance of a beautiful sub-culture that involved group gatherings, extended families taking trips to the beach and festivities which I had not observed elsewhere.
This brings me to the next element of what traveling enhances within us; it challenges our beliefs and values in life. Imagine, a simpleton growing up at the far-North had always heard unwelcoming things about a specific atoll and upon visiting the atoll personally, it had vigorously transformed my entire belief system and the notions I had about the people.
Journeying to various places allows us to form new relationships, and some of these bonds weather through the test of time and remain solidly with us despite the distance and elapsed time. For me, it is no different given I had been blessed to befriend some magnificent souls during my various trips and though we may never frequently or even again, we still carry within us the bonds we formed and the moments we lived as beautiful memories; and some of them may be bittersweet or melancholic, but they contribute towards our personal growth and development.
So, this here is a very intimate and personal take on why I believe traveling is vital for us and what it entails for on a personal level. Perhaps reading through this article may inspire the hidden traveler within you and you may get excited to embark on trips in the following year.