10 Reasons To Pack Your Bag
Toying with the idea of a round the world trip? Just fancy escaping the rat race for a spell? Or, do you have something specific in mind; treks to the tops of the Himalaya; a surfing trip to Caribbean; a culinary adventure in Vietnam? Whatever’s got your wanderlust stirring, be sure to check this list of 10 reasons that’ll make it stir just a little bit more...
You get to meet some awesome people
Local surfers on the swells of Bali, fashionistas on the sands of Ipanema, volcano climbers in Nica, noodle eaters in Nam’, artsy students in Paris, longhaired hippies in the hill towns of Thailand, coffee pilgrims on the Turkish coast – backpackers come in all shapes and sizes. Hitting the globe is your chance to bolster your friendship circles with people you’d never even come close to meeting at home!
To push the taste buds
From the spicy masaman curries of Southeast Asia to the chilipacked bhajis and thali platters of India, the gaucho steaks of Argentina to the salty ceviche dishes of Peru, the world is a plate just waiting to be eaten. So, get out there and push those taste buds to the limit!
You get to start checking off that bucket list
For some it’s that deathdefying bungee jump. For others it’s about seeking out endangered threetoed sloths in the cloud forests of Central America. For you, perhaps it’s surfing the curling tubes of Panama, or about discovering the longlost temples of Southeast Asia. Whatever’s the top of that bucket list, traveling the world is one sure way to start checking off some lines!
It will give you new skills
Trust us: there’s not much chance you’ll learn how to cook a stonking green Thai curry at home, and you certainly won’t nail those mariachi dance moves by lingering in an office ninetofive. It’s no secret that languages are best learned on the ground too, chatting with the locals, and bartering skills really come to the fore in the markets of Jakarta and Fez, Bangkok and Hanoi!
Because it’s healthy
A wise man once said “everything in moderation, except travel!” We couldn’t agree more. Studies have linked travel to reduced rates of heart disease, others have shown how hitting the road can significantly lower the risk of depression and anxiety. And then there are all the wheatgrassfuelled detox programs and yoga camps around the planet to delve into. It’s hard to deny that traveling is good for body and soul!
To see the natural side of the world
In this modern day and age, where cities are the hub of mankind, it can often be difficult to escape the urban world. Traveling offers an opportunity to do just that, taking backpackers into the wild. Expect everything from snowtipped mountains to alpine forests, shimmering salt flats to tropical beaches!
Travelers learn things, whether they want to or not. Even if you spend your gap year kicking back and partying in Koh Phangan, you’re still bound to pick up some info about Thailand’s deep Buddhist spirituality, or the cooking techniques of the gulf islands. And for the adventurers who actively go in search of knowledge? Well, for them there’s everything from mystical Puja ceremonies in the Himalayan peaks to Hindu rituals in Varanasi to tribal traditions in Costa Rica to learn about!
You’ll become a better person
The French novelist Gustave Flaubert once said: "Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world." Wise, wise words folks! After seeing the sprawling megacities of India, the vast wildernesses of Africa and the South American rainforest, the folksy towns of the Andean sierras, historic Spanish cities and gorgeous beaches on the Adriatic, things tend to come into perspective a little!
To live a life of spontaneity
The biggest problem with the ninetofive rigmarole? Well, that’s got to be the way it sucks you in, always asking for more! Just one more year and the promotion will come. Another day in the office and you can afford that new smartphone. Forget it folks! We prefer spontaneity. We prefer shunning cool gadgets in favor of explorations a la Alexander Supertramp. Want to meet elephants? Then go meet elephants! Want sleepless nightspartying on Mediterranean beaches? Then go party on Mediterranean beaches!
For the stories you’ll get to tell
There’s nothing as gripping as travel tales. From Michael Palin to Paul Theroux, travel writers have intoxicated us with their prose since time immemorial. Why not create go out and your own stories? Granted they might not always be good – missed trains, lost passports et al – but they are bound to impress, whether it’s that runin with border guards in Mongolia or summiting the tips of Java’s Mount Bromo!