5 Reasons You Must Travel Now
Whenever we walk into a room and begin mingling with friends our conversation is almost always steered towards our past or future travels.
“Where are you guys going next?” Well…. we have some places in mind but we’re just weighing our options.
“I saw some picture on your social media and they look amazing. I wish I could go there.” You can go there!
“I wish I had the time to go to those places.” You do have the time!
“I can’t spend the money to travel abroad, it’s so much easier to book a trip to an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. “ Is it that much easier?
“Wait, I can’t travel abroad!
I don’t have the time!
Maybe I should just go to the Caribbean or Florida. I know these places, they are safe.”
We are routinely amazed by a number of inquiries regarding our travels. We believe these questions emanate from fear.
You may be frightened by the thought of leaving the USA.
You may be intimidated by the time perceived necessary to book a trip.
Regardless of the fear, this is where our paths intersect. We want to answer these questions. We want to help you! We want to help everyone step outside of his/her comfort zone and experience the joys of travel. The benefits are real. We have a lot of stories that could potentially sway you towards traveling, but first why not just show you the facts.
5 Reasons To Travel:
1. Travel is an education
You can read about history in a book, or you can actually experience it. There’s nothing compared to strolling through medieval cobble stone streets or walking up the Acropolis to the Parthenon. Reading about these places can never replace the feeling of actually walking back in time. History can be found almost everywhere you travel. Feel the walls of the great pyramids from 3000 B.C. Watch the sunset over ancient Mayan ruins in South America. Taste the spices that wars have been waged over throughout Asia. Smell the daily incense used to appease gods and demons in Bali. Listen to thousand-year-old church bells in Rome. The history is around every corner and there is never a more humbling experience that makes you feel like a tiny blip in our vast historic timeline.
2. Travel Challenges you
Challenges faced while traveling can vary greatly. Trying to leave Greece after finding out your tickets were never confirmed was a hassle. Traveling solo via bus throughout Ecuador was a scary experience. Navigating a rental car down the winding roads of the Amalfi coast was an adrenaline rush. Having to go to the hospital because of food poisoning in Italy, yikes! Challenges faced come in all shapes and sizes but each hurdle thrown in our paths has made us better and more confident people.
Of all the challenges that made us more confident people, we believe the best reward from them was the overall impact it has had on our relationship. Traveling with friends or significant others can mold your interpersonal dynamics for the better. Someone once asked me, “how did you know you could marry your wife?” Besides the obvious and routine answers of love and personality, I knew we were meant to marry because all the hours we logged traveling the world together only strengthened our bond and made us better people. My wife and I know two other couples that were either engaged while abroad or abruptly upon returning. Coincidence? I think not.
3. Health benefits
Research has continually shown that travel has many health benefits. Did you know that taking a vacation can lower the risk of heart disease? In fact, there are many benefits that we won’t even be able to write about all of them so here are a few we can attest to. According to Dr. David Lipschitz, Director of the Center on Aging at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, travel can increase longevity. The key to longevity is health and happiness; traveling fosters both of these traits. Stress reduction, mood increases, recharging, and physical activity are just a few rewards that traveling awards those that make journey. Sure traveling has their stressors (flight delays, dealing with crowds, etc.), but the positives overwhelmingly outweigh the negatives. No matter how weary or exhausted we are after landing from a 15-hour transcontinental flight, our moods are instantly boosted as soon as we arrive at our destination. Giddiness and curiosity take over and we forget the jet lag and hit the town! Stress from work and our daily routines vanish while we explore new countries. All that running around is definitely a workout and we feel it at the end of a long day. Hiking, adventure sports, or just snorkeling keeps us in shape while traveling and is infinitely better than sitting at a desk or even sitting poolside all day.
4. Meeting people/making connections
This may be the most underrated, but our personal favorite amongst this list. While we enjoy traveling together we can’t deny the joys of meeting others while abroad. Making connections with others has left a lasting impression on us upon arriving home. We even tell others about the people we met sometimes more than the places we visited or pictures we’ve taken. Sure there’s nothing like the sunset view in Santorini but we were equally, if not more, impacted by the conversations and experiences we shared with our new friends. Sharing a meal and drinks with an Australian couple while sitting on tiny plastic chairs in the middle of a bustling Asian hawker center can be more memorable than great white cage diving in South Africa. Yes, I said that! Learning how others live from the other side of the planet can be enlightening and dispels all myths and stereotypes we are force-fed from the mainstream media. Would you believe me if I told you the friendliest and most hospitable people we encountered were in Indonesia or Malaysia?? Did you know the largest Muslim population resides in Indonesia and 61.3% of the Malaysian population practices Islam? Don’t believe everything you hear on the news, just go and see for yourself. One of our deepest connections and lasting relationships we made was our Uber driver and his wife from Kuala Lumpur. We hope to see them again one day and we told them they always have a place to stay should they visit the USA.
5. Traveling is Cheaper than you think
One of the most popular questions we are asked is how can you afford to travel as much as you do? Trust us, you don’t need to be a millionaire to travel as much as we do. With a little research and knowledge, anyone can find deals that can significantly reduce the cost of a vacation. Flights are usually the most expensive purchase for any itinerary, but thanks to budget airlines, anyone can fly from New York to Europe for the same price as New York to California. Icelandair, Ryan Air, Jet Star, Norwegian Airlines are just a few low-cost carriers that will get you where you need if budgeting is an issue.
The cost of traveling can vary greatly depending if you’re going solo or with a family of 4. According to American Express, the average domestic trip can cost $581/person and the average international trip can cost $3251/person. These numbers may seem high but they include everything one would encounter while traveling (airfare, lodging, food/drinks, and entertainment). Now factor in the usage of budget airlines carriers, surging popularity of Airbnb, and amazing food deals found from street vendors and these numbers decrease significantly. It is not uncommon for us to see deals for flights to Europe for under $500, hotels for less than $75/night, and cheap eats for $4-5/meal. With a little planning and saving these trips are much more realistic. If one were to save $100/month for a year, there would easily be enough money to take off to Europe for a week or splurge somewhere in the States. After all, studies show that money spent on travel makes you happier than money spent on material goods. Skip dining out or purchasing those new jeans a few times per month and watch that vacation money grow.
Another factor that allows us to travel so much is our attention to rewards programs. When I say “ our attention” I may actually mean “our addiction”! Credit card bonuses of 25-100k miles can be obtained by anyone with a decent credit score. We are routinely gifted free hotel nights because we were loyal to one chain or program. Checked baggage fees are waived for booking with certain credit cards! Use your credit card the same way you use your debit card and you will be flying internationally for free in no time! This is not an inside secret, these deals are advertised everywhere and are available to everyone. With a little “attention” anyone can reap the benefits and significantly reduce the cost of travel.