Perhaps you aren’t traveling much at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you never will again and it doesn’t mean you never should. International travel in the future might look quite a bit different from how it looked in the past, but it always has been important and valuable, and it will continue to be important and valuable. Here are just a few reasons why travel will always be exciting.
Whether you’re hiking the Appalachian Trail, visiting the ruins of Pompeii or taking a cruise to St Thomas, there is no substitute for experience. There is nothing quite like the actual experience of being there. Reading about the pyramids and seeing them in person are two very different things, after all. There are certain experiences that can only be had while traveling, and so traveling will always be an important part of your life and your growth as a person.
The world is a beautiful place, and pictures simply don’t do it justice. There is a big difference between seeing a picture of a beautiful city like Venice and being in a beautiful city like Venice. The beauty of a place is in more than just the colors, the buildings and the vistas. It’s also in the sounds and the smells. It’s in the feeling of the air on your skin and the sun on your face. Anyone who’s ever tried to take a picture of a sunset, for example, can tell you that pictures absolutely will not capture the real beauty of the place.
The missing ingredient of any vacation is the unexpected; spontaneous adventure. You won’t know the best-hidden corners in a city unless you get off the beaten track a little and take a few unexpected turns. Getting lost and having an unexpected adventure is part of the joy of traveling, and it can only be experienced when you are physically in a place. After all, it’s impossible to take a wrong turn if you never left your home in the first place.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do while traveling is to meet new people. Whether they are fellow travelers or the locals, meeting new people is a huge part of the inherent value of traveling. It remains one of the best ways to meet people who are different from you, with different upbringings and different opinions. Those connections forged between people who are fundamentally different are an incredibly important and valuable way to bring the world together.
As early as the mid-1600s, travel was considered essential to a good education. The so-called “grand tour” was part of a young gentleman’s education and a sign of good breeding. The way you travel is very different, and much more widely available, but the principle remains the same.
Through meeting different people, experiencing different places, and going on adventures, you can learn about history, art and culture, unfiltered by professors, books or television. There is no substitute for visiting, for seeing the sights and sounds in person and experiencing them firsthand. Perhaps the most important things you will learn will be about yourself.
Travel will expand your horizons, both figuratively and literally. The experience you gain from travel builds your confidence and helps you to form connections at home and abroad. No matter what happens, the trend of the world is towards globalization and cooperation. Travel is an important part of that trend, and it is a trend that will continue, despite setbacks.
This isn’t to say you should ignore stay-at-home orders or risk yourself unnecessarily. Perhaps in the future, everyone will wear masks while traveling and hand sanitizer will become your most essential travel accessory.
It doesn’t mean you should travel in the middle of a pandemic, it just means you shouldn’t plan to never travel again. Travel is what brings the world together, and humanity will need that more than ever in the future.