15 Eye-Opening Reasons Why People Love to Travel
Here's the inspiration you need to book that trip
Who doesn’t love travelling? There are few things that come close to the feeling of stepping foot in a foreign place for the first time. Even travelling within your own country can be exciting, as there are bound to be some hidden gems that you’ve never visited before. But have you ever asked yourself the question: why do people travel? What is it about travelling that draws us to it? Well, we have the answers. It’s no surprise that we’re big on travelling here at Plum Guide - we are the travel experts after all. Whether you’re travelling across the world or exploring your own backyard, we have the answers, so take a look at these top 15 reasons why people love to travel.
1. It gets us out of our comfort zone
Stepping out of your comfort zone can be difficult, but that’s why it’s important. When travelling, you’re thrown into a new environment, often with where people speaking a different language and living a different way of life. To fully experience your surroundings, it’s important to step out of your comfort zone, whether that’s by doing activities that challenge you, or simply by saying ‘yes’ to things more often. If you stay in your comfort zone throughout your trip, then you won’t get to truly experience the destination that you're so lucky to be visiting, so the trip becomes only a fraction as fulfilling.
2. It allows us to explore new places
‘Wanderlust’ is a wonderful word originating from the German language, meaning a strong desire or urge to travel. A lot of the time, this feeling isn’t about a particular destination - it can just be the intense urge to break away from everyday life and explore somewhere new (we’ve all been there, right?). Nothing compares to that feeling of seeing a new place for the first time, triggering the rush of serotonin to your brain. Unsurprisingly, this feeling can be addictive, which is why so many people love travelling and experience wanderlust even when they're not on the road.
3. It encourages us to take up new hobbies
It’s never too late to take up a hobby, and travel is the perfect way to try something new. Perhaps taking photos on holiday has made you more interested in photography. Maybe you started a travel diary and realised that writing is your newfound passion. Or maybe you fell in love with yoga in Ibiza. For all we know, you could’ve joined a cheese-making class in Tuscany and realised that making parmesan is your calling in life. Whatever it is, nothing is too ambitious. Because travel gives us the opportunity to step away from our normal lives, and offers us that time and environment try something different.
4. It helps us work on self-development
Yes, we’ve all heard the sarcastic “oh, did you find yourself?” remarks from someone on our return from travelling, but it’s true. Travel is an excellent self-development tool despite those jokes, whether you realise it or not. Not only will you gain practical skills like learning how to budget or how to communicate well, but you’ll also feel more confident in yourself as you gain that independence. All the things you learn while travelling can help you become a more intelligent, compassionate, and curious person. And who knows, it may even make you appreciate home even more. So yes, self-development is a very common answer to the question 'why do people travel?'.
5. It can strengthen relationships
Whether you’re travelling with your other half, your friends, or your family, travel is a great way to make memories with those closest to you. We all know that the stresses of everyday life can take a toll on relationships, and sometimes all we need is a break to reset. Travelling lets you step away from it all to spend quality time together. You’ll share experiences which allow you to bond and build trust in your relationship - you may even learn more about each other. These shared experiences are something to look back on later in life, and can even carry you through whatever tough times you may face further down the road.
6. It helps us meet new people
As much as travel is about making memories with the people you’re closest to, it’s also very much about creating new memories with the people you meet on your travels. This is where we can insert another cheesy cliché: “it’s not about the destination or the journey, it’s about the people you share it with”. Travel is a fantastic way to meet people from all around the world, and allows us to find people with similar interests as you. In particular, making friends with locals can give you the chance to explore a place authentically (and you'll be able get inside tips on the best places to eat and visit). So get out of your comfort zone and strike up a conversation - you’ll find that the people you meet on the road can become some of your closest friends.
7. It's the perfect escape
A big reason why people travel is simply because it provides an escape from reality. Whether you’re going through something tough or escaping various traumas, travel gives you space to clear your mind and deal with any problems. A little time away for some introspection can help you find a path towards acceptance. It’s less about running away from our troubles, and more about running towards something better. Besides, it’s hard to be unhappy when you’re eating pasta in Rome or gliding down the slopes in Tyrol.
8. It can provide guidance between stages of your life
Sometimes we can feel a little lost when we’re in between stages of our lives. Things are changing and we may feel uncertain about what the future holds. This is the perfect time to take a trip, as it'll give you a chance to reflect on where you’ve been and what the next stage of your life may hold. It’s a natural break between chapters. Whether you’re in between jobs, schools, kids, relationships, or just about anything else, travel is the ultimate way to transition into your next great adventure.
9. It frees up time to do nothing
Sometimes, travel is simply about doing nothing. You don’t have to go and climb a mountain (phew) or rush around sightseeing in a city. It’s fine to just take time for yourself to relax, whether you’re lying on a beach in Barbados or watching the sunset in Santorini. Travel is the perfect way to switch off from our daily lives and let our minds reset - once in a while, we all need to turn our phones off and disappear.
10. It's the perfect way to try new foods
Who doesn’t love good food? Sampling cuisine from around the world is one of the best reasons to travel. Travelling gets us trying new dishes - especially local foods that you can’t find back home. Try all of it without discriminating - sample street food in Thailand, peruse food markets in Berlin, and enjoy fine dining in Paris. If you’re a picky eater, remember to step out of your comfort zone (we've been over that). Who knows, you may find a new favourite dish to cook back home.
11. It helps us understand new cultures
It may be cliché, but it’s true. Spending time with people from other cultures is so valuable, as it allows you to widen your perspective and understand the world a little better. Travel gives you an appreciation for other ways of life, and encourages us to celebrate and embrace both our similarities and our differences. You’ll learn how different your outlook on life is compared to other peoples', and you may even identify some major blind spots in the way you’ve been looking at the world from your own small box.
12. It helps us learn new languages
There’s something satisfying and rewarding about knowing how to say thank you in Dutch or pulling out that long dormant French to order breakfast in Marseille. It’s said that the best way to learn a language is to spend time in that country and fully immerse yourself within it. Even if you’re only visiting for a short amount of time, learning a few key words and phrases in the local language is considered good manners. It can even help you make friends with locals and promise a more authentic experience. Don’t shy away from learning the local lingo.
13. It educates kids (and adults) about the world
If you’re journeying with children, travel is a fantastic way to teach them about the world. Not all classrooms have to have four walls. Travel enriches the mind and educates kids in a far more stimulating, memorable way - far beyond the powers of any textbook. Teaching them how to embrace different cultures, how to catch public transport, or how to be a responsible traveller can really help to mould them into more independent, accepting, and open-minded people.
14. It can have a hugely positive impact
One of the main reasons why travelling is important is because it’s a chance to make a difference. There are plenty of ways that you can ‘give back’ while you travel, whether that’s supporting social enterprises, volunteering in local communities, teaching English, or even helping out at animal conservation organisations. Even small efforts like buying fair trade products or donating your frequent flyer miles to charities can have a large impact so never think that any action is too small.
15. It does wonders for your mental health
Rounding off this list of answers to the question 'why do people travel?', we're highlighting the undeniable benefits to mental health. Research has shown that travel has a positive impact on your mental state, and it isn't hard to see why - it essentially confirms what we all already knew. Having new experiences is beneficial for improving brain function, with travelling a proven remedy for boosting mental power, increasing creativity (hello, new hobbies), reducing stress, and alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression. The best part is that it doesn’t matter whether you’re going to another country or a neighbouring town, the act of travel is always the perfect medicine.