5 Reasons to Travel Somewhere Exotic

Travel

5 Reasons to Hit the Road (Less Travelled)

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A recent survey among older Americans revealed a surprising regret – not that they wished they had saved more money, or that they were sorry they didn’t have kids, or were sorry that they did have kids, or any of the more usual suspects in the regret column. No, the thing they regretted most was not traveling more when they were young.

5 Reasons to Hit the Road (Less Travelled)

Now, first we should differentiate between travel and vacations:

Vacations are usually trips to some nearby hot spot (Cancun, Miami, etc.) where the focus is on a contrastingย mix of daytime relaxation on beach and by pool, sipping drinks that look like a kiddie confection but are guaranteed to lay you out, and a frenetic nighttime scene featuring more deceptive drinks and some boogieing to the bongos.

Travel, on the other hand, usually entails visiting a culture that is different from the norm (such as India or Morocco), where the money is different, the food is different, the behavioral norms are different, and is not necessarily relaxing at all. Travel often takes you much further afield and into situations that can be unpredictable and challenging.

So why would any young woman choose travel over vacation? We all have lives that carry a certain amount of stress, of obligation, of responsibility. When we get time away from work, why wouldn’t we settle for plopping down on a beach chair and summoning the drinks boy? ย Here’s why:

5 Reasons to Hit the Road (Less Travelled)

Forget your troubles and just get happy

Whenever I travel to a place like Morocco or India, the environment is so stimulating on every level that it is impossible to stay in my obsessive interior world. These places demand full concentration on being in the moment, as they swamp your senses and snap your synapses. Typically, by the time I return home, I find that I have forgotten to think about the challenges in my life for the duration of my time away and, as an added bonus, have subconsciously developed a realization that these problems are not nearly asย important or difficult as they seemed prior to the trip.

Get it while you can

Marriage, having families, and assuming the larger responsibilities that come with time, can make it hard to travel, and can limit the places you’re able to travel to. It’s a brave parent indeed that will lug children and baggage off to an exotic locale when the kids are crying to go to Orlando. Partners may also balk at travel to unfamiliar and challenging countries. Go while you are young and carefree and make unilateral choices to visit the places that intrigue and inspire you.

5 Reasons to Hit the Road (Less Travelled)

They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot

With the world rapidly becoming homogenized with a Starbucks and/or McDonald’s on every corner (my friend and I counted four Starbucks’ on one block in Hong Kong!!) it’s a good idea to get there before “there” becomes the same as “here”. A good case in point is Cuba which, while a Caribbean island, has retained a flavor all its own because it was cut off from American business and trade. You may be sure that now relationships between the two countries are warming up, Cuba will soon begin to resemble St. Thomas and the other tourist filled islands in the area. Still wonderful to visit, but lacking that individual character that makes a trip truly memorable.

Broaden your mind instead of your butt

Travel to places that have different cultures from ours can present happenings that could never otherwise be experienced. I will always remember being in a tour bus on a rural road in India and seeing a completely naked holy man walking down the street adorned with nothing but feathers and beads. Nobody was paying the least amount of attention to him, while my friend and I were were suffused with giggles at this unexpected apparition.

Driving through small villages where the women were working in the fields harvesting mustard grass, while the men lounged around the communal swimming hole, gave us a glimpse into the division of labor in that part of the world. Visiting Da Nang in Vietnam, a place I knew only from stories about the Vietnam War, it turned out to be a beautiful, barely developed beach community and not the ravaged war zone I had imagined. Cappadocia in central Turkey looks more like a landscape from the Moon or Mars than planet Earth. And so on. These images live on in the mind, long after drinks by the pool at Club Med have faded into oblivion.

5 Reasons to Hit the Road (Less Travelled)

Home Sweet Home

And when your travels are done, the sweet relief you will feel about returning to your reassuringly familiar home town is very different to the feeling of regret most often experienced when returning from more traditional trips for relaxation. I always feel an appreciation for what America is and what it offers when I get off the homeward-bound plane, while simultaneously vowing to go far afield again on my next trip.

Bon voyage, and don’t drink the water!!!

Frederica Pellman was born and raised in London, and educated at a private convent in Notting Hill Gate. She moved to the West Village, NYC with one of her sisters - they had no jobs, no contacts, no place to stay and virtually no money! After a brief but memorable stay at a hotel, they found jobs, friends and an apartment, and eventually husbands. She now she lives in Southampton and spends her time writing, walking, and working as a life coach.

55 Comments

  1. Thank you for writing this compelling article about vacation vs. travel. It is definitely important to experience other cultures and places before other big life commitments. Millennials, including myself, are so caught up in “having it all” that we sometimes neglect our travel desires. Global awareness is just as important as a big career or marriage. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Lin Del Rey

    You are so right. The day I applied for my first passport changed me forever. My current passport is my seventh and I still travel whenever I can afford to. Life doesn’t wait, but the world is waiting for you. See it, whatever your age.

  3. Before I even read your article, my first thought was go while you can. I see so many people put it off for all life’s excuses; money, family, time, education and other such commitments. I truly believe you should try to explore while your body is healthy. I see so many seniors who waited for the right time and yet lost the opportunity due to creeping infirmities. Carpe diem. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Sibel Jenkinson

    Mmst people come up with excuses because they are either too lazy or too ‘scared’ to alter their own habits of living. This is because human beings have evolved and become less competent when they are out of their comfort zones. Many people find hard to adapt to new situations, new environment and new way of living.

  5. Anna Kaplan

    Thank you for this. Really really thank you. I’m young, right now. I’ve always wanted to travel. But when I think about traveling I do the ‘yeah, but’ routine. You’ve inspired me, so thank you. Inspiring article.

  6. Camila Hilhorst

    This is one of the most inspiring and true articles we have read about travel in a very long time. Thank you for telling it as it is. The last paragraph is very very important.

  7. Cynthia Keller

    This post will get anyone in the mood for travel. I agree with you on every level. I’m traveling to test my boundaries. I am usually shy, but I have learned to toss fear aside and set out on my own. I have realized that I am much more capable than I once thought I was.

  8. Tiffany Norris

    I love all five of these reasons. โ˜บ

  9. Tracie Raymond

    So beautiful Frederica. Absolutely gorgeous writing and thought are in this post. I love to travel because it makes me feel independent and more responsible. I also love to learn about other cultures. Experience and see the beauty that different places hold!?
    0

  10. Elsie Spurlock

    Wonderful post!
    Thank you thank you! Makes so much sense. I love to travel because I get to see the world. I try to take in all i can of nature’s beauty. I’m not a spontaneous person, but I must say the trips and experiences I’ve enjoyed the most is when they weren’t planned. And not having to use a car is one of my favourite things about travelling. I just love to use my feet,walk and discover new places. It’s the way I really start getting the feel of a place.

  11. Catherine White

    Thank you for inspiring me to live my life, to go out and see the world NOW. I found myself stupid for not taking the opportunities of travelling that presented themselves before. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Sydney Nowak

    Yur article totally resonates and I couldn’t think of a better way to put it. Travelling is the most invaluable, priceless experience I’ve had to date, I just hope to keep exploring and learning from the world!

  13. Kaitlyn Barrett

    Truer words have never been spoke. I get to have that conversation many times with students, friends that work & even those that do both. I jumped at the occasion to study/work abroad and you have hit the nail on the head with this article. I will forward this to all of my friends and peers!

  14. Colleen Frasier

    This gave me goosebumps, and reminded me why – even though there have been more than a few moments where I have panicked (including last night!) – packing up and travelling to the other side of the world has been the best decision I’ve ever made. Thanks!

  15. Celine Carter

    this is awesome! i am so glad that I stumbled upon the post! I have been arguing with myself all week about what to do after graduation this year, weather I should travel or go to grad school right away, and I think I’ve finally found my answer! Thanks so much!

  16. Splendid piece! Age has absolutely nothing to do with traveling. I first started to travel when I was 16 and haven’t stopped since. If you let life just sort of happen to you, then you are worthy of all that happens to you. Thanks for reminding us all of the importance of exploration.

  17. Dana Rosatti

    Great article, it motivated me and I’m sure it’s also motivating others! ๐Ÿ™‚ Get away out of your routine, live your life when you can. Put yourself into new situations. LEARN OUT something from everything. Have fun with others, make everyday yours. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Jennifer McSween

    Traveling when I was in college was fun times.. backpacking and sleeping in hostels.. But now that I’m older, I enjoy it more. I’ve gone back to those places with a little more history knowledge under my belt to appreciate them.
    Oh, and I stay in nicer spots! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Cassi Braun

    I totally agree with you. I’m 21 and I toured Europe last year for two months. I had to take a semester off from college but that’s a decision I’ll NEVER regret. I learned so much more in that time than what I would’ve ever learnt if i stayed home. I took a LOT of effort, and I had to work a LOT to get the money, but it’s possible if you really want to. I fulfilled my bigest dream at only the age of 20 and had experiencies and stories that’ll remain with me for the rest of my life. I learnt not only about the places but about MYSELF and only travelling gives you this opportunity.

    So I encourage everyone who’s dream is travelling to STOP making excuses and MAKE IT HAPPEN! you’ll regret it your whole life if you don’t.

  20. Amanda Roberts

    Hey! This is truly inspiring. I’m currently preparing for a month long trip to Europe in September. I agree with everything you said. Travelling now will help us shape our future and it will be for the better. Will share this!

  21. Roberta Bennett

    I agree with almost everything on this post about traveling. I would say the only thing I would be hesitant about for traveling is going under debt. I can’t just travel and worry about the consequences later. Debt limits your ability to do a lot of things.

  22. Molly Twain

    Great post. I completely agree. Moved from Canada to Korea to teach. Been here for nearly 2 years now and I’ve grown in SO many ways, emotionally, mentally, spiritually… I would recommend traveling and getting out of your comfort zone to anybody out there! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Diana Hewitt

    Thank you so much for putting into words what my heart could not express. I agree wholeheartedly with what you have said. Yesterday I was talking about this with my cousin. I was telling her I want to travel and she said “Do it.” but I was saying “Yeah but… ” with tears almost running down my eyes because I felt scared about the decision I had to make. I knew that if I don’t do it now I’ll never get to do it.

  24. Evelyn Sandler

    I totally agree with you. One of the best things that I have done in my life so far was travel. No doubt. No regret. I try to travel and see the places I wanted to see. I love experiencing different cultures, languages and lifestyles of other people.

  25. Christina Norelli

    I didn’t go travelling until I took a Career Break when I was 38. Wish I had done it sooner, however I’m also glad I did it when I was older. Everyone should travel at some point in their life.

    If people want to travel for a long time, they could consider becoming an ‘overlander’ (those tour guides who drive around the world in big trucks). We videoed an ex overlander recently and he had some amazing stories to tell.

  26. Kim Hartford

    I LOVE THIS ARTICLE!!! it’s so encouraging while it confirms the fact that my journey in south america was only the beginning. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Melissa Princeton

    There’s something very real about not having money to travel, though. I myself, along with tons of other people I know would LOVE nothing more than to travel for a year. I couldn’t have afforded that out of college and I can’t afford that now that I’m finishing my masters. Right now, I can’t even afford the plane but I definitely don’t think I’ll never travel. In fact, I am eager to travel with my family when I’ve had children. I want them to have these experiences too, so they can share them with me.

  28. Debbie Jones

    THANK YOU, for this. Absolutely true.. it’s when we travel we get to learn, grow and mature. In life we have a lot of situations but when you feel that traveling makes you feel like young, ecstatic, relived then you’re born to do it.

  29. Jae Medina

    An excellent post and an important way to put things in perspective.I agree that travel is an amazing and worthwhile experience. Even if you’ve gotten sucked into the routine- take yourself out of it for a little while!

  30. Samantha Anthony

    Thank you for this post. This was exactly what I needed to read. My dad passed away in lung cancer not too long ago, and one of the last things he said was that the only thing he ever regretted was not having more fun in life. Your post helped me realise that what I probably need to do is not to get my upcoming teacher’s career started, but to travel instead.

  31. Felicia Stewart

    Loved this article… Thank you!! I think everyone should know this and understand that they have to start to live NOW, if they haven’t started yet. World would be a better place ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Marina Henderson

    Travelling is not just for the rich.. I only started when I was in my mid-twenties and was working and saved up to travel. I didn’t have parents that could afford to take me on overseas vacations or pay for an overseas edu or buy me a car or anything other than basic food, home & education. But travelling is always something I wanted to do.. and it kinda pisses me off when people say that’s great for me but they can’t afford it or have no time and are envious. Skip on the daily/weekly Starbucks or the monthly facials/slimming or that branded handbag that is 1 month’s salary… and tell me again that you don’t have money to travel…

  33. Pearl Nguyen

    How travel affects you doesn’t have to be complex or profound; it’s as simple as the difference in a street lamp in London or the beauty of a manhole cover in Budapest. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Travel changes your perspective and opens your mind to your environment because it stimulates you in all ways, emotional, physical, visual.

  34. Emma Blackwood

    And I appreciate your blog and your writing, but I think a lot of people don’t understand the damage they’re doing to the planet by travelling. Look at the recent issues on Mount Everest, for instance. The place has turned into an amusement park. If someone feels it’s a rite of passage to climb up Everest then I’d urge them to, instead, give the money to the poverty stricken locals in the vicinity instead of some superfluous, egotistical need to go up a mountain… There should be a limit to where is open to tourist.

    • Andrea Mitchell

      what a narrow-minded outlook. It’s quite easy to travel without destroying anything .. and it also helps bring money to places, that without travellers, wouldn’t get it..

  35. Lana Urie

    Spoken like a true world- traveler! This piece was fantastic! You so eloquently put into words a feeling that I’ve long tried to express about my travels. Sometimes you feel a bit let down when you finally return home and those around you have moved on, gotten degrees and had families. You know that the experiences you have had are worth their weight in gold but until someone else has had those same experiences that can’t really understand how you feel. I will never regret the years spent roaming the world and you’ve just reminded me why. ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. Pamela Sanabria

    Great post, and so true! Another thing to consider is that you never really know how long you’ll live. It would be such a pity to work until you are 65, hoping to get to see the world once you retire, and then die, a la “Up” ๐Ÿ™

    Everything else tHat “gets in the way” is just an excuse. You will never have enough money, or time to travel, if you choose to live your life that way. It only really takes commitment (and guts) to take the leap, save money, take time off, and fly away.

  37. Helena Stevens

    Would I still get the same experience if I study at varsity, and then travel in the holidays? Say I got this bursary to go study, should I pass it up? My family isn’t that well off, and I can’t allow my parents to pay for my studies. So although I am prepared to undergo the debt in order to experience everything you mentioned… can I make both work for me?

  38. Danielle Wilson

    I really want to travel so much. I’ve travelled around the east of Europe for a month, spent a month in Spain and been to many different countries. My one problem is that I don’t feel like I can leave my dog. I know you people will think it’s an excuse, but it’s really not. Me and my parents rescued her 18 months ago and my dog and I have formed the strongest bond. We’re very close and I feel like I understand her more than anyone else. I know that she has been abandoned twice in the past and for me to leave her and go off travelling would be so hard. I’d feel so guilty, as if I was abandoning her just like her old owners did, even if she got over me leaving. I’m in a real conundrum. This is not about making excuses, it’s a really hard decision. I really want to go travelling for an extended period of time, probably at least a year, but I just don’t feel like I can leave my dog ?.

    • Shannon Bradley

      I was in the same position as you. Its a tough decision but you have to choose. I regret that I didnt spend much time traveling, but I dont regret chose my cats over traveling. I know “Eiffel tower has been there for years” is a cliche, but your dog wont be there forever. It may be a part of you world, but you are is his world. Remember that. It doesnt have anyone else.

      • Julia MacLean

        Okay I just need to throw this out there…you can leave a boyfriend or a car but you cannot just leave a dog!!! That truly is a responsibility that you cannot just abandon!!

  39. Merry Robinson

    I think that we love to travel because it makes us fall in love with our lives. ?

  40. Jenny Garett

    This is beautiful, and I agree wholeheartedly with what you’re saying. For me, I love to travel because there is always something new to taste. Travelling makes me feel free and alive. It even makes me appreciate everything. I appreciated your perspective on travelling so much!โ˜บ

  41. Graciela Fernandez

    My main reason for traveling is I’d like to spend quality time and try out new things with my boyfriend or friends. Honestly, I don’t travel alone. I just don’t feel the full satisfaction of travel when I’m alone.

  42. I find this article an eye opener. I’ve learned a lot. One place I’d like to travel to is India. For some reasons, I find their culture inviting.

    When I can do this?! Hmmmm… The question remains…

  43. Andrea Schuener

    Great piece! Your 5 reasons are more than enough for readers to aim for more travels ๐Ÿ˜‰

  44. I usually travel to attend concerts and parties.

  45. WOW! I feel glad I took time to read this article! First, thanks for differentiating travel and vacation. Well, I use them interchangeably, now I know…

    As a college student, I can only hope that I can travel more and farther, aside from financial constraints, I also have time management problems.

    But, I don’t want to have regrets when I get older. I’ll make sure to travel often. I’ll make time and save for future travels ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Very true! Great article, Frederica! Indeed, travel is the only thing we spend for that makes us richer…

  47. I know what you’re talking about ๐Ÿ™‚ Travel is something to experience while young and able. When I travel, I make sure to try new things (hiking, surfing or even take most challenging carnival ride). I enjoy my travels to the fullest because who knows tomorrow my knees will be weaker and I can’t do these anymore!

    • Sarah Evanston

      Yeah, there’s excitement in trying new things and it’s more fun when you do it to unfamiliar places LOL

  48. Great! I love traveling, shopping and experiencing other cultures but sometimes I can’t help but ask why do I spend so much just to have the feel of it. Your article just gave justifications! Thanks and I enjoyed reading this!

  49. Michelle Robbins

    Yeah, one of the regrets I hear elders talk about is “not being able to visit” places.

    Younger generation are very preoccupied with work, with the aim of achieving financial stability. Not noticing that time passed by. In the end, a realization that “yes, they have earned money” but no longer have the energy and physical capacity to travel ๐Ÿ™

  50. Fantastic article! Thanks for clarifying the difference between travel and vacation! New learning… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  51. This article got me excited! I agree with your points ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve traveled to more than 30 countries and I’m making sure to grab every travel opportunity. Yes, I’m getting it while I can (I’m currently single) and I leave my troubles and stress behind!

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