If you’re pondering a vacation of your own but feel guilty about taking the time away, I hear you. In fact, this recent week-long excursion of ours was the longest vacation Brad and I had taken together (other than to visit family) in over five years! I’ve learned, however, that those “I’ll do it someday” resolutions will never happen if we don’t turn them into priorities. Need proof that it’s worth it? Check out these eight reasons why you should always make time for travel.
1. You Need A Break
I know, I know . . . mind-blowing, right? Rest and relaxation are obvious travel benefits, but I’ve found that lots of people (myself included) don’t realize how much they need a vacation until they actually go on one. Getting away for longer than a typical weekend will help you disconnect from the day-to-day a little better, allowing you to enjoy your time without constantly anticipating the drive home the next day.
2. There Are So Many Foods You Haven’t Tried Yet
If you’ve owned an Instagram account for longer than a
minute day, you’ve likely seen some delicious snapshots of food from your friends, people in your city, or random restaurants that exist somewhere on this planet. There’s a reason for this, my friends: people like food, and there are some fantastic eatin’ options out there! I know you’ve got your favorite local dive or Applebee’s, or whatever . . . but hear me out. Local cuisine changes from country to country, state to state, city to city, neighborhood to neighborhood. I can’t tell you how many fabulous pizzas, sandwiches, and desserts I’ve discovered while traveling that I never would’ve found if I hadn’t left home! You don’t need to go full-blown Anthony Bourdain, but I challenge you to be adventurous. If it comes highly recommended and looks remotely palatable, give it a try!
3. Experiencing Historical Sites First-Hand Is Incredibly ImpactfulWhether you’re visiting national landmarks in Washington, D.C. or stopping by a revitalized meeting house in a small, southern town, there’s something so cool about seeing historic sites in person. Before Brad and I visited Boston, for example, I had a vague understanding of a few things that had taken place in the well-known city, but let’s face it—most of my textbook knowledge had already faded away several years earlier. Visiting centuries-old buildings, battle sites, and cemeteries really brought the past to life, allowing me to better envision countless groundbreaking events that might not have registered if I’d simply been skimming a Wikipedia article.
4. You Can Get Lots Of Exercise Without Really Meaning To
Okay, all you Fitbit and Apple Watch fiends: here’s one you can appreciate. I’ve found that some of my highest “step count” days happen when I’m visiting new places, simply because I’m excited to get out and see everything around me. Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes and take breaks when you need to—your experience should be rejuvenating, not exhausting!
5. You’ll Get A Better View Than A Magazine Could Ever Depict
In today’s digitally-manipulated world, it can be difficult to tell whether photos you see of far-off destinations are real or punched up a few (or twenty) notches. Before you become totally jaded, however, I’m here to tell you that there are some gorgeous places out there—and they look even better in person than the pictures you see in travel brochures! Mackinac Island, the Grand Canyon, and Niagara Falls are a few that stick out in my mind (if you’ve seen any of these places in person, I hope you’ll agree!). If a place interests you and you’re able to visit, take a chance . . . you may find that the real thing is way more amazing than you ever dreamed.
6. Seeing How Other People Live Is Eye-Opening
One of my absolute favorite parts of traveling is getting to experience new environments, seeing how people in different parts of the world live. For instance, I was born and raised in the suburbs and spent lots of time in small towns and rural areas growing up—so naturally, visiting a big city is an adventure for me! Hearing unfamiliar accents and dialects, taking in new sights and sounds, even seeing how clothing styles change from region to region . . . it’s fascinating to see how many different walks of life are out there!
7. Become A Better Conversationalist
Being well-traveled can definitely make for some interesting stories. Share your experiences with friends, then bounce ideas off one another for the best places to visit. Not only will you gain some valuable recommendations, you may get a new perspective on a place that you never thought of before!
8. Learn To Better Appreciate Where YOU Live
Whether you end up loving or hating your destination, visiting a new place can teach you how to recognize hidden gems in just about any location. For example, my Michigan-native friends are always telling me they never really thought about how much there is to do in their home state, but as someone who grew up several states away, I’m constantly finding new things to enjoy in Michigan! The same is true with me and my hometown. I grew up in a gorgeous area with tons of natural beauty and history all around me, but never realized how special it was until I moved away and came back to visit with a fresh set of eyes. Every place holds something unique, you just have to discover it . . . so get out there and start looking!
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