What does long term-travel mean? I never really understood the term; not until I had actually experienced it. Through the Couchsurfing community in the Philippines, I met many people who traveled without any time constraints or plans of returning home. They just kept going and going until they felt the need to stop and settle. Some traveled for 2, 3 or even 10 years, with the idea being to move and move and move until you get tired of moving, or sick of the world (which is impossible). I really am different now as a result of my journey. In a flash, I was able to come up with 100 beautiful reasons why you should travel long-term:
1. To unwind.
2. See new things.
3. To encounter compassion.
4. To learn a language and speak it fluently.
5. You will realize that sometimes what people say about other countries is wrong.
6. To make new friends all over the world.
7. To feel that natural high.
8. To eat (and eat things you didn’t even realize were food).
9. See things from another perspective.
10. To overcome personal challenges.
11. To experience being in two places at once: crossing borders.
12. To be debt-free.
13. To feel how it is not to own possessions, but to own the world.
14. To be the person who you are, without pretentions.
15. To find yourself.
16. To dance in crazy parties and not care.
17. To learn how to let go.
18. To give back by volunteering.
19. To avoid traffic (especially in places like Bangkok!)
20. To learn how to fend for yourself.
21. To blend in with a different culture.
22. To try different forms of transportation (even ones which make you motion sick!)
23. To learn not to worry about waking up early the next day.
24. To be stress-free.
25. To unfriend the enemy -- "Monday."
26. To have your own experiences.
27. To collect stories – REAL stories – to tell when you become a grandparent.
28. To collect stamps on your passport.
29. To fill your future fridge with magnets that mean something special
30. To learn things you didn't learn in school.
31. To get to know what it's like sleeping on the street. Or in an airport. Or at a bus station.
32. To learn not to waste food.
33. To jump cliffs.
34. To get closer to your inner self.
35. To meet the love of your life. while on the road.
36. Because the Eiffel Tower, Machu Picchu and Grand Canyon will not fly to you.
37. Because the road will give you infinite possibilities.
38. You will learn how to live out of a backpack -- simply.
39. To realize that you always have a choice.
40. To learn that you can handle your own time. No rush.
41. To see the sun rise on the other side of the planet.
42. To try authentic foreign food.
43. To witness how animals live in their natural habitat. Not the zoo.
44. Because you will be stunned by seeing the beauty of the earth.
45. To find a new home: a place where you definitely fit.
46. To feel like a stranger in a country for once in your life.
47. You will learn how to cook.
48. You will be an expert with the beers of the world. :)
49. To get out of your comfort zone.
50. To bring Discovery and Travel Channel to life.
51. Because life is short.
52. You will understand that a Chanel bag is not a luxury - it's completely irrelevant. Clean water is a luxury!
53. To collect moments. Not things.
54. To witness that not everyone has no access to clean drinking water.
55. To love endlessly.
56. You will be able to train your mind to always see the good in people.
57. You will feel younger.
58. You will be smarter.
59. You will have time to read a book.
60. You will forget what an office chair feels like.
61. You will realize that some countries have cultural similarities to yours.
62. Because sometimes, you just need to disconnect "social medially."
63. Because more often than not, later becomes never.
64. Travel will make you humble.
65. One day, you will have children and you'll be guilty of leaving them behind even for a few days.
66. You will learn the beauty of being alone.
67. You will be able to build your confidence.
68. Everyday, you will make new memories.
69. Because you are young.
70. To transform yourself to a real traveller than a tourist.
71. Your soul will be fed well.
72. You will learn how to live in the present.
73. You will be appreciative of little things.
74. You will have a relationship with the Universe.
75. To live the life you always wanted.
76. Because you are still physically fit.
77. You will learn how to endure pain.
78. You will learn how not to make things complicated.
79. To eradicate drama in your life.
80. You will be an expert on thinking on your feet.
81. You will be hungry to achieve more goals once you finish.
82. You will be a changed person when you come back home.
83. To challenge yourself.
84. You will appreciate where you are from.
85. Travel will slow you down from your fast paced life.
86. You will understand that "just go" is for real.
87. You will learn how to break a bad habit.
88. You will be more patient.
89. You will understand that complaining doesn't change things.
90. To face your fears.
91. You will be forever curious about things.
92. You will always want to learn something new.
93. You will find out the beauty of being homeless.
94. Your life will not be a Facebook post because you're finally living it.
95. You will stop stalking on other people's lives like celebrities, famous people, etc. Your life is more interesting now.
96. Your energies will be diverted to good channels.
97. You can go skinny dipping without judgments.
98. You will meet your long time friends on the road.
99. Because you deserve to travel. To live a good life.
100. There will never be regrets, but just love. <3
And to be honest, 100 is not enough: there are a thousand reasons why you should travel long-term. These things are learned and experienced during my year spent traveling around South America non-stop.
About the Author
Trisha Velarmino is a road scholar who loves languages, burgers, cats, football, hot sauce and coffee. She is the author of the travel blog, P.S. I’m On My Way where she writes about her long-term travel adventures, volunteering, learning languages and encouraging women to travel solo. Follow her on Facebook