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Old 07-14-2012, 04:25 PM
 
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I have never really traveled that much so I don't know what the benefits to traveling really are. People are always raving about it but when I press them for DETAILS, they don't give it. I want to know SPECIFICS because traveling is pretty expensive. How has traveling changed your life? Is it worth the cost? Please be SPECIFIC.

I ask because one of the things that irk me the most is when I tell people I haven't traveled, they turn their nose up to me and it's like I've been reduced to a peasant with leprosy. Traveling has kind of an elitist feel to me, kind of snobberish so if people could enlighten me as to the specific benefits of it so I can better understand, it would def help!
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
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Traveling broadens your horizons as to how the rest of the world lives and breathes. It is very educational seeing how other people live, what they eat, their cultures, plus all the historical and scenic wonders of this world.
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:57 PM
 
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Travel can open your eyes to how other people live and think, but not so much if you do it tourist style. Some people travel hundreds or thousands of miles to see some site, turn around and "so what?" An example: millions of people visit Orland area attractions such as Disney World and Universal Studios, but don't really see much of central Florida. Take the Dora Canal cruise or some off beat destination.
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:58 PM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenPatton View Post
I have never really traveled that much so I don't know what the benefits to traveling really are. People are always raving about it but when I press them for DETAILS, they don't give it. I want to know SPECIFICS because traveling is pretty expensive. How has traveling changed your life? Is it worth the cost? Please be SPECIFIC.
How about an analogy? porn vs sex

You read a book or watch a movie where geography or architecture or art or food or language
are expressed and described and yeah you can get some sense of that place maybe even the scale of a mountain range or how a river flows or the way the flavor of a local food is laced in with... but it isn't any of those things. It's just ink on paper or celluloid... and empty shadow of what actually is.
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:16 PM
 
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Hi there!

I've been very fortunate in my relatively short (20 year) life to have traveled pretty extensively, or at least for someone my age. I've lived on three continents and have traveled to a myriad of countries all around the world. I have to say, I really do love to travel and think that it provides the traveler with some invaluable tools and rewards. Per your request, I'll try to highlight some of the specifics of why I feel this way.

1) Educational. I, personally, find traveling to be an invaluable educational and learning process/experience. When you travel you are constantly learning about new and different things. Your experiences can help to educate you on things that otherwise you might never have learned. You get to see and learn about other people and their lives and how they may differ from your own. Your horizons are forever expanding when you travel, imho. Also, I feel that you can learn about something a million times on the internet or in a textbook, but actually seeing and experiencing something first hand is a completely different sensation altogether. There's really nothing quite like it. I mean you can see the Eiffel Tower in a picture, for example, but actually being able to see it in real life is just spectacular. The real thing is so breathtaking and exciting that you can't help but get a little tinkling sensation (especially if it's your first time). I find this to be especially true for children. Like I said, they can learn about it time and time again in school, but actually seeing and experiencing some of the things that they learn about themselves is truly spectacular.

2) People. The people that you meet while traveling is honestly one of the most rewarding aspect of travel imo. I have met some of the most amazing, unique, and interesting people while traveling. The people help to make the destination. For me, I just love being able to see people who live in another part of the world from me (who may not be able to communicate with me) and how they live. I just find it so fascinating to see how people live their lives in other places and how they are similar and different to my own. I love being able to have conversations with people who I know little to nothing about and learn from them and see their view on different things. It's one thing to go and see the place from a tourist's perspective and a whole other thing to go and see from a local's perspective. Also, friendship is a big one for me. I have a very large number of friends who live abroad in different places/countries as a result of my living and traveling abroad and I truly enjoy that. I like the fact that I can be friends with people in Europe, Asia, etc. even though I am American and realizing that even though we live in different places, we're still all very similar and that a lot of problems that I/we may have they have the same issues in other places too. Plus, a bonus for a future trip perhaps, it's nice (and extremely cost efficient) to be able to have friends in other places so that you are able to stay with them when you go to visit. Then you get free housing and a free tour guide

3) Culture. Again, for me personally, I just love being able to learn about and experience other people's culture, traditions, and customs. I love to be immersed in cultures that are different from my own and learn about those cultures. This ties in a lot with the educational aspect I feel. I think it's one of the most rewarding and humbling things to be thrown into a completely different culture and truly experience it first hand. It's amazing to go to a place where people don't speak the same language as you and just have no idea what anything or anyone says. It's makes everything really fun and the experience even more meaningful I think.

4) Adventure. I find traveling to be an adventure! I don't know about you, but sometimes I get really bored of doing and seeing the same things at home. I'm always on the hunt for some new and exciting adventure to come my way. Whether it be navigating my way around a completely foreign city/country, trying to order things in a restaurant where no one speaks English, or something more physical like zip lining or jet-skiing, etc. etc. The list is seemingly endless. There are so many new and exciting adventures for you to embark on when you travel.

5) Beauty. I have seen some of the most physically stunning things ever in my life as a result of my travel. I've seen breathtaking waterfalls, mountains, glaciers, canyons, volcanoes, coastlines, cities, famous landmark/monuments, etc. etc. Like I said, it's one thing to see the Grand Canyon and the Great Wall of China in a picture and a whole other thing to be able to see them in real life. There's just no comparison. I find that seeing some of these things for yourself really helps me to clear my mind and think to myself, wow, look how far you've come and look where you are right now. It's so crazy! Traveling helps me to just reminisce on my life and evaluate different parts of it and see what I've done and what I'm doing and how I want to continue on. Naturally beautiful things are very soothing and calming for me and I greatly enjoy just sitting out in nature and taking it all in. Like I said, it helps me clear my head time and time again.

6) A well deceived break! Everyone needs a break once in a while and sometimes you just need to get away! Traveling can help you to get away from the places and people that you see all the time and go somewhere new and fresh and make you not have to worry about all of your stress, cares, and worries at home! It provides you with an opportunity to get away from it all, either by yourself or with loved ones.

This is only a very brief overview of how and why I feel the way that I do about traveling and why I enjoy it so much and hope to continue doing it for the rest of my life. I've been very fortunate that I've been able to have the experience of living abroad and that my parents love to travel themselves. However, I do get that traveling isn't for everyone and that it can definitely get uber expensive. However, there are definitely an endless amount of ways for people to cut corners and save a lot of money. Plus, even if you can't/ don't want to travel abroad (even though I HIGHLY recommend that you do), we're extremely lucky to live in a county as utterly huge, beautiful, and diverse as the USA. The USA has so many different aspects to it that it would take a lifetime to try and uncover them all. I hope that I've been able to satisfactorily answer your question, at least a little bit. I also hope that, if you decide it's something that you do indeed want to do, that you do being traveling and get to experience all of the wonderful and rewarding things that I have!

Best of luck to you!

Last edited by CityLover9; 07-14-2012 at 05:26 PM..
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:47 AM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
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The responses so far have been excellent, so I'll just throw in a few words that underscore a few specifics.

Travel has helped me develop a broader and precise understanding of history. This has come not just from visiting museums both big and small, but also from visiting entire cities, neighborhoods, hamlets, vineyards, etc. with historical resonance. For example, my recent visits in Greece, Venice, and the former Yugoslavia have given me a specific visual imprint of Rome's eastern expansion during Antiquity as well as Venice's importance and domination of the Adriatic during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance/Neoclassical era. I can read these things over and over in a book, but seeing it makes it all come together.

Travel to certain places has helped me consolidate or revive certain language skills. I teach Spanish, so travel to Spanish-speaking countries is a way to stay current. Visits to other places have helped me work on other languages I've studied. I can't get that by just staying home.

Travel has helped me expand my overall cultural (including culinary) horizons. It's one thing to read about the various regions of Spain or Italy or Ecuador, but another altogether to explore an area--often no bigger than a medium-sized state in the U.S.--that has a distinct cultural legacy from the country in general. The uniqueness of the cuisine follows. Now I know, for example, that in some parts of Italy, sauerkraut, cevapcici, and other Germanic and Slavic items are integral parts of the culture. This helps with the History consciousness I've mentioned, but has also helped with having a deeper appreciation of culinary possibilities beyond stereotypes.

Also, as far as food goes, there are just certain things to be found abroad that you cannot get in the States. For example, my partner and I drove the Champagne Trail in France a few years ago, and we tried some incredible champagnes that will never, ever make their way to the States. This particular experience helped us see champagne in a new light--we had originally sort of dismissed it as a vulgar, expensive, and frivolous thing, but we went away realizing just how delicious it can be, and most of it (in France) is rather reasonably priced.

To echo CityLover, travel has helped me develop and appreciate beauty in new ways. Connected to this is the power of travel to fuel the imagination. In my recent trip to Friuli, an Italian region east of Venice, I saw amazing Roman-era floor mosaics with incredibly detailed images of squids, octopus, rabbits, tortoises, fish, and other images. This has helped me stop and really appreciate the painstaking art of floor mosaics, and I don't see animals in quite the same way as before either. Other examples of beauty are the open-air markets in cities and towns, rows of French pastries in window displays, stunning turquoise water, dramatic limestone cliffs, intensely colored textiles, art and architecture, city/town layouts, the sounds of nocturnal blackbirds, the scent of lavender in Provence, the smells and sounds of night markets. All of these things and more populate my senses, and will do so forever.

I've found that travel has made reading certain kinds of fiction more intense for me. Reading is a kind of travel, and the various sensory experiences I've had interact with the words I read in a lot of novels, short stories, plays, and poems. After having been to central Spain, Don Quijote is much more vibrant for me. After having been to Buenos Aires and Paris, I think I "get" Borges and Cortázar a lot more.

Another reason to travel, for me at least, is birding and other contacts with nature. Sure, there are amazing birds here where I live in the States, but abroad it's exciting to see Hoopoes or Toucans or Trogons or Blue-footed Boobies. Don't forget the other fauna and flora, like Giant Tortoises, Baobob Trees, and Wild Poppies. There is a beauty element to this, but also a sense of connection with the whole planet.

The sensation of adventure is also important, and that includes an enjoyment of the challenge of travel--planning and logistics. This is fun whether I'm going across town or across the globe. It's fun to conceptualize and successfully realize a trip, in the same way some people love planning weddings or managing a project. For me, it's also fun to leave room for the unknown and not overplan. Many of my happiest travel moments came from serendipitous encounters and detours.

Citylover9 mentioned People, and that is indeed important. I travel a lot for my work (college teaching), so am always meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. At my last conference, I had friends there representing seven different stages of my life. It was crazy, but fun. And it's not just the people you meet, it's also the experience of enjoying the trip with a loved one or with other people who accompany you. Traveling with my partner has brought us closer together, and we're a great travel team. We've learned a lot about each other through travel. I've also traveled solo and with various groups, including fellow academics on tours (very interesting!), study abroad programs (as student and as leader), etc. Each of these experiences has sharpened skills, strengthened networks, and provided fun stories to remember.

Yet another reason is to develop perspective on long-held beliefs. Travel helps remind us that the U.S. (or whatever your home base happens to be) is not the center of the world, and that each of us is just a part of a constellation. It sounds corny, but it's true. Travel can make some people very snobby and arrogant, but it also makes other people more modest and humble. This last point came through very clear to me during a trip to a Buddhist compound. There really are other ways of doing things, different mindsets, other ways that can be satisfying to some and intolerable to others. To an extent, travel has helped me appreciate home a lot more because of this. But at the same time, I have a somewhat more skeptical eye about things in my own backyard.

Ultimately, travel doesn't have to be amazingly exotic to be rewarding. I live in Milwaukee, and one of my favorite pastimes is to jump in the car or take a bus or train and explore another part of the city or state. Travel doesn't have to involve the usual "big ticket" destinations--it can lead to a nearby town you haven't explored before, or a neighborhood you've skipped over, where you can sit down at a local diner or cafe and dig into the atmosphere.

In some ways, I think travel is largely a method or attitude rather than a definitive movement in time and space. Anyhow, these are just a few reasons that echo and dovetail a bit with the previous. Sorry to be so long-winded, but yeah, travel is great.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:20 AM
 
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Traveling gives one firsthand experience of other cultures and other people. One sees for oneself the similarities and differences of people in different places. As already mentioned it definitely broadens one's horizons.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:17 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenPatton View Post
I have never really traveled that much so I don't know what the benefits to traveling really are. People are always raving about it but when I press them for DETAILS, they don't give it. I want to know SPECIFICS because traveling is pretty expensive. How has traveling changed your life? Is it worth the cost? Please be SPECIFIC.
Traveling FEELS GOOD. Is that specific enough for you? :-)

I'm sure there are places you've always wanted to go to, right? So, do it!
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:18 AM
 
2,996 posts, read 4,923,764 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenPatton View Post
I have never really traveled that much so I don't know what the benefits to traveling really are. People are always raving about it but when I press them for DETAILS, they don't give it. I want to know SPECIFICS because traveling is pretty expensive. How has traveling changed your life? Is it worth the cost? Please be SPECIFIC.

I ask because one of the things that irk me the most is when I tell people I haven't traveled, they turn their nose up to me and it's like I've been reduced to a peasant with leprosy. Traveling has kind of an elitist feel to me, kind of snobberish so if people could enlighten me as to the specific benefits of it so I can better understand, it would def help!
Travelling comes in all forms ...it can be a 6 week trek around Europe experiencing a few countries staying at bed and breakfast places , or, on a more budget-minded scale....packing up the car with a tent and belongings for a 3 week trip out West to the Grand Canyon , other National Parks, and a take- your- time -trip down US 1 along the West Coast. The kind of travel i enjoy is in my 26' Class C. RV that sleeps up to six people having queen beds, fridge, stove, shower, dining area, tv, generator, and toilet -- i love the self contained form of RVing where i dont have to sacrifice much in the way of comfort and convenience...but, this form of travel is not for everyone ; some prefer much greater and some prefer much less to make their experience of travel a good one.

Aside from the method of travel, i believe one thing that all avid travellers find in common is : The joy of living independently for a time, the freedom of no time contraints (if possible) , the freedom to explore new places, towns, cultures, involving meeting people along the way and seeing what they are doing with their lives. I personally find quite a bit of enjoyment out of living as a responsible 'Hedonist' when i go on one of my extended RV trips accruing many forms of pleasurable experiences on a daily basis. The memories i have of my trips tucked away in my mind as well as thru pictures and videos, are a priceless savoring experience which I am thankful for having done. Travelling has increased my appreciation of life in general, gratefulness for what i have, learning , discovery, and greater appreciation of our Creation and Creator.

So in conclusion, if you are an adventurous / inquisitive / ambitious Person who enjoys the thrill of going somewhere new whereby you are easily intrigued just from getting away from your normal habitat, then id say Travelling will open up a whole new exciting adventure for you. It has for me .

Heres a few Travelling experiences that i have cherished most :

1. A 3 week RV trip along the Gulf Coast from Corpus Christi, Texas to Appalachicola, Florida taking my time.

2. RVing in the Arizona Desert for the entire month of February combined with visiting the Grand Canyon western rim with the huge walk-out horseshoe all-glass observation platform (70' out from the canyon edge and 1 mile down) .

3. RVing in Tennessee and staying on the side of a mountain overnight about 2000 feet up without a Soul around watching all the lights come on from surrounding towns and having a big bonfire .

4. 5 night Cruise from Mobile, Alabama to Cancun, Mexico with two other friends including renting Dune Buggies for the day beach-hopping .

5. Travelling around the entire state of Florida for 2 weeks with a 40 member anti-abortion Group for public awareness of the tragedy behind abortion with me being personally interviewed by a local TV News Station.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
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Hard to believe...
Views, scenes, geography, people, lifestyles, cultures, experiences; changes of pace and daily routines, and usually a refreshing mind clearing activity that adds some excellent memories to one's mental Rolodex.

Turn off the 'puter/TV, get off the couch and go experience some 'other' stuff.

Cost? Nothing is free and there are no pockets in that 'last suit'.
GL, mD

Last edited by motordavid; 07-15-2012 at 10:14 AM..
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