3 reasons to visit a new country every year
#1 Learning (and getting a more accurate picture) about other cultures
It might seem too obvious but many people actually underestimate the importance of educating themselves about other religions, cultures, languages, and customs through visiting other countries. And by learning about other cultures, I mean FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE.
The reason why learning about different cultures is the most important reason to visit a new country at least once a year is that we’re way too often bombarded with negative messages from the media about countries that we might know nothing about and therefore visiting them doesn’t even cross our minds.
These negative impressions might then demotivate or even frighten us to visit them. The truth is that, in the majority of cases, the portrayal is often far from reality. So don’t let yourself be fooled by the sensation-driven news that have given many safe countries a bad reputation.
We also often trust anecdotal hear-say from people we had never met that might have had one negative experience and have blown it up out of proportion. We must approach it
from a more sensible perspective and admit that there are good, as well as bad people everywhere, so chances are you might bump into a rude person anywhere in the world,
including your home country. Contrary to popular belief, crime rates in the world have been decreasing. The only reason this might not seem like it is that people didn’t use to have today’s technology so they might have not heard about public executions, rape, stoning, brutal massacres of minorities, torture and wars until after a few weeks or
months after the incident occurred. They could have lived in total peace, undisturbed by the violent images we are being bombarded with on a daily basis.
There is hope though! You should always ask more than one person about their PERSONAL experience in foreign lands before visiting it. I speak from my own experience where one friend would tell me that Vietnam is very dangerous, yet another person told me that it’s an amazing and safe place to be. So people’s opinions will vary and your own
experience might too! Let’s take religion as an example, specifically Islam. Through my travels across the US, Europe, and now Asia, I have met many Muslim people.
What I had quickly learned was completely opposite to what I had seen in the media until then. My Muslim friends were the most hospitable, generous, and kind people.
Have I not traveled to new countries, I would have been stuck with a fear of these lovely people and would have missed out on making life-long friendships.
I could go on with many other examples, such as thinking that all Americans are the same, that it’s really cold in Nepal, and that Europe is one big country.
What is most beneficial is that YOU yourself realize a more accurate picture about a different culture. As you might find that something they do is very useful and appealing and you will start implementing some aspects of that given culture into your own life!
Something along those lines happened to me, where I started being more friendly to strangers thanks to the American people’s attitude, or when I learned about exotic fruits that I had never tried before and cooked new delicious foods from all over the world.
It is truly amazing how much richer a visit to a new country can make us, especially when we get to know locals and have a good guide who can take us to the less touristy spots.
#2 Making new friends and connections
As I touched on this already, you never know who you’ll meet on your new adventures. For all you know you might meet the love of your life on your next vacation. He or she might be a fellow traveler like yourself or even a local! That would of course make your life suddenly even more so exciting as you would likely find yourself moving to a different country and/or learning a new language!
Life is a learning process and the people we meet can teach us a lot if we are open to it, so by being visiting new places and meeting new people, we get to grow and further enrich the lives of people already in our lives through sharing stories, pictures, and videos. We might also get to know potential business partners, get a new job opportunity, or get inspired to do something new in life. These things could
simply happen through a mere encounter with an interesting person or from observing the lives of people who despite their poverty seem to be much happier than many so-called “accomplished” western people. My boyfriend from Nepal has met me because of his travels to Europe and I have gotten an opportunity to work in Vietnam thanks to my Vietnamese/Czech friend who I met in the US.
#3 Getting a new grasp on life
We have all been there. We feel stuck, drained of energy, and we haven’t followed up with our new year’s resolutions again. This is when doing something completely new can fill us up with new energy and give us the power to change what no longer serves us.
Apart from a healthy diet, of course, a new adventure could be exactly what can finally provide us with enough mental strength to overcome our limitations and become
a more productive, happier, and healthier person. It is therefore important to realize that life is to be lived, not as many of us spend it working and sleeping.
Regretting something just because you weren’t courageous enough would be one of the most important thing to avoid in life. You can regain what you might perceive as
elusive energy on a beautiful beach or on a breath-taking hike to the mountains. It is probably much easier to understand how fulfilling it is once you start travelling,
since one suddenly realizes that there are different kinds of people on
this planet living completely different lives which and that inspires us to review whether we are truly happy. Travelling is an investment that can change your life for the better
and you can never lose anything, only learn. It has had a huge positive impact on my own life and continues to shape me into a happier person through having the opportunity to experience things I have never even dreamed of doing.
So let go of fear (or re-read #1) and enrich yourself and others by visiting at least one new country each year. Travelling isn’t expensive nowadays. There are plenty of low-cost airlines, last minute deals, discounted bus or train tickets, or you could even consider work and travel opportunities in order to continue earning money while you travel.
Life is a amazing when you dare to live it to the fullest!