Travelling is, all too often, relegated to short-term jaunts. City breaks, camping weekends, even fortnights abroad – all are too short to really engage with the meat of travel, of discovery, of finding new places and wonders. What if you threw caution to the wind, took a year’s sabbatical from work and simply travelled the world?
Taking a year to go travelling should not merely be the haunt of pre- or post-university students looking for early life experience. A year-long travel sabbatical can also be a profound positive for practically anyone else. Why, though, should you personally consider taking some time out to travel?
First – Why Not?
First, it might be helpful to address the reasons for which we commonly talk ourselves out of such adventures. Many of us are given to talking ourselves out of an afternoon coffee, let alone the trip of a lifetime – and money, unavoidably, is most often the root cause. Taking time to travel requires a great deal of savings, and the financial nous required to generate them. This is by no means impossible, though, and with a little forward planning could be eminently achievable. Why, then, should you?
Meet New People
It is no secret that our lives have become a series of bubbles. Whether the small, concentrated groups of people we socialise with in and out of work, or the tightly-knit online communities we seek apart from the differently-minded, meeting new people from other walks of life has become harder and harder. Simply getting out there is enough to find yourself face-to-face with some of the most fascinating characters, giving you a chance to expand your worldview and your social skills in one.
Learn New Things
Speaking of which, travel also has the propensity to teach you things – and not just about yourself. You might find yourself spending some serious time in one sub-continent or group of countries, and as a result find yourself picking up on the local language. You might find yourself learning more about the cultures and histories of your favourite destinations, and you might even learn your new favourite food in the process. However basic or vague the things you learn are, the act of learning is a healing and positive thing in and of itself.
Of all the things mentioned here, this is perhaps the most important. We live in deeply stressful times, whether the depressing news on our doorstep or the catastrophic news that reaches us from around the world. Combatting this stressful barrage of information with our own stressful schedules is not making things better – and carrying on without taking a break can be damaging for our mental health. Taking time out to rediscover joy around the world, then, can be a hugely beneficial thing, that gives you time and space away from your stressors and lets you grow naturally in the process.