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11 Reasons Why We Should Travel

why we should travel

Today’s post is directed towards one person….me. But the rest of you are welcome to read along. :-) This is painful to admit, but over the last 26+ years that my husband and I have been married, I can count on two hands the number of trips we have taken either as a couple or a family. There are of course a number of “good” reasons we haven’t done so. Not enough money, not enough time, blah blah blah.

But over the last year as I’ve been traveling more for blog-related events, it has really made me think about the decision (or lack of decisions) we’ve made in the past that put traveling low on our priority list.

Today, as you read this, my husband, my four kids, two more kids by marriage, and myself are all on our way to Mexico! This is a first for us and, of course, we’re all very excited! :-) While I can’t promise I will be completely “unplugged” the whole week, I am going to try and keep it to a minimum and enjoy some quality time with my favorite people on earth!

I have a week’s worth of fabulous guest posts in store for you while I’m gone…and I hope you will give them all a warm OGT welcome. :-)

why we should travel

But back to today’s post…

We all know the financial value of travel. Plane tickets cost a lot of money, as do hotels and meals. But there is emotional value when you invest in travel, too. I’m talking about the stuff that strengthens the bonds of friendship and family, and continues to grow years after a trip has been taken.

After a lot of thinking and reading about this subject….here are some of the reasons I think that traveling is a lot more important that we think it is (or at least than *I* thought it was in the past.)

why we should travel

Reduces Stress

Travel gives you an opportunity to relax and de-stress. It gives us a break from our fast-paced lives. Of course, traveling can be stressful in its’ own way, but travel stress is positive stress, not the kind of anxiety caused by work or tension related to home life.

why we should travel

A Necessary Escape

It sucks to be stuck in a rut. Everyone knows what that’s like. Travel can be the perfect solution.
In the dead of winter, with a foot of snow awaiting you outside your front door, what could be more tantalizing than a swim in the deep blue waters of Jamaica? A trip of any kind provides you with a break from the norm, and that alone can inject you with energy. It’s therapeutic to make a change from your daily routine — doing so prevents your mind and body from stagnating.

why we should travel

Memory-Making

If I were to ask you about your past year – what stories would spring to mind? I doubt you would tell me about the hours you spent at the office or at the gym. It would most likely be the traveling you did. The people you met. The extraordinary experiences you had that you didn’t expect.
When we travel with our friends and family, we create memories that last a lifetime. Sharing a special trip with those we love the most is truly a joyful thing! Giving them a wonderful traveling experience far outweighs the benefit of buying presents for them. Goods have a limited life span, memories last forever.

why we should travel

Get Outside Your Comfort Zone

Traveling helps you to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. It provides us with a whole new perspective, whether that means no longer sweating the small stuff or promising to get out there and meet new people upon returning home.

Completing a long-awaited trip also gives you the satisfaction that you were able to accomplish what you set out to do, and gives you the confidence to do it again!

why we should travel

Learning & Education

Seeing the world provides a source of education impossible get in school, teaching you things like economy, politics, history, geography and sociology. While not an accredited institution, the school of travel is always taking applications.

why we should travel

Meet New People

People you meet while on the road usually become some of the most valued ones in your address book, giving you points on the map to visit later on.You’ll meet far more friendly people on the road than you will under ordinary circumstances at home. Other travelers are always looking to share experiences, give tips on places to go, and meet people from all over. Striking up a conversation with other travelers is extraordinarily easy. A polite “so where are you from?” breaks the ice quite easily and may lead to lasting friendships.

why we should travel

Regain Your Enthusiasm For Work Life

Traveling is refreshing and revitalizing. Relaxing at home during the weekends isn’t always enough to truly unwind. Taking periodic trips help to recharge your batteries and better handle the stress at work. After a break, you’ll feel more energized to return to work. Without these breaks, you may suffer work burn out.

why we should travel

Adventure

No one looks back fondly on a trip to the dry-cleaner. But after ziplining in Costa Rica you get a feel for what being an active human being is like (again). The need for adventure is hardwired; travel lets you tap into it.

why we should travel

Sharpens Your Mind

Being placed into a new environment engages a dormant part of your mind. On vacation you might be required to navigate unfamiliar places, read foreign languages, try new things, make quick decisions, and choose your new eating and sleeping schedule. Unlike at home, all the new sights, sounds, and places will require mental processing and filing. Your brain will welcome the workout!

why we should travel

Discover Yourself

One of the great benefits of traveling is having time to think and to discover more about yourself, and figure out where you want your life to be going.

As Robert Fuller says, “Travel provides us with the distance required to see what it is we are habitually doing and the anonymity to risk new ways of being in the world.”

why we should travel

Appreciating Home

Getting away for awhile, even though it requires effort, will greatly enhance your attitude and productivity once you return home. Breaking up the monotony for a while is a great way to give your life an injection of excitement.

I always love to go, but I equally enjoy returning home. Just as distance allows me to grasp new possibilities, it also helps me to greatly appreciate what I have.

why we should travel

Whether you need to take a few weeks off to avoid the stress of work or need time off to contemplate where your life is headed, traveling should be your answer. Every trip changes you. Big or small. You never come back from a trip quite the same as before you left.

I’ll see you in a week….but I promise not to change TOO much! :-)

Tell us about YOUR most memorable family vacation!

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • What a great post! These are all the reasons I travel and want to see more of the world. I have learned many things in my two years traveling – some which were close calls but mostly about myself. Traveling something I think we all should do thanks for sharing your inspiration!

  • We travel quite a bit. When we get home my mom always asks me if we had fun. I always say it was enriching. Traveling, esp. overseas can be a lot of work but it does really expand your horizons. We’re been to places never in my wildest imagination did I think I would get to such as Israel, Pompeii, Vatican, the Louvre, and the Nile River and pyramids. We like taking cruises because you don’t have to pack and unpack every day and meals and entertainment are included. Cruises aren’t as expensive as people think. The cruise ship companies make their money from selling alcoholic drinks, casino, gift shops, spa, the photographer, side trips off the ship. So go if you can! My husband wants to do all we can before we’re too old. You do see people with oxygen tanks, wheelchair bound people, blind folks, little kids, all types. Everyone is very friendly. Our last ship even had provisions for kidney dialysis.

  • Growing up I did no traveling with my mom. Then at 10 I moved in with my grandma, sadly no traveling… Except when my father had reached out to me I had flown from the midwest to Texas. I also ended up living there for a brief time. On my 18th bday I had been to Texas and my state & 2 bordering states… that was it. After another 4 years, crappy relationship and 2 kids I promised myself I was going to travel, not only me but my kids too. Now @ 30 I have been to vegas & mexico twice and Aruba. My kids have been to mexico one of the times with me and we went to Florida as a family. Also other states to visit family. When my kids write about thier best memories in school it is always about a trip. I’m so glad I started to travel and have got my kids traveling. We try to do a vacation even if it is to visit family every year. I do a non kids trip at least everyother year. It is important to get away from mommy duties too…. taveling is truly good for the soul

  • Great post! I’m an avid traveler, and most people assume that it is too complicated or expensive to travel-especially abroad. It doesn’t have to be…adult hostels, airline miles, hidden deals, traveling during off season, and going off the beaten (touristy)path can make it super affordable. If you have little ones, they can travel for a fraction of the price. We are taking our five month old to Morocco in December, and her ticket was about 200 dollars (within the USA, children under two are usually free if they stay in arms). Tons and tons of blogs are out there for tricks to traveling and traveling with little ones. However, the greatest advantage to traveling is the level of empowerment you feel for getting to and navigating an new destination, especially one where you don’t speak the language. When you come back, it feels like you can tackle anything! Enjoy Mexico!

  • I can’t emphasize enough how important a good Travel Insurance is.
    Make sure you have it before you go.
    What happened to one of my relative was sad, but because she had a good insurance, she got all her hospital bills paid by the insurance. R.I.P.

  • i grew up in a family that took a 2-3 week traveling vacation every summer all over the US. then i married a man from a different continent. travel is a fantastic luxury of the 20th and 21st centuries. there is nothing that makes one appreciate the US more than a trip to almost any other country in the world. no matter how great or humble the quality of life is in another country, the freedoms we enjoy in the US are unequaled. as a child, i always loved traveling. we got to see and do so many things. we mostly camped or pulled a pop-up so nothing lavish – and my mom cooked every meal for all of us to save money. but to see the US from the statue of liberty to pikes peak to mount rushmore to the wonders of florida’s two coasts to so many of our unparalleled national parks – there is plenty to see in this country without ever leaving its borders. but, foreign travel is even more valuable in many ways. now, when i travel, they are more likely to be ‘trips’ rather than vacations since i have family on 3 continents so we visit each other more than spend time in leisurely activities or sightseeing. while i am always happy to return home and to my own bed, i am also almost always ready to hop into a car or airplane again soon. one of my best trips was to europe in 2001, shortly after the terrible attacks on the US. my then 15 yr old daughter and i traveled to paris, rome, and florence to see every work of art we could. lest you think we are rich folks, we are not. she was homeschooled and asked for the trip. she had to pay her own way so we stayed in 1 star hotels and hostels. it was a fantastic trip and was an amazing eye opener to my already well traveled daughter. what is old in this country is so fantastically modern compared to europe and asia. in india, we have friends whose family has lived in the same building for FOUR HUNDRED years. 400! nothing like that in the US unless we give credit to our native population who were cave dwellers and who still reside very close to the homes of their ancestors.

  • I know that this doesn’t exactly fall into the category of reasons to travel but it’s close: planning and/or anticipating a trip can really up your mood. Sometimes the thought of that upcoming trip is just the thing we need to get us through the stressful times or mundane daily living. Then hopefully the trip itself will refresh us.

    We just recently sold our home to be closer to my husband’s job. We left behind a great neighborhood and school. Now we’re just renting (in a wonderful city though) and I decided that this move was going to be about family. Family has always been a priority but before, my husband wasn’t really involved due to long work hours and drive time. So now I’ve resolved to plan family vacations. Saving for them and making them happen is going to be a priority. I want my children to feel excitement and look forward to seeing and experiencing new things and making memories.

  • We had so many great trips! My favorite though is a Cruise we took the week after my oldest son came home for his mission. He was only home 4 weeks before going back to BYU 2,000 miles away. Anyway–we were all together & what I liked most was that our sons just laughed and laughed the whole time. I wanted the trip because I felt it was the last time we would be together as the 4 of us– before the dynamics changed. It was true– not long after number 2 son went on his mission & number 1 son got married.married. That vacation was also great because it was a week before Christmas & so much family wanted to visit with him during Christmas–the trip allowed us to be together non-stop before the holiday rush of visitors. We’ve taken a number of trips since–the family is just bigger now (6). Our most recent trip (with everyone) was just a one day trip to San Fransisco for the Ghiradelli Chocolate Festival. SO worth it.
    Thanks for the chance to reminisce.

  • I just came back from a 2 week trip to Italy. It was a dream come true. I have been saving for a long time and it finally happened. It really does re-charge your battery. The change of scenery, and the wonderful things we saw, was just amazing. What seemed to be dull everyday chores that I have to do, seem not so bad now – the trip really gave me a lift and I feel happier.

  • Our first real family vacation was the summer of 1982 after hubby retired from 20 years in the Army and had three weeks between college semesters. We loaded up the station wagon with two boys (10 & 8), clothes, and a large cooler and headed north through the gold and gem mining areas of north Georgia and western N. Carolina…we all got Georgia clay embedded in our clothes (even our underwear!) and had a wonderful time! We found a roadside swimming hole with a rope hanging from a tree where we had lunch one day.

  • Yay traveling! Buena Suerte en tu viaje. My children – who are twice grown – tell me their best memories are of our journeys (whether it was up the canyon to sleep out under the stars for a night – or a car-trip to Carlsbad Caverns). Best to you.

  • So hope you enjoy your vacation!!! My husaband & I went to the Netherlands about five years ago. Loved it and have so many good memories! So glad we went! Go every chance you get! We can no longer travel due to his health so that trip means alot!!! Enjoy your family while you can, you never know what the future holds! Be safe & looking forward to hearing about your trip!!

  • Great post. Have an excellent vacation!This makes me so excited for my own upcoming trip. I’m going to Mexico this winter for an atmospheric science class. It’s my first time leaving the country!

  • Our family has traveled a lot throughout the US over the years. In the beginning we drove to state parks, national parks and monuments and camped in a tent. It’s not for everyone but we loved our sightseeing and time together especially around the campfire. Later we took advantage of half price hotel rooms available in the Entertainment Book we purchased. Many times we traveled with friends and shared expenses.
    We took our first trip to Europe last summer on a river cruise and it was wonderful!

    I’m always surprised by the people I meet who have never been out of the state. Don’t wait! There are ways to see the country and see the world within your means.

  • I’m SOOO glad you guys are on vacation! I would twitch without at least one vacation a year. The last 4 years we’ve taken 2 per year…one big one (almost always Hawaii) and one smaller one (Chicago, Memphis, Traverse City, etc).

    You will treasure this time forever!

  • Enjoy Mexico!!

    I fund raised and fund raised some more 2yrs ago for my son to go to Washington DC w/the school. He and his friends had a great time. This year I am fund raising for my daughter and I to go to New York in March with a group she is a part of and for my son to go in June w/his drama class. Trips otherwise we would not get to on as a family. Still waiting to go to Yellowstone as a family, its on the bucket list.

    I enjoy traveling and wish I could provide my kids with more of it…. but very thankful for these programs that allow them to go at a much discounted rate and see parts of the country I have never got to.

    Time is short, make the best of it and enjoy every moment possible.

    • Tammy-
      I too am raising funds for my son to go to DC this spring. Let me know if you / want ideas to raise money. 1. I am a fundraiser & 2. I never have to pay anything out of pocket for these trips. Hope your daughter has fun!
      Dawn
      CustomCards3@aol.com

  • I actually have 2 most memorable vacations. One is going to
    San Francisco right before my senior year in us. I had lived there
    As a child. We stayed at my uncle’s. My favorite part was going
    To Chinatown. My other favorite trip was a year ago going to
    Dc area to see my brothers family. My niece had an
    Important event going on. I loved seeing the capital and
    Cruising the mall.

  • I agree with the last one… appreciating home.

    I moved to the beaches of Panama 2 months ago and I miss home SO much!! I am out of my comfort zone. I don’t speak Spanish very well at all, and feel very isolated.

    That much said, I think it is important to get away once in a while, but I don’t think travel helps you to de-stress… it is very stressful in and of itself. :)

    I think when you go to a resort you don’t get much education on the political, geographical or socioeconomic scene of that country you are visiting. Even taking tours you don’t.

    When we traveled to Panama many times before we tried our best to immerse ourselves with the locals. Nope. Wasn’t done. Now, I have a better grasp on it and the locals don’t WANT to immerse themselves on the same level as us. There are two classes here :the haves, and the have nots. Anyway, they accept their stature in life and don’t affiliate with other classes. Very sad.

    But… it is cheap to live here. You should visit one of my favorite sites to see what I am talking about:

    http://www.trypanama.com

    That is a friends’ website that I met when I moved here. She has lived here for 17 years and offers rentals, vacations, and real estate. You can live ok here on $1000/mo. We are right on the beach and our house is huge, comes with a caretaker and guest house, and we are only paying $1000/month. But you can get things a LOT cheaper than that.

    • I totally agree! I posted my response down below then saw that Marcy posted the exact same thing. The nice thing about the anticipation is that it usually lasts so much longer than the trip itself.

    • Planning is almost as much fun as the travel. I can’t tell you how many wonderful memories my husband and I have made while planning our trips to Europe. Of course the trip itself is fabulous also!

  • Enjoy your vacation! Yes you need to unplug. That was one good thing that when I went on a cruise I had to turn off my cell off so I wouldn’t be charged international fees. Don’t worry we will be still be here when you return waiting for your GREAT tips! :-)

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