Why travel abroad? Four reasons I want to travel the world…

Why travel abroad? - NZ Muse - reasons to travel the world

Why travel abroad? I’ve been thinking lately about why travel is important to me.

After all, it’s easy to look at beautiful pictures of mountains, or buildings, or beaches, from the comfort of your own home. Heck, sometimes you’ll get a better view that way. Often monuments are underwhelming in the flesh, or dirty, or crowded, or hard to see from the ground.

That said, wanderlust is in my bones. I want to see these places in the flesh. Breathe the air. See the colours. Taste the flavours.

Travel for the food

We get pretty good Asian food in New Zealand, being in the Pacific. That said, I want to eat authentic Vietnamese and Thai noodle soups. I want to try genuine Greek and Italian food (which we don’t get so much of here). I want to eat real Mexican, French pastries, In-N-Out Burger, and churros in Spain.

Travel for inspiration

It’s basically impossible not to be inspired by the sights you’ll see and the people you’ll meet. Write, photograph, paint, draw – whatever your vice, you will find fresh creative fodder on the road. Hand in hand with inspiration (at least for me) also comes sheer contentment. I  As a rule, I’m deliriously happy when I’m travelling. It’s the feeling that I just can’t believe how lucky I am to be where I am at any given moment, and am constantly pinching myself to make sure it’s real.

Travel to get some perspective

Basically all the couchsurfers we’ve hosted have said how much they’d like to live here and that they could see themselves staying in New Zealand if they could get a job. It is a beautiful country, and it’s hard for ME not to get caught up in their amazement and awe myself. You get to see your country through new eyes. Conversely, when you’re the visitor in someone else’s country, learning about their customs and laws and environment and culture, you will either learn just how lucky you are to live where you do, or see its shortcomings more clearly (or a bit of both). Travel helps you clarify what’s important to you. Broadening your horizons = personal growth.

Travel for the memories

Some of my fondest memories are from the road. Wandering Sydney’s suburban streets. Walking along Bondi in bare feet, and getting strange looks for it. Trying not to lose my shit as I fell 15,000 feet from a plane over Queenstown. The meeting of sea and sky in one glorious palette at Kaikoura. The crystal clear waters of Rarotonga. Freezing my ass off on the walk to Fox Glacier. Drinking from a waterfall at Milford Sound. Spotting penguins in the Catlins. Cursing the squawking ducks on Lake te Anau. Photographing the whooshing geysers at the Pancake Rocks, and feeding weka in the carpark. Getting lost in Mt Aspiring National Park, and stopping to climb the rocks at Hospital Flat. The hidden charms of New Chum’s Beach and Cathedral Cove. All the better, almost all of these are shared experiences with T that I won’t forget.

It’s likely bad things will happen along the way. You’ll miss a bus or run out of petrol or lose a memory card or get food poisoning … but it’s all part of the experience. Think of the stories you’ll tell when you get back.

Overall, travel is always an amazing experience for me, and it’s always worth it.

That’s why I want to travel the world.

26 thoughts on “Why travel abroad? Four reasons I want to travel the world…

  • Reply Michelle February 28, 2013 at 07:37

    Just voted! I love traveling, and I wish I could do what you’re doing. There are just so many things I want to do right now. Now sure if that’s good or bad haha

  • Reply Linda February 28, 2013 at 08:27

    When I think about the places I want to travel or that I’ve enjoyed the most, food is definitely a big part of them!

    I’m surprised that I was the only one to vote North America as a favorite. We have such amazingly beautiful natural places and vibrant cities! The Grand Canyon, Big Sur coast, Florida Everglades, and Canadian Rockies are some of my favorite places in North America.

    Places that I’m hoping to get to before I die are Argentina, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. The right opportunities just haven’t presented themselves yet, but I’m sure they will.

    • Reply eemusings February 28, 2013 at 09:13

      Let me know if you ever visit NZ! Would love to meet up and offer you whatever accommodation we have spare.

    • Reply eemusings February 28, 2013 at 09:14

      Let me know if you come to NZ! Love to meet up and offer you whatever accommodation we have spare.

  • Reply mochimac February 28, 2013 at 09:12

    North America is great to visit — Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, East Coast (Nova Scotia), Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, California in general, New York City, Chicago, Boston.. these are all beautiful places.

    But my heart is still in Europe. Always will be.

    • Reply The Asian Pear March 3, 2013 at 06:40

      Ditto. I love Europe. My favourite countries was the UK but I also adored France.
      But my favourite most memorable place in the world?
      On a rooftop patio in Florence, Italy, with 10 other backpackers drinking beer at night. The most gorgeous view before us. (Mind you the scuzziest hostel I’ve ever stayed but truly the most magnificent site.)

  • Reply Amber February 28, 2013 at 09:40

    Yes to all of these – especially food!

    I also want to travel because when I do I feel like I’m part of something much bigger. Reality feels a millions miles away and I love that feeling. I would love to do a long-term trip one day, but it’s not in the cards for us right now. But we’ll keep taking our 1-3 week jaunts wherever we can fit them in!

  • Reply Girl Meets Debt February 28, 2013 at 11:08

    What I would GIVE to travel the world for 6 months like you and your fiance are planning to do!!! I’ve only travelled to Mexico and Las Vegas so far and would love to go to many more places but sadly it is something I have to forgo until my debt is all paid off…

  • Reply krantcents February 28, 2013 at 11:32

    I try to travel overseas every two years. We generally go to Europe although I had to cancel a trip to Asia thanks to my school schedule changing. I particularly enjoy the food and culture when I travel. The people are always a bonus.
    Living in southern California, In n Out Burgers I take for granted. I used to be in the burger business (Fatburger) and In n Out is pretty good, but my Fatburger was better. I sold it years ago.

  • Reply Holly@ClubThrifty February 28, 2013 at 12:25

    I love traveling! I love seeing new people and experiencing other cultures. I love trying authentic local food!

  • Reply Sara February 28, 2013 at 12:51

    In my future life (like 3-5 years from now) I hope to be able to take a fabulous vacation every year. I just love seeing new places, eating new food, and taking in all different kinds of scenery.

    My bucket lit is…EVERYWHERE! But, I’ve been to Europe and Asia already, and I think I would like to visit a few new places before repeating. Then again, Liam hasn’t been anywhere so maybe I’ll let him pick the locations for the next few trips.

  • Reply Michelle February 28, 2013 at 16:17

    I have visited a lot of places-but, I’m always up for more! Love hearing about your upcoming adventures.

  • Reply Sweet Mama M February 28, 2013 at 19:41

    I’m so glad that we’ve pulled the trigger on our Melbourne trip – so excited! I don’t think we will ever do the extended travel that you are planning on, it’s just not our style, but we are looking forward to crossing different countries off the bucket list as the years fly by.

  • Reply Kylee March 1, 2013 at 03:16

    I’ve traveled, but had to scale back since having children.
    But, I left NZ when I was 22, and came back when I was 27. My experiences overseas shaped who I am, how I look at the world, and gave me a better tolerance, understanding and empathy for other people.

    Plus the food was REALLY good.

  • Reply Brian March 1, 2013 at 03:53

    I’m a bit obsessed with Europe, I love it there. That said, the food in Singapore was amazing (I went on business last year). I want to do some of the major cities in Asia (Tokyo for one) But a lot of the SE Asian countries have too many bugs for CF’s taste :p

  • Reply My Shiny Pennies March 1, 2013 at 04:08

    I agree that food is a big motivation for traveling. It’s also wonderful to experience cultures and landscapes completely different from my own. Growing up in Nebraska and now living in Illinois, all I know is flat terrain, corn fields, and cows, ha. I’ve got a long travel bucket list, but on the top for me is the Galapagos.

  • Reply Mo' Money Mo' Houses March 1, 2013 at 09:54

    Agreed! Food I love and perspective I always get after traveling someplace new! Now I want to go to Europe really bad!

  • Reply fabulously frugirl March 1, 2013 at 15:37

    I have been privileged to visit many different continents and countries so far, but I always love it. Each trip is different and I try to incorporate lessons learned from previous trips, not only in the destination, but also how I can enjoy it more.

    For some reason, I do a lot of thinking when I travel. There’s just something about being alone in a completely new place, and reflecting on my life at that time. I’ve come to some pretty serious revelations while being in a new country.

    Can’t wait to read more about your travels!

  • Reply Janine March 2, 2013 at 10:26

    I love travel and I think it’s amazing that you are taking this time off to see the world. One day I hope I have a similar opportunity to you! I can’t wait to see what sorts of things you see on your adventure! How exciting!

  • Reply The Norwegian Girl March 3, 2013 at 05:50

    it´s like reading my own thoughts about travelling. Whenever I visit a big city the best thing I like to do is just walk around town and just experience the atmosphere, the people, the architecture.. ah, I just love the travel bug!

  • Reply anna March 12, 2013 at 13:34

    I love traveling and exploring other ways of life – it makes me respect and feel fortunate living in the U.S. so much more. When you’re in So Cal, In-N-Out is good, but try to go for a Slaters 50/50. Absolutely delicious!

  • Reply Erika April 28, 2013 at 02:19

    Great reasons for traveling!!! 🙂 The foooooood. Yum. Authentic food is one of the best parts for sure!

  • Reply Charlie May 26, 2013 at 14:03

    That’s it, travel might not always be easy but it’s the experiences you have and the memories you get to keep that make it so irresistible. Oh, and the food. For sure the food!

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