Why Travel is the Best Investment You Can Make

What’s more informative than formal education, more stunning than the loveliest photo and more full of truth than what you see on the nightly news? Why, travel of course. Think about where you’ve been and what you’ve seen. From Myrtle Beach to Hawaii, to everywhere in between and beyond: what wonders.

I remember a lot of my travels, but you know what I don’t remember? The cost of what it took to get there. We’re firm believers that travel is worth infinitely more than what you put into it. So how do you quantify that? Not through dollar signs, but in experiences and wellbeing. Here are five reasons why travel is the best investment you can make:

Travel broadens the mind.

There is more than one way of thinking, doing and living. Only by traveling and visiting other cultures do you get a sense of what makes this world so truly amazing. And while you’re building a tolerance by immersing yourself in the differences of others, you find a common ground of understanding. It’s a beautiful thing. One man started traveling the world and connected with each culture in one of the most endearing ways possible: dancing.

You might have seen his videos before, but the more you watch, you see that he’s visited places such as Iraq and Afghanistan and had the same result. People were delighted to dance with him no matter where he went. We get perceptions of how the world is through media and fiction, but it’s oftentimes a completely different story once you’re actually there. Read and watch as much news as you want; true tolerance can only be found through travel.

Travel is ripe for making memories.

When members tell us why they joined Global Discovery Vacations and what they like about it, their responses usually go back to family and making lifelong memories. Traveling cuts out the mindless routine of your daily life – work, school, housework, etc. – and allows you to focus on your loved ones. As we’ve heard from members time and time again, the moments you have while traveling with family and friends is priceless. Beyond that, you gain a sense of fulfillment once you return home. If you make the most of your travels, you’ll someday ask yourself, “Did I really do that?” You bet you did.

Travel enriches your health and happiness.

You can’t work nonstop and expect to live a very functional life. Balancing work and leisure is crucial for our wellbeing, so force yourself to unwind and explore the world outside. As a recent addition to our Member Monday survey questions, we ask members why traveling is important. Many members are quick to mention the mental escape traveling provides. When you step away from the fast-paced life for a bit and come back after some enlightening vacationing, you feel refreshed and refocused. It might sound odd, buy you can accomplish more in life by doing a little less work.

The world has endless wonders, many of which you can't see without traveling. This impressive room is the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Mazatlan, Mexico, courtesy of member Richard R.

The world has endless wonders, many of which you can’t see without traveling. This impressive chamber is the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Mazatlan, Mexico, courtesy of member Richard R.

Travel reinforces your perception of home.

If you ever grow tired of where you live, feellike you’re unwanted or are going through something of a midlife crisis, traveling can bring everything to perspective. First, it can tell you if indeed you are where you belong. I mentioned this before: After visiting six cities in the span of a few months, it helped reaffirm that nothing could match the barbecue, history and sports history Kansas City had to offer.

Second, spending time away from home has somewhat of a healing effect. Upon returning to the comforts of your own bed, your personal troubles might seem less daunting. Lastly, just like any relationship, space allows you to breathe. So if you’re tired of going to the same attractions and restaurants near your home, get a taste of what another city has to offer. That break may be just what you need to appreciate home.

Everyone needs a place they can call home. Go somewhere, anywhere, and you’ll see how well it fits.

Travel gives you a new appreciation for the planet.

Middle-aged couple stood on secluded snowy mountain

Have you seen the world we live in? I mean really. It’s nothing short of a miracle. The majestic waterfalls throughout Puerto Rico, the awe-dropping chasm of the Grand Canyon, the colossal glaciers of Alaska. The delicate flower petals, the jagged mountains, even the ever-changing sky. And oh, the animals! We breathe the same air as giraffes and penguins and snakes. Have you seen those things? They might as well be from outer space!

Every being and natural wonder plays a pivotal part in our life and it all adds up to one thing: Earth. We’re all constantly spinning around the sun, so enjoy the ride. If you don’t think you have anything left to discover, I will tell you this: Oh, what places I have been. Oh, what sights I have seen.

Travel’s return on investment extends further than any of us can comprehend. All you have to do is go through your photo albums, souvenirs and memories and ask, “Was it worth it?”

Corey is a writer from Overland Park, KS, and has been with Global Discovery Vacations since September 2013. Once a sportswriter, he traveled the country and became proficient in airport security line etiquette and leaving items in hotel rooms.