Travel and why its good for you
Updated: Mar 27, 2020
Planet earth – our home. Filled with 7.5 billion familiar faces, 6,500 languages, 4,200 religions along with an abundance of culture, nature and other life forms. This rich diversity has ignited curiosity across the human race, leaving people to fulfil their destiny and explore. #Travel has been part of human nature since the beginning of time. A time when there was limitless possibilities to your end destination. However, today there are restrictions and sadly not everyone has the luxury to explore so freely.
Why? I don’t see any borders, do you?
Whilst most of the world has been free to roam up until the latter half of the 20th century – defined borders on the European continent have been established for thousands of years. So where did it all begin? Historically, exploring pioneers established new lands which led to new settlements subsequently growing over time into empires. The more people travelled, the more knowledge was gained. This knowledge enhanced trade, developing riches and creating power. With this combination of factors came the emergence of The Roman Empire and the development of an army for the purpose of protecting established lands along with the conquering of new ones. When The Roman Empire collapsed in the 6th century, it created a power vacuum throughout Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and a surge of chaos for years to follow. People were divided and this is when territories were formed.
Whilst territories may exist on paper, they don't have to amongst each other. Barriers between people and cultures should be broken down to open the possibility to explore new lands first hand and take things back to how they were originally.
A brief history...
Travel has played a key role in our evolution. Humans have been nomadic since the stone age – with the first nomads venturing out of East Africa, wandering vast lands in an effort of survival. Overtime these first travellers started to colonise other parts of the world because the domestication of plants and animals removed the need to search endlessly for food and water. With these civilisations came a flow of food, people and time. This enabled us to begin living, not just simply surviving. These pioneer explorers set the standard for travel and made history by demonstrating our ability to adapt to new environments.
Whilst settlements catered to all human needs, the desires to explore continued to simmer. This simmering curiosity inspired people to develop innovative technologies to assist us to better move around. First came the wheel – but without suitable roads to travel on, the sail boat came along shortly after. It was the rivers and oceans that provided a better surface for longer journeys. With the ability to move faster and further, civilisations were growing on all corners of the globe. Travelling became infectious across the increasing population – more and more people set about to explore.
As cultures began to develop in established civilisations all over the world, the goal of travel was no longer to search for a suitable settlement but the need to satisfy the desire for #adventure and #knowledge.
The unknown inspires us to explore it’s characteristics first hand. Our curiosity overcomes the fear of the unknown, we need to see to believe and understand our world. Any successful voyager that was fortunate enough to return surely returned with a new discovery and a wealth of information. Overtime, this huge jigsaw puzzle was mapped together, piece by piece, one adventure after another.
We have to thank, in part, the Islamic Golden age for the collection of knowledge about the world. Muslims craved knowledge and sought to expand their minds and their territories. Scholars strived to document everything that was then known about the world – from medicine to astronomy and philosophy to architecture. The more people travelled, the more doors opened between eastern and western societies and the depth of knowledge expanded and differing traditions could be documented.
Our ancestors may have travelled out of curiosity to the unknown. As the unknown became known, our curiosity became motivated with the need to know more and more and more. Understanding every crack, every cravat and seeing the truth behind the stories that had been previously told. Thanks to the early explorers, a lot is known about the earth and how diverse it is but todays travellers are curios to experience this diversity for themselves. To understand, to learn and to grow.
The start of the Gap Yarr
When the Roman Empire collapsed, a period known as the dark ages followed. Eventually stability was regained across Europe, yet there was a wash of nostalgia and thoughts turned back to the ancient civilisations that once thrived. With this renewed interest in classical civilisations came ‘The Renaissance’ era and the #GapYear was born. The gap year – a privilege for the wealthy to develop the education of English Aristocrats. First hand experience could be gained and opportunities to socialise in neighbouring countries perfecting foreign languages.
Thankfully, the industrial revolution opened up the possibility for such opportunity to those lower down the social ladder. The railroad was welcomed making travel accessible to a wider group. Then came aviation facilitating the ability to travel far and fast to experience the #destinations that were once just a dream.
So, why should you travel?
Since the first man, as humans, it is clear travelling is part of our destiny. We have travelled far and wide to reach where we are today. It has facilitated innovations and it demonstrates our adaptability. If curiosity isn't a trait of yours, there are so many reasons on why you should travel. There are benefits for the body, the mind and relationships.
1. Travel makes you smarter
2. Travel increases confidence
3. Travel lets you have fun
4. Travel makes you get to know yourself
5. Travel opens your mind
6. Travel enhances creativity
7. Travel improves interpersonal skills
8. Travel makes you more tolerant
9. Travel decreases stress
10. Travel creates memories of a lifetime
Whilst there are still some limits that are evident within #OurWorld – our collective curiosity has evolved and proved to be limitless. It is clear our destiny as a race is to explore and travel has been something we have done exceedingly well for thousands of years. With a number of famous voyagers in history returning back from their excursions with new discoveries, new stories and new knowledge – it only inspired the confidence to keep going. Without those early pioneers, we would not have the wealth of knowledge about the world. And without todays pioneers – the future will continue to be unknown.
Today, with the availability of the internet, our world has become instantly accessible. Our window of the world through a screen is not good enough to satisfy our curiosity. This digital age should not replace our travel experiences but be used as a tool to enhance and facilitate. The map in our mind can be created from second-hand information but blank spaces will always remain until you indulge in that first hand #experience.