“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.” Terry Pratchett
I love to travel, I love to meet new people, see new things, experience new cultures. I am curious about everything, and excitable. I have never become jaded...I seek that thrill, that little something extra which waits around the corner. I realize that not everyone is a traveler, but you don't have to go far to find some adventure or a new outlook!
1. Adventure takes you out of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is...comforting, but it does not give you the opportunity to stretch yourself, to grow. It is important to challenge yourself, see something new. When you step out you achieve something...instead of stagnating you are moving, you are active. (Your comfort zone really does not exist, you know. It is a comforting illusion.)
2. Adventure can help you conquer your fears. It doesn't have to be a big adventure. Afraid of water? Learn to swim! Afraid of heights? Climb a hill, or better yet, go to a vista point at the nearest national park. Fear is paralyzing...so get up and move. If not now, when?
3. Adventure introduces you to new people, or at least gets you out of your zone so you can observe active, adventurous, or different people! Head to the nearest lake and watch boaters, paddle boarders, kayakers, picnickers! Have you ever gone on a hike? How about to an art museum? I live in Dallas, and haven't been to the Perot Museum yet! Shame on me.
4. Adventure introduces you to different cultures and new perspectives. The culture you live in isn't the only one, you know! Ever thought about doing volunteer travel, especially abroad? These trips are not expensive, and you usually get all of your meals plus a place to stay. Airfare is reasonable to Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, and many other places. Volunteer travels can be eye opening and have a major impact on your life by showing you how others live, think, and do things. These volunteer trips are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. I went on a volunteer holiday to Tofo, Mozambique in 2012, and I can tell you I learned more than I thought I possibly could, not only about Africa, but about myself. In September I'm volunteering in Ecuador, photographing manta rays for identification and study. I am so looking forward to it! There are trips for every taste, be it teaching children or diving or digging wells or teaching people skills for making a living. There are many ways to make a difference!
5. Adventuring can be a little scary, and that's a good reason to do it! We fear what we don't understand. Travel can educate you and make you see the world in an entirely different way. It challenges you to learn about yourself, to learn the history of other countries or peoples, and learning to understand, even if you don't agree, is the path to knowledge, and hopefully, wisdom.
There are many ways to challenge your mind, body, ideas, and abilities. I have often traveled alone, but traveling alone to Mozambique was a completely empowering experience for me. I blogged about the trip in my blog categories Adventures in Mozambique and Dive Adventures in Tofo, Mozambique on www.travelswithtam.com/blog. Everything is not always rosy, especially in the developing world. But there is beauty too...when you look. It opened my eyes, and also gave me confidence that I could achieve and go and do whatever I wanted to. Maybe a little travel, even if it is just an hour away, can do that for you as well.
My cousin in Ohio told me once that he had never been west of Indiana. He had no interest, he said, what else is there to see, what's the point? I stood with my jaw hanging open, because I really was confounded. What else is there to see? An entire world, that's what! If you are reading this blog, you must enjoy traveling, or want to travel, so I'm sure you can understand my complete astonishment! I think Mark Twain said it best:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
I have some favorite volunteer travel agents and agencies such as All Out Africa, Kaya Responsible Travel, the Giving Lens (a great volunteer program for photographers)....there are just so many! Get out there on Google and google away! Start by googling this: adult volunteer travel programs. Why not see the world and make a difference at the same time?
Tam Warner Minton
It's the Journey!
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