Why Travel Should be MandatoryBjorn | Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 | 9 Comments »
Here’s my Part II on Lifestyle Design. To recap my last post, I am taking the Tim Ferriss definition of Lifestyle Design and fully embracing this quote from the 4-Hour Workweek:
“Gold is getting old. The New Rich (NR) are those who abandon the deferred-life plan (living the rat race until retirement and then trying to live it up when you are old and wrinkly) and create luxury lifestyles in the present using the currency of the New Rich: time and mobility. This is an art and a science we will refer to as Lifestyle Design (LD).”
For this post you’ll have to allow me to be absolutely dogmatic about the mobility element in Lifestyle Design. Here’s something I believe with every fiber of my being: Travel should be required of every able-bodied person on earth.
It is one of the best ways to gain perspective
Travel is one of the best ways I know to hit the reset button in life. Being away from the familiar and mundane, being exposed to new things is like an injection of objectivity for your life. As soon as the plane leaves the tarmac I am able to sever contact with my day-to-day life for a while and reflect on what is going well and what isn’t. It is very liberating. Some important decision making and fat cutting can happen when I leave it all behind for a while. Try it.
It does not cost a lot of money – lack of funds CANNOT be an excuse
Here’s the thing: You do not need to be rich to travel. To experience the beauty of travel you don’t need to go far. A simple relocation will do. Go to a different town and walk around. Sit in a cafe and think. Meditate. Drink in the differences. Even overseas travel doesn’t have to be pricey. There are volumes of books written for the budget traveler. There are options for heavily discounted travel and free accommodation. Stop making excuses for yourself. You can do this. It is not that difficult. You can travel in style for WAY less that you are spending per month in your apartment… but that is another post.
It is the antidote to small-mindedness.
It is impossible not to have your perspective grow from travel. Most of the narrow-minded people you meet are people that never experience the education of travel. They don’t want to be reminded of the fact that they are from a very little pond. They can’t deal with different rules. Different ideas. New ways of seeing things. Don’t join the ranks of these ostriches, burrowing their heads in the sands of provincial oblivion. You can do better.
It teaches the value of experience
Experience is a currency that not a lot of wealthy people are rich in. Often, those that have prioritized accumulation of wealth and traditional careers have sacrificed time and attention for these status symbols of yesterday. Experiences are a far more valuable currency than cold cash. Experiences are what we remember. Experiences cannot be bought. They are forged through the correct use of time. They require courageous decisions to embrace better priorities.
It shows other ways of being human
One of the best things about travel is the fact that it exposes you to other cultures that show you ways of life that can be extremely valuable. Travel allows you to learn from these cultures and incorporate them into your own lifestyle. You can treat world cultures like a buffet – you get to pick and choose the best of the best. Some of the most interesting people out there are people that have successfully fused the highlights of a several cultural traditions. They are CultureMutts:)
It makes you a better person
It is hard to travel and not be edified by the process. It is often a spiritual experience to be on the trail. Life as usual is life on autopilot – not particularly enlightening or challenging. It is lazy living. Don’t settle for this. Determine to grow. Determine to become better. Determine to travel.