“Travel is the one thing that you can buy that can make you richer.” Sounds cliche, huh? It is, but it’s so true! The experience that you have and the people that you meet when you travel give you insight into other cultures and ways of life that you wouldn’t normally get if you stayed inside your comfort zone.
Now, I am far from rich. I’m a nurse who’s also in school, so I just work occasionally. Because I’m not raking in the cash, I really have to put thought into what I spend my money on. When I was younger, I used to have a big thing for expensive bags and gadgets. I used to buy out a clothing store for no other reason than that I was bored. And, sure, it made me happy in that moment. I was ecstatic to go home and try on my new clothes or wear my new bag, but what I noticed was that the “high” that I got from those new things quickly faded. Day by day that shiny, new gadget just became a regular, old electronic; and each time I wore it (if I ever actually got around to wearing it at all) that new dress or pair of shoes lost its sparkle. The fuzzy feelings slowly dwindled until my new stuff became old stuff and took its place in the bottom of a drawer. The money that I’d spent on that stuff was gone, and the stuff had became worthless. Quite frankly, in most of these situations, I wish I’d had my money back.
But one thing I’ve realized that I have never regretted spending money on is traveling. Each experience that I’ve had has been worth every penny and then some, because unlike tangible things, the memories that I make while traveling will stay with me forever. The experiences that you can have will mold you into a different person. You can learn new languages. You will try new foods. You will learn and experience first hand different cultures and religions. You will make friends around the world! Overall, it has the potential to make you a more curious, tolerant, and accepting person. I can’t remember the last time a new dress did all that! Traveling also has a way of making you a more adventurous person. When you travel to a new place, you are stepping completely out of your comfort zone and doing things that you normally wouldn’t do if you were at home. The excitement of being in a new place may inspire you to conquer a fear, and the fact that that fear no longer has a hold on you will give you a confidence that will stay with you forever.
For me, the choice of whether to spend my money on a trip or new stuff is a no brainer. Your stuff will get old. It will break. You can lose it. It will eventually lose its value. But one thing that you will always have that will never lose its value is your memories.