Travel only has value if you let it change you

One of my favourite things in life is travel. I have been very fortunate to have travelled quite a lot one thing I have noticed though, is that not all travel is equal. Some experiences have a greater impact than others. Sometimes this is just the rhythm of travel, but at other times it is because I let some experiences be more meaningful, and seek to be open to how the experience can change me.

It is (relatively speaking) easy to travel somewhere and see only the city lights. You can end up at restaurants that mainly serve tourists, take pretty pictures of the same vistas as everyone else, get stamps in the passport, and leave. That isn’t my idea of travel, and one that I don’t see as having particularly more value than just staying home.

The deeper, richer experiences come when we stop and allow ourselves to absorb the context of the place around us. The colours, the smells, the patterns in the walls. Noticing where people gather, and where they do not. What if we allowed these places to change us, to open our eyes and shift our perspective on the way things are?

I believe the value of travel comes when we stop and open our eyes. Intentionally. Actively demolish pre-conceived ideas, and allow ourselves to be surprised and moved by what we see. Be prepared to wander away from the city centre.

There is one more thing to keep in mind when talking about travel: this concept works at home just as effectively as abroad.

Open your eyes and discover what the world has to teach us. Value comes when we open ourselves to change. The value of travel is in letting it change you.