Travel has always been seen as a luxury for the rich and upper class primarily because prior to now, travelling was more expensive and it wasn’t a norm. Now, travelling is more affordable with people willing to explore not only faraway lands of the western worlds, but also places right here in Africa. With this being said, here are a few reasons why every Nigerian should travel.
1) Creating a Travel History
Creating a travel history is so important, especially for Nigerians/Africans who require visas to visit countries in Europe and the Americas. With each stamp of your passport, you’ve given the embassy interviewer / reviewer of your documents some guarantee that indeed there is a 50% probability that you’re just an honest tourist who wants to enjoy the sights and sounds of that country and that you will leave when your time is up. Speaking from the point of view of a Nigerian traveler, trust me, it is important. When I go to apply for visas at any embassy, I’m usually confident I’ll get it. Why? A little bit has to do with the fact that I’ve visited different countries and I’ve always returned home. I’ve learned that having easy access to many countries as a tourist is a lot better than living in one of these countries as an illegal alien.
2) To Extend Your Life Span
A 9-year study performed by Professors B. Gump and K. Matthews, as documented in Psychosomatic Medicine, Journal of Biobehavioral Medicine, suggests that the mortality of middle aged men suffering from coronary heart disease was greatly reduced in those who frequently went on annual vacations than those who didn’t. The journal concluded that vacationing may actually be good for one’s health. There you have it, traveling can save your life.
In light of this new information, seeing that vacationing is not a popular practice among a lot of Nigerians/Africans, everyone – men and women alike are encouraged to travel more to guarantee longevity. Traveling not only gives you an opportunity to rest your mind and your body but you also to experience a different culture, a different landscape, a different way of life. This is what living is all about and travel gives you just that.
3) It Turns You Into a Story Teller
Everyone loves to talk about themselves, we all know it, and traveling brings out the story teller in you. Even those who don’t have a way with words can hijack a conversation simply with “I remember when I traveled to…” and have a few people, if not everyone, green with envy whilst they share their stories. Travel stories can turn a seemingly ordinary person into a demigod all in the space of a few words. Hence we say it again, travel because your stories have the capability to turn you into a superstar overnight.
4) Traveling is Learning in Motion
You’ve probably heard the expression “we learn something new every day”, well with traveling you live in that expression. Travel teaches you lessons that you can never learn in the classroom. Travel teaches you about the real world and the people that dwell in it. As you explore new places, experience a different culture and meet new people, you learn new things and form new ideas. During and after travelling, your perspective on life, how you see the world and interact with people of the world will change. Slowly but surely you’re evolving. People who travel get to see life from a different point of view.
5) To Reinvent Yourself
Traveling broadens your mind, exposes you to the other side of life and give you the opportunity to rediscover and reinvent yourself in a foreign land. Mark Twain said “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness”. Travel changes you into the newer, better and more conscious version of yourself. While solo travel pushes you out of your comfort zone and provides you with the opportunity to get to know yourself better, traveling with a significant other or a group strengthens the bond between the parties.
All in all, whichever way you choose to travel, you return a different, more enlightened you. Mark Jenkins said “Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.”
Bonus, & The Most Important Reason to Travel: You Deserve It
Yes you do, and you know it. You see, sometimes the best way to give yourself a treat, is to splurge on a vacation. You’ve worked hard all year, paid all your bills (or most of it), your credit is in good shape, how else do you pat yourself on the back for a job well done??? Travel. Why? Because you’re worth it. There is so much of the world to see and so many things to do, you have to realize and understand that you were not born to pay bills and die. Besides, you only live once, why not make the best of it and pamper yourself while you still can. All work and no travel, makes one very dull individual.
Picture credit: my2itchyfeet
“Hi…my name is Tute (Tutay-Cutay) Ehinlaiye and I am an adrenaline junkie & a “travelholic”. I am addicted to traveling and I am not ashamed to be called “Dora-The-Explorer”. Everyone who knows me knows I just cannot sit still and that’s how “my2itchyfeet” was born. So far, I’ve traveled to about 21 countries and been on 4 continents all on my Nigerian passport and my list keeps getting longer. My number 1 bucket list item is to set foot on all the continents in the world, yes even Antartica, so….wish me luck. I implore you to come and join me on this amazing journey and see the world through the eyes of Tute-The-Explorer”