Travel is not easy. With all the dreaming, planning, saving, and then taking the giant leap towards something that is out of your comfort zone and filled with endless potential problems, it’s a massive drain of resources.
For some people, traveling is not high on the list of priorities, and you may be wondering “what is the purpose of travel?”
Well, there are some huge benefits of traveling, it’s not just about seeing new places and meeting people in different countries.
In this guide, I’ve answered what is the purpose of travel and listed all the benefits of travel and the reasons why travel should be on everyone’s priority list.
The Purpose of Travel
Travel can serve many different purposes, from relaxation and escape from our daily life, to finding the thrill in adventure. You can also use travel as an educational tool, for cultural exploration and learning experiences.
Travel is a gift of adventure, discovery, and thrill and I never want it to end.
We named our blog y Travel for a reason. It’s because travel is about the WHY moments. Everything in life is about the why. It’s the fuel that drives us forward.
WHY do I get up at 5am every day to do a job I hate? WHY do I stay in a relationship that doesn’t serve me? WHY do I have no hobbies and interests?
“If your WHY is not big enough, or strong enough, or clear enough for you then you will NEVER achieve your dreams because the sacrifices will loom too heavy.”
This is where travel comes in. It allows you to break free from your daily routines, discover new places, and gain a fresh perspective on life. It allows you to discover your WHY that’s important to you.
WHY have I never noticed the smell of rain on a hot pavement? WHY have I been worrying about losing my job, the future is uncertain? WHY haven’t I tried making ceramics before?
Travel allows you to take a step back from your normal life and contemplate it from an outside perspective. It can broaden your horizons, expose you to new ideas and ways of living, and of course, create lasting memories.
Benefits of Traveling
If you’re not convinced why there is purpose to travel, then perhaps the below benefits of travel will inspire you to hop on that plane…
1. It Allows You to Live a Good Life Filled with Rich Memories
First and foremost, I’m about living a good life. As Deacon Claybourne would sing,
“At the end of the day
Lord I pray
I have a life that’s good”
I don’t want to look back and know that I wasted my finite, precious years on earth living a life that does not fill me with joy and give me years and years of incredible memories.
That’s all I want from life and travel gifts that to me.
As a result of my years of travel and knowing THIS was the only life for me, it has gifted me the opportunity to create a thriving business that I LOVE so much.
I spend my days doing what I love and encouraging other people to live a good life and do what they love.
Oh yes. That is WHY I travel!
2. Connection: to Self, to Others, to Mother Nature, to Life
If I’m not traveling it feels like I’m trying to drink water through a straw with holes in it!
I find it hard to connect to anything: joy, wonder, discovery, relaxation the list goes on.
Travel is a return to yourself and to life.
Because travel is constantly exposing us to new authentic experiences it’s so easy to stay connected to the present – the only place life exists.
Travel offers me greater opportunity to connect to Mother Earth – if you follow our travels you know we are always playing in nature. As you’ll see in my points below, it helps me find so much peace, joy and wisdom.
Through travel I can better connect to myself, my values.
I understand more of who I am and what is important to me, so I have more freedom to pursue only those things.
That’s where true freedom lies. Not in the ability to pack a suitcase and travel wherever you want, but to take that suitcase towards the things you value most.
Living a life that connects to those values is what will bring you true joy.
Travel helps me connect to those I love.
A year ago, we traveled for a month with my parents. I helped them connect to many of their dreams visiting places like:
The connection I had with my parents over those shared meaningful experiences and memories contributes to living a rich life.
It’s all that matters.
We spend 24/7 with our kids, but lately we’ve been traveling with friends, and they are out playing all day, and when they return I give them big hugs.
“I feel like I haven’t seen you in ages. I miss you so much.”
That’s the deep connection travel has given me with my girls. I feel I truly know them, not just know them but actually enjoy their company.
I’m not sure the busyness of a normal life would give me that. I have many people questioning my sanity traveling with the girls full time and ask how I do it?
It all comes back to understanding the value of the experience.
It helps me overcome the very real challenges of traveling full time with your family. For now, the rewards of traveling with them are greater.
3. Travel Allows For Constant Learning and Growth
From a young age, I’ve always had books in my hand, participated in courses and sought out spiritual native wisdom to help me live a good life.
I just found the exact book I had when I was younger and is in a box in my mother in law’s garage the other day. I bought it for the girls and it thrills me that they read it every day!
Travel helps me to continue to learn about nature, other cultures and different belief systems.
You only know what you know.
The more you expand on what you know, the more enriching your life becomes and the better YOU ARE.
Lessons from Nature
The more I travel with Mother Nature the better I can understand the cycle of life.
How everything has its interdependent place and perfection can be created with patience and time.
I now not fear the low periods in life as I know it’s just a part of the cycle where I am absorbing and changing and gathering all I need to soon enough blossom again into a better version of me and life.
Learning from Life
The more I travel the more I realize I DON’T know.
Just the other day in the swimming pool showers, I kept hearing this strange noise like a washing machine that people were standing beside.
My friend informed me that it was a swimsuit dryer. You put it in and it spins really fast for about 20 seconds and dries your swimsuit!!!
Of course, living in Australia, we’d never have anything like this as the sun dries your swimsuit pretty quickly! You only know what you know and there is so much more to learn about life.
Is there a greater way to learn then to be out exploring the far corners of the earth and learning through first hand experiences?
Bugger the classroom and the school books.
I am amazed and delighted each day watching my two girls thrive as a result of our travels and what they learn and how they engage with the world around them.
When I think of them one day possibly returning to school, my energy becomes restricted and quite ill.
I know that the box of school will take away the natural wonder and awe and curiosity they have with learning on the road.
We don’t do any formal schooling with them but their knowledge of the world is phenomenal and their imagination and creativity is still in tact.
Learning About Yourself
The more you learn about the world around you, the more you understand yourself.
Understanding yourself is the most powerful thing you can do.
With that knowledge you can go out and create greatness, hatred and envy will disappear from your life and you will be an expansion of love, tolerance and joy.
“Only when I know who I am I can honor those different from me. Only when I honor those different from me can I be truly civilized”
Anne Wilson Schaef
4. Travel Allows for Expression of Joy
I spoke to my energy healer and spiritual mentor friend Belinda about it. I felt quite unworthy, or self indulgent to have created a life that involved me traveling all the time.
I knew that we were helping thousands of people go reach for their dreams and create amazing travel memories with those they loved, but I still felt like that me spending my days feeling joyful was a terrible thing!
She helped me overcome this by saying,
Caroline, the very purpose of life is to experience joy. You will do so much more for the world just by doing this. Think about what you can spread through the world just by being an expression of joy.
It made so much sense to me.
I travel because it helps me express my JOY. And that in turn puts a powerful energy back into the world and all those I come in contact with.
When I travel there is so much I can feel joy about.
All of the points I have listed in this post as to why I travel, help me to experience and express joy – the most powerful emotion we can experience and the true purpose of life.
Joy is a completely separate emotion to happiness. Don’t confuse the two and don’t pursue happiness over experiencing joy.
Happiness depends on external circumstances and can change at a whim.
Joy is a state of being that you can feel even when you don’t experience happiness!
For example, my daughters could be driving me crazy about one thing or another, in that moment I don’t feel happy at all. But in the same moment I can look to the side and see a red desert wildflower in an orange sandy field and exclaim, “Oh my goodness, look at how beautiful that is.”
If you weren’t joyful, and only focused on the pursuit of happiness, you’d miss that connection to the simple things that can let you express joy even when you feel unhappy with current circumstances.
Joy is a state of being and an inner outlook.
It’s who you choose to be despite what is going on around you.
I don’t think joy is a normal or natural state of being for most visitors. I stand corrected. It was when you were a baby, but you know how that story went.
Amongst the chaos and stresses and routines of everyday life it is more challenging to experience and express joy.
But travel can make it much easier, and in the process, hopefully, allow you to return to your natural state of being for life.
Choose Joy. Choose Living a God Life.
5. Travel Makes You Wonder/Awe at the World
“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.”
It is difficult to stay connected to wonder and awe when you live a “normal’ life.
The reason being is that we’re usually operating on comfort and routine. We’re not doing much to discover newness. With that newness comes wonder.
That’s why if I am not traveling, I’ve always felt a little dead inside.
It’s because my connection to wonder has been harder to find. Now I understand the importance of wonder to feeling alive, I seek it out in my everyday life when I am not traveling.
But experiencing the newness that comes with travel is an easy portal to standing rapt in awe and feeling most alive.
Wonder and Awe begets joy, love and gratitude.
All of those emotions will set your life on fire and create endless opportunities to feel more of these things.
6. Travel Leads to Vibrant Health
When I travel I feel vibrant and healthy.
It’s because we tend to travel with a focus on outdoor experiences. The weight strips away and my body hardens with each new hike, bike ride, and kayak trip.
My mental and spiritual health is also usually high, which contributes to overall vibrancy.
My travels aren’t without challenges and occasional stresses, but I feel I can pass through them quickly, easily reset and return to wonder and joy.
How can you not, when after a day of mad hustling to fix the trailer, do some school work, and tidy up some loose work ends, you hit the orange and pink rocks and cliffs of Utah and come across a stunning arch like this…
It can be difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle on the road, but when I put in the effort I feel better than I ever would when I’m not traveling.
7. Travel Allows You To Return to Humility
There is nothing more humbling than sitting under a big sky in the expanse of a desert.
Nothing can hide out there. everything is stripped away to reveal truth.
The grandeur and mystery of a sunrise, sunset, expansive horizon, towering mountain range, vast ocean, and night time sky makes me feel small and insignificant.
I don’t mean this in a way to feel bad about my worth and existence. It has the opposite effect.
It helps me to feel magnificent. Because in this smallness I am apart of something so great.
My ego – that part of me that needs to feel large and superior – diminishes, and I’m left with just the part that is ego free. The true essence of peace and love.
I feel humbled, yet powerful.
I feel like I’m being guided on a path to amazing things and if I can just let go of controlling that I can let the stars guide me to that greatness.
It also helps me to see that on that path to greatness I am not alone, I am always being helped by others. We all stand on the shoulders of giants and I love how staying connected to the wonder and awe of travel helps me appreciate that.
Let the stars help you remove your ego and return to humility.
8. It’s the People You Meet that Teach You Compassion, Acceptance, Tolerance
I don’t think there is a traveler you haven’t heard say this. It’s not cliché, it’s just truth.
Travel breaks down the barriers of fear and hatred.
The greatest travel memories I gave usually are surrounded by the people I have met and spent time with. Sometimes it is people from my own culture, many times it’s not.
Being a foreigner offers me endless opportunities to engage with others and learn. It’s incredible how much my Australian accent opens up doors of conversations.
As an introvert, who also loves meeting people, this is hugely helpful for me as it makes the initial outreach so much easier.
My suitcase of memories with others is so full:
- the Swedish rock climbers I met in Thailand who helped me discover the joy and power of physically stepping out of my comfort zone
- being a private English tutor for a Buddhist monk in Thailand
- my beautiful Bangkok friends who took us in as family and showed us Thai culture
- the Muslim wedding that invited us to sit in their backyard and celebrate with them
- teaching the Irish Minority in Dublin and barely understanding a word they said but gaining so much joy from their cheeky smiles (hear about that in podcast episode 2)
- the Masai warrior in Kenya who guarded our tent at night
- my Ugandan hero who protected me from falling off the back of the pickup truck winding up the muddy path on the way to see the mountain gorillas (we share this incredible story on our podcast episode on Uganda travel)
- my London flat mates from Ireland, England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Italy, and Zimbabwe who we had two years of fun and laughter with.
What a good life.
And now, at a time, when the USA is perhaps not seen in a favorable light by the rest of the world and the stories that reach them, I can confidently say,
“Wait a minute. No country is perfect and there are some things that can be improved on. Australia also knows that. However, I’ve never encountered more warm, curious and friendly people in my life. It’s one of the reasons I’ve chosen to live in the US.”
I love that travel has given me the opportunity to speak for truth.
The power that has given me in spreading the message throughout the world that most people are good. The news will speak a story through the eyes of fear, hatred and ignorance.
I can tell you a story based on 22 years of interacting with people from all walks of life.
Most people are good. Most people are loving, kind, warm and friendly. Most people want good things for you. Most people want peace and love and laughter in their lives.
If you’re not sure of that because of what fear will tell you, I urge you to go travel more so you can learn it for yourself.
9. Travel allows you to see what you’re capable of
Traveling can be an incredible way to challenge yourself and break out of your comfort zone.
When you’re in a new place, surrounded by new surroundings full of unfamiliar sights, sounds, and people, you have to be adaptable and open to new experiences, and this can be daunting, especially for first time travelers.
Whether it’s trying new cuisines, navigating unfamiliar transportation systems, getting to a different city, or communicating in a foreign language, travel requires you to step outside of your usual routine and take risks.
By facing these challenges head-on, you can gain confidence and develop new skills that can help you in all areas of life.
It allows you to try new things that you wouldn’t normally do at home. It can be as thrilling as bungee jumping or skydiving, or as simple as taking a wildlife safari.
Ultimately, travel can be a transformative experience that allows you to overcome obstacles, which in turn pushes you to grow and learn in unexpected ways.
10. Being exposed to new cultures makes you more empathetic
For most people, the purpose of a trip is to see new destinations and be exposed to new cultures.
This can be an incredibly powerful way to develop empathy. When you immerse yourself in a different culture, you gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and experiences that other people face.
You may learn about the traditions and values that shape their lives, or witness firsthand the struggles they navigate on a daily basis.
By doing so, you can begin to see the world through their eyes, and develop a greater sense of compassion and understanding.
This exposure to diverse perspectives can help break down stereotypes and biases, and ultimately lead to more insight, empathy and connection between people from different backgrounds for a lifetime.
Final Thoughts on The Purpose of Travel
Travel involves huge sacrifice. In order to make travel a reality, acceptance of the sacrifice is a must.
Otherwise, it will be too hard, you’ll be too tired, there’ll be too much to be afraid of and you’ll always see it as being too expensive.
On our 18-month road trip around the US, there were many moments I wanted to pack it in and go home.
With endless winter, endless travel trailer maintenance, a heavy workload (including homeschooling), and finding a way to parent without messing up your kids (I’m sure the parents reading this get it) exhaustion often walks beside me.
But, I don’t quit because something will happen that will remind me of WHY I travel.
It can be a simple moment, like Savannah’s sudden shock at seeing the flamingos standing with one leg and asking why they don’t have another.
I’m reminded that I get to stand in these moments with her as she absorbs the world around her.
I get to see how she thinks, what she’s learning, and how she’s growing.
It’s like I become a child again and awe and wonder become the forefront of my perspective.
Then it’s the bigger moments like zipping around in an ATV in Utah over the brilliant orange sand dunes amongst some of the most spectacular and colorful desert backdrops I’ve ever seen.
Disclaimer: This blog post is written in partnership with our sponsor Allianz Travel, who apart from helping to keep your investment in travel safe, are committed to helping you connect to those very important reasons for travel.
You can share those reasons with Allianz using the hashtag #ITravelBecause and #TravelHappy.
All thoughts, ideas and opinions in this guide are our own.
More Travel Inspiration
Need more guides to inspire you to travel? Then you may find these other guides enlightening…
- 10 ways travel can uncover who you really are
- How to achieve your goals and change your life for good
- 9 ways to unplug from the chaos and plug back into life
- Travel Manifesto – 10 Principles to Create Awesome Travel Every Time
- Mixed bag of emotions about Life after travel
You’ve got time + the end of a 22 year nomadic life
Thoughts on the end of our 18 month Australian road trip
Dealing with reverse culture shock
You can listen to our travel podcast where we share how we’ve travel work for every stage of our life. Plus more tips and interviews and life lessons!
- Episode 1: Solo Travel and Working Abroad before we met
- Episode 2: Our 5 year honeymoon living and traveling the world
- Episode 3: The Dark times and Birth of the girls and travel blog
- Episode 4: Embracing Family Travel and our 18 month Australian road trip
- Episode 5: Getting a green card and traveling the US (our dream realized)
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by our partner Allianz Travel (AGA Service Company) and we have received financial compensation as ambassadors, though all thoughts, ideas, opinions are our own.
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Why do you travel? Let us know in the comments.