Staycations have in the past few years become the most popular alternative to vacation travelling. No wonder: staying at home for the holidays is cheaper, safer and easier. So, it only stands to reason that back-porch vacations and poolside holidays are becoming the new trend for middle-class Americans, especially in light of the recent economic crisis. However, there are some very specific reasons why travelling will always remain a better alternative, despite the cost issues and any possible inconveniences. First of all, travelling involves experiencing with your own senses: seeing, touching, hearing and smelling the new, unusual and unique atmosphere of places you visit while on vacation. If someone described to you what a new ice-cream flavor tastes like using a hundred words, but instead you could choose to simply try it yourself, would you have preferred the description or the experience of your own? It is the same with travelling.
Unlike watching Discovery Channel or National Geographic, reading about exotic places on somebody’s blog and watching even the most colorful and fun podcasts about travelling, actually visiting the place is ten times more powerful of an experience. Plus, you get to form your own opinion about what you see instead of just watching it through the eyes of a documentary director or through the lens of a photographer. Secondly, travelling is arguably the best source of inspiration one could think of. Even if you have been to the place a few times already, the next time you visit it the impressions can be yet very different, have a new spice or a fresh hint, since the weather, your mood and the people you come across will be different, and your impression of the place can change radically or just become fuller and more holistic. To me, travelling always brings new discoveries, whether they are discoveries of the outer worlds externally or discoveries within yourself.
And, in this regard, travelling can be the best cure for depression, the feeling of inner perplexity and fears for what future may bring and where you are heading. Sometimes, a vacation to a place you have never been before or know very little about can do a lot more than just broaden your knowledge and inspire new emotions. It can change your whole life perspective and cause you to revise your life values. So, no wonder that a lot of people return from vacations as completely new persons and never come back to their old lifestyles. Finally, travelling means meeting new people. Unlike staycations, that normally evolve around the same group of people you are already on good terms with, travelling brings together at times absolutely different people, from various cultures and backgrounds.
Travelling is always a chance to get to know others better and to learn to adjust to new traditions and other people’s lifestyle. While on the road, you can meet someone you would never get a chance to meet if you stayed within your comfort zone, at home or with a group of people you’ve known for ages already. Travelling is always a chance to make new friends and change the cycle of the everyday routine that you’ve gotten trapped in over the years. All in all, there is always a place for discussion of whether travelling is worth the money you will spend on it or is it simply better to save up, spend your vacation at home and stay within your comfort zone.
Sure, travelling may seem like a challenge – it needs a great deal of planning, a decent budget, and a certain enthusiasm and willingness to challenge yourself. But those who have the courage to follow their dreams and overcome any obstacles will always find a way to pursue a hobby they like. And if you feel that overwhelming desire to see a place far away, don’t let the fears take over your dream. Having once travelled, you will probably never again ask yourself whether to spend your vacation at home or travel – staycations will simply not be an option.