The Contemporary Traveler!
Updated: Apr 5
If you are at all present in the world and see cheesy movies then you must know that traveling is all the rage now. Young people want to work hard not to settle but travel the whole world. With the ever-improving technology and an exponentially increasing access to it this, once a herculean task, has now become a relatively smaller one.
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But what is it that attracts the Gen-Y and the Gen-Z people to travel? Is it the cheap airline tickets or the affordable railways fare? Is it just an overly spread out viral challenge? What is it that traveling does? If at all it does anything.
After traveling to more than a dozen places, ranging from beaches to mountains and deserts to forests myself, I’ve developed strong opinions on this issue. I do not claim that the reasons I am about to give you are right, but I know that they make sense to me, and are true to my very best knowledge.
I think that the current scenario is so not just because of several individual factors but a long list of reasons intertwined in a very complex web structure.
I also want to be clear on the fact that I will be as elaborate and clear as possible to explain properly what I am trying to convey.
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Starting from the first question which pertains to the appeal traveling has for the younger generation, the answer is very clear. We are at the meeting point of technological revolution, globalization, and the culture of risk-taking. Individuals have developed this curiosity which has effectively changed the culture of settling down to the tradition of trying and testing out things before. The younger generation is not interested in the old ways but wants to try out new things. The individuals want to witness different cultures, traditions, cuisines. They feel that they are part of something much bigger than their national identity. They feel that they are truly a part of this greater society and not experiencing each integrant of this beautiful and magnificent global village is inherently sinful. The elaborate interconnectedness which allows a person to reach from one place to another in just a matter of days is also a compelling reason. Adding on to this are the massive drops of the prices of airline tickets, and railway fares across the world. Traveling or vacationing is not just a rich man’s dream, but well within the grasp of the middle class as well.
But, in all this reasoning we have forgotten about the most important element. The growth of an individual’s personality, the change in his character, his perception after traveling is not only apparent but can-do wonders for him.
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The first thing that comes to mind is that it increases happiness, boosts confidence and morale, and improves self-satisfaction. It provides you with an outlet to bust out your stress in a productive manner. Traveling to a foreign country also exposes you to different cultures and norms which also helps you to rewire your brain, making you more perceptive and provides a much-needed change from your mundane and monotonous lifestyle. In the expressive words of writer Patrick Rothfuss: A long stretch of road can teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet.
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Traveling to someplace new and unknown can simultaneously make you feel intimidated and excited which in turn helps by making an individual more adaptable to a difficult situation and teaches them how to deal with them. This imparts the ability, to a person, to mentally and emotionally deal with tough situations. It makes them more flexible in difficult situations and also allows them to operate far beyond their comfort zone. Traveling to different places also stimulates creativity. Interacting with the local culture allows you to subsume different and previously unknown stimulants that increase the depth of your thought and productivity. Traveling also can make you realize what is important in your life. It helps you figure out what you want rather than let you continue to do what is expected of you. It teaches you how to make decisions and then prepares you to face the consequences of your actions.
Traveling is also responsible to help you find yourself; this sui generis personality dancing to the rhythm of his soul in a sea of banality. It helps you realize that you are unique and your thoughts matter, your ambitions matter and that you play an important role in this grand and carefully woven tapestry, known as the universe.
Last but not the least, there is also no denying the fact that traveling makes you more interesting and sexier. With several funny, adventurous and life-altering tales to tell, it automatically puts you on top of the dating pyramid. It will make you look young, radiant and carefree. Traveling with your partner also helps to strengthen your relationship as the much-needed carefree time is hard to get, and if you are a solo traveler then it provides you with ample opportunities to take selfies at picturesque locations.
Photo by Taras Zaluzhnyi on Unsplash
So, in the end, I hope that I have answered most of the questions related to the culture of traveling and the reason for its boom. I hope that what I said was sound and made sense. If it did not, do not worry, more is yet to come. Also, I would just like to say that even though I have listed several reasons supporting the fact that traveling is good for an individual there might be some people who wouldn't believe me or choose to experience this on their own, to them I say “Be an open-minded person and then make your decision. A decision that will change your life. Go ahead! See the world, Explore different cities, experience different cultures. Trek in the mountains, swim in the ocean, make sandcastles on beaches. But do travel; travel like it is the end of the world. Travel like there is nothing else left to do.”