Travel is life! The world is a big and incredibly diverse place, full of new cultures, languages, tastes and smells, why would you consciously choose to stay only in your little corner?
Exciting and adventurous as it can be though, there are some downsides too. Travel writers rarely mention the delayed flights and buses, the cockroach-filled hotel rooms or the exotic kinds of illnesses that can strike unexpectedly.
Either way, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. To get you in the mood for your next trip, we here at Bored Panda have collected a list of the best and funniest travel memes. Scroll down below to check them out for yourself, and bon voyage!
Do you travel as much as you'd like to? For some people, it's easier than others. For example, the United States is the only developed country in the world without a single legally required paid vacation day or holiday. For those on lower incomes, this makes travel a luxury that can rarely be afforded. In contrast, every country in the European Union has, by law, at least four work weeks of paid vacation. This is one of the reasons that only 36% of Americans own a passport, meaning that 64% never leave their home country. Given that travel is supposedly able to make you happier, more open-minded, creative and intelligent, this is bad news for Americans all round, and explains rather a lot.
Writers and other creative people have been inspired to do some of their best works by travel. For example Ernest Hemingway, who headed to Spain and France to discover an exotic and dangerous way of life that came out thrillingly in his stories; and Mark Twain, who sailed the Mediterranean in 1869, and wrote that travel is “fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” Who are we to disagree with these American greats?
Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School told The Atlantic that scientists have been proving what we know intuitively when we travel: That the new sounds, smells, language, tastes, sensations, and sights spark different synapses in the brain and may have the potential to revitalize the mind. “Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms,” he explained, adding that it's not simply to act of being on foreign land, but something deeper. “The key, critical process is multicultural engagement, immersion, and adaptation. Someone who lives abroad and doesn’t engage with the local culture will likely get less of a creative boost than someone who travels abroad and really engages in the local environment.”
I guess it's all about getting out of your comfort zone. Being forced to adapt to unfamiliar surroundings is bound to be beneficial in a multitude of ways, and as a migratory species the urge to move is in our blood. Think of the epic tales of migration in our religions and literature, the explorers who found new lands to settle on, as far as the tiniest, most isolated islands in the vast Pacific ocean. These tales inspire us to discover, to be curious, to meet our fellow human beings and to understand that, despite what the TV might tell you, we are one and the same. We share the same hopes and dreams, we can form lasting friendships across cultures and deepen our appreciation for ourselves as well as our planet.
Speaking about getting out of your comfort zone Bored Panda spoke to Rodrigo, who, together with his wife, runs the super-informative travel blog Out Of Your Comfort Zone. He shared some insights into what he gets from his ultimate passion. "Above all, traveling has helped me learn…a lot! But not just “textbook” history," he told us.
"Traveling has given me a broader perspective of the world around me and helped me see how things connect and what my place is in it all (which I’m still trying to figure out!) It has let me meet people with different cultures, customs, and views of the world. This has made me more tolerant and challenged many of my own perspectives. I’ve found that when you have a coffee or a beer with someone from the other side of the world, you can easily see that we are not so different after all (despite what part of the media & some politicians tell us)."
"Altogether, traveling has gotten me out of my comfort zone, has challenged me constantly, and has given me numerous experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. All of this has molded my personality and I believe it has developed into a better person."
"And if nothing that I said above about traveling was convincing, I met my wife (well, she wasn’t my wife then) in a hostel while we were both traveling on our own. And if that’s not enough to say how awesome traveling has been for my life, then nothing is."
So what are you waiting for? Get out of your comfort zone and explore our wonderful world!