When you're a 20-year-old student, stressed over assignment deadlines, busy trying to make yourself more employable, and balancing the general chaos of university whilst maintaining a social life, travelling around the world is probably the last thing on your mind.
For many of us that weren't lucky enough to travel around South-East Asia on a 'gap yah,' travel seems like an unattainable luxury. However, there are a few people who manage to spare some money and find the time to travel, often jetting off to Berlin during reading week or planning a flat holiday to South Africa for the Easter holidays. So if they can do it, we can too, right?
Travel does not have to be a luxury; even on a student budget, you can choose to prioritise travel instead of spending £200 online shopping. While those new pair of shoes may seem more worthwhile than a trip to Milan, it is more important to choose to travel.
If you still need convincing, here are some reasons why travel should be one of your priorities:
1. Travel is cheaper than you think. There are plenty of blogs and websites dedicated to perfecting the art of 'budget travelling' that can help you find the best holiday destination for the cheapest price.
2. Travel improves your health. According to a study conducted by The Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA), stress levels significantly reduce within two or three days of taking a trip abroad.
However, if you're worried about travelling with mental health needs, follow this advice to prepare yourself for time abroad.
3. Travel is knowledge. Visiting world heritage sites, museums and even taking selfies with popular landmarks can improve your knowledge of the world more so than other forms of education.
4. Travel is the antidote to ignorance. You will gain an unfiltered perspective of other countries and their cultures when you travel abroad, instead of simply watching the world through a polarised lens. It is important to familiarise yourself with the laws, customs and cultures of other countries to establish mutual respect and understanding. Check out this list which tells you all about the laws, entry requirements, customs, and much more for over 200 countries!
5. Travel connects people. Whether you're spending a year abroad or only a few days in a new country, pick up a pocket phrase book and start conversations with people. Being able to communicate and build a rapport with people who come from different cultures helps you build a sense of trust, and is definitely a handy skill to have in life!
6. Adventure awaits. There's only so much you can do in your hometown before you've done it all and now you're bored. Travelling is the best way to experience more in life. From bungee jumping in New Zealand, visiting hidden beaches in Mexico or going on a wild safari in South Africa, be adventurous and build a life that is full of memories. But remember, safety first!
7. Food. Need I say more? Food is always worth travelling for.
Before you travel, always make sure to research beforehand as your time abroad is best experienced when you're safe and prepared. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides an A to Z list of country-specific advice and foreign travel checklists to ensure that you are #TravelAware. You can also sign up to email alerts for the latest travel news.