5 Why You Should Travel Somewhere New in 2020
For as long as I can remember I've always had a list of places I knew I wanted to see before I die. It's always been a list for 'one day'. The problem is, when exactly is 'one day'? This is exactly why you should make good on all your promises to tick off some of those boxes from your own travel list. If not now, when?
Here are five reasons why this is the year you should go somewhere new:
1. There's SO much to see
There are currently 196 officially recognised countries in the world - how many of them have you seen? And no, connecting flights doesn't count.
Whether you're a hiker, a beach bum, a restless nomad or the luxury city-break kind, the world has countless cities, beaches, mountain ranges and hippy trails to suit each and every one of your needs. Why not try the local street food in Asia? Or hike an active volcano somewhere amidst Central America? You could skydive in Dubai? Or explore some of the world's most renowned beaches on the Brazilian coast?
Keep a track of all the places you've ticked off your list by downloading an app which measures how much of each continent and the world you've seen.
2. Travel's the biggest confidence booster
You've lost your way, winding through endless streets and boulevards in Mexico City, the second biggest city in the world, with a population of 25 million. The only way to find your way is to brave your Spanish skills and ask for directions.
You've just landed yourself in a lively hostel in Vietnam's capital, Hanoi and you know nobody. You could spend the next couple of days alone, but you know you'll have a lot more fun if you joined in the conversation you overhear in the common room.
You've signed yourself up for the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, even though you've never really hiked before. You could pull out, or you could tighten your hiking boot laces and take on the challenge of a lifetime.
Is the pattern becoming obvious yet? Travel puts you in situations where your confidence grows from achievements you accomplish every single day on the road. It's pretty much a guaranteed confidence booster.
3. Travel makes the best memories
The best thing about memories is making them. All of us look back fondly on our careless days, on the beginnings of new friendships and romances, on the first time we tried new food, on spectacular views, really long bus journeys, funny moments and even times when things weren't so well. The only way to grow your inventory of good (and bad) memories is to keep making them in unpredictable places.
4. It's outside of your comfort zone
The famous quote "life begins at the end of your comfort zone" isn't just a pretty cliche. Most of us can list the times in our lives we're the most proud of our achievements as times when we took a chance and risked everything against all odds - or so it seems. As someone with a fear of large bodies of water and heights, I will never forget the time when I took the leap off a 15m high bridge into the river below in the name of 'fun'. I was in Semuc Champay, Guatemala, and I knew that if I didn't jump now I would regret it for the rest of my life.
You don't have to jump off bridges to prove you're brave, but why not sign up to do that really challenging charity hike you've always dreamed of? Or book a tour alone? How about trying to explore a city without relying on your guidebook but based solely on your conversations with locals? So take the leap out of your comfort zone - I promise it's the best thing you'll ever do.
5. You're reading this
It's never a good time to quit your job, give it all up and go all intrepid. Saying that, you don't have to quit your job, give it all up and go all intrepid at all - you could just book a trip to somewhere completely new. Wonder what spring is like in Japan when all the cherry trees are in blossom? Or what it's like to spend New Year's watching the fireworks over Sydney harbour?
If you're reading this, you've definitely got the bug, and the only way to cure it is to catch those flights...
If inspiration is your problem, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides and National Geographic have all published their own lists of the best places to travel to in 2018, so the only thing you've got to do is decide to go and the hardest part is over.
By Dessie Nedyalkova
If you are looking to plan the most incredible trip of your life we have a fantastic range of tours, gap year programs, jobs abroad, volunteer projects and 1000's more meaningful breaks in 100+ worldwide destinations. Browse our website today or contact us for specific help.