Why Every Man Should Travel
“The well-traveled man tells better stories, draws more connections, and even knows more interesting toasts than the man who stays at home.”
The sense of adventure is alive and well in every single one of us, whether it’s the thrill of the hunt, the hike, or the holiday from work. Some men, however, allow this yearn for exploration run wild, and it changes them forever. Traveling the world is an unfulfilled dream for many men, and here’s why it should go unfulfilled no longer.
The Sharp Gentleman is a well-traveled man. He knows the value of seeing the world through the eyes of a man out of his element, immersed in another culture, language, and landscape. More than great backdrops for your photo journal, traveling provides more than a few things you can’t get back home. Here’s why every man should travel…
1. Trade stories with new people
One of the greatest aspects of traveling is the chance to meet new people and trade stories. You are a story being written with every step you take, and meeting another person to share a moment with can be a pretty cool experience. Maybe you’ll meet a local in Spain that has the most amazing sense of humor, and you both laugh and share drinks all night. Maybe another traveler will cross your path and you’ll be able to provide advice or insights from your experience, and learn about his hers as well.
Remember to keep your mind open to new people and new experiences when you travel. If you’re a single gentleman, you may find just the right female companion in one of those amazing places you visit. Now wouldn’t that make for a great story to share back home?
2. Best local food.
No matter how great your city’s version of “Chinatown” happens to be, it will never be the same as actually grabbing a bite to eat in Beijing. No matter what people in California might tell you, “Chicago Style Pizza” from anywhere but Chicago is blatant false advertising. I highly advise you eat what the locals consider to be their best. can you imagine traveling the world and only eating at McDonald’s in the various cities? That’s a damn shame.
In many countries, there are customs and traditions when it comes to meal time. If you’re in Italy, for example, don’t expect eggs and sausage for breakfast, or super fancy American-style coffees. You’re getting Cappuccino and Cornetto (croissant-like bread). In Germany they will rarely eat with their hands (if ever) so don’t expect to find (let alone share) any finger foods. Both countries, however, have a wealth of incredible foods and traditions to share.
One of the bonuses to enjoying the local cuisine, is the opportunity to break bread with locals. A meal is always made better (or worse) when shared with friends. Meet some interesting locals and expand your palate, and your mind, with the best food and drink that destination has to offer.
3. Checkmark on the bucket list.
Let’s be honest here, most humans have “travel t0 ________ (insert one or more destinations)” on the bucket list. Actually making the trip and seeing the way the world works from another country or side of the globe is another thing entirely. But, simply traveling to your dream destination isn’t the challenge; rather, the hard work, planning, saving, and actually following through with it – that’s the hard part. You’ll gain discipline, focus, and self-reliance when you plan and execute the big trip, once and for all.
4. Leave your comfort zone.
Not to sound too cliché here, but there is a saying about your comfort zone, and I could not agree more. Life begins outside your comfort zone. The area outside your comfort zone – that’s where the magic happens. When you’re out of your element, you’re forced to endure the discomfort of the unfamiliar, and it makes you a better man.
Tony Robbins says, “If you can’t, then you must – and if you must, then you can.” Think about that for a second. We all make excuses for why we can’t seem to be, do, or achieve something. If we can’t do it, then we must do it. If we have to, then certainly we can. When you’re out and about in a foreign place and things are unfamiliar, you learn to adapt very quickly, think on your feet, and make connections faster. If you never venture out, you’ll never know how savvy you might actually be.
5. Challenge yourself.
Traveling is an enormous challenge, but it’s not due to travel restrictions or lack of convenience. I mean, you can get on a plane right now and fly around the world, provided you’ve got the cash to do it. The reason traveling is such a challenge is technology, schedules, and finances. Technology allows us to travel, but it also keeps us tethered to our work. If you’re checking emails and messages on the phone every 5 minutes, when are you ever going to find the time to get away for that dream vacation?
When you commit to taking that big trip, you also commit to taking the steps to make it a reality. You accept the challenge of putting work down and getting your finances in order by saving for the trip. You commit to clearing time in your schedule to be “radio silent” for however long you plan to be away. The challenge of traveling can be daunting, but the rewards can be magnificent. A well-traveled man knows the challenges, and face them with vigor every time.
6. Change your perspective on “home”
An amazing thing happens when you travel. You appreciate what you have back at home a little more. Sometimes it’s due to all the incredible experiences you have, and sometimes it’s due to the complete lack of excitement you have when you’re traveling (that’s not a very good trip), but at some point you’ll close your eyes and think of home and remember all the things you appreciate more than all the things that drive you nuts.
Another side of the coin happens when you discover a new place, new people, and a new perspective in the world, and it changes the way you define home. Suddenly, you discover you might actually find comfort in this strange new place. “I like it here. I think I’m going to stay and make a home here.” Those that say they could never leave their home town often discover that they actually can… if they find a place that makes them feel comfortable. Traveling is a great way to discover a new ‘home’ or maybe even a second ‘home’ in the world.
7. Build confidence.
Traveling is one of the greatest confidence builders available. The fastest way to build confidence is to put yourself into a situation outside your comfort zone (maybe one in which you’re in over your head), and see yourself through it. Being out of your element and taking action anyway builds more character than anything else out there. Imagine being in a foreign country and trying to catch the correct train to your hotel on the other side of the city – and you don’t speak or read the language. The rewards of being able to adapt and communicate through barriers and frustration are huge. When you tell your story back at home, you have permission to say, “When I arrived, everything felt impossible, but I picked it up pretty quickly and had an amazing experience.”