Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard
There’s nothing like traveling someplace new. The normal and mundane become exciting again simply because your surroundings have changed. But before you know it, your few days or week-long vacay is over and it’s back to reality.
I’m here to say if you have the opportunity for an extended stay (a month or more), you should definitely do it. If you follow other bloggers, such as myself, who’ve spent a considerable amount of time in one country, you’ll find that regardless of the location, there are several things that make living abroad so amazing. So here are my top 5 reasons why an extended stay is what you’ve been missing:
- Language acquisition. You could spend forever pouring over a copy of Spanish for Dummies or you could just visit a country where Spanish is spoken. Of course, this applies to other languages as well. There’s nothing like conversing with a native speaker in real time to finally get a grasp on those concepts you’ve been struggling with.
- Forever Friends. For the most part, people love meeting travelers visiting their country. They want to know where you’re from, why you decided to come, what places you’ve seen in their country, and so on. And not just natives either. You may be as lucky as I was in Costa Rica and meet people from around the world. Travel has a way of bonding perfect strangers and making them into lifelong friends.
- Independent Wo(Man). The longer your stay, the more likely it is you’ll be rolling solo. Which depending on your mindset, can be a good or bad thing. I’m an optimist, so I tend to see the positive. If you’re open to the experience, it’s a chance to discover the unexpected, meet amazing people (see #2), and see what you’re really made of (outside of your comfort zone).
- A New Perspective. Travel also has a way of making people humble. Of making you realize you’re just one small being in this great big world. That despite how much you think you know, there’s still so much more to learn. That differences in language, culture, religion, etc. don’t have to be barriers, but opportunities. All you need is an open mind and a willingness to listen.
- More than just souvenirs. I truly believe that when you travel you carry a piece of that place with you wherever you go. I’m referring to the intangible. Cherished memories and even better, great stories to share with friends and family. Who knows? Maybe you’ll convince someone to follow in your footsteps and have a travel adventure of their own.
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section. I’ll be back soon with more new content.
* Psst. I’ve updated my social media! Follow me to keep up with Tola the Traveler 🙂