We don’t always need a purpose for travel, but sometimes it can help to justify the investment of time and money. If you need inspo to find your ‘why’ here are seven legit reasons to pack your passport and go.
1. Trace your roots
Imagine designing a trip that follows the journey of your ancestors from where it all began to where your family is today. Online genealogy tools and improved access to historical records have made it easier to discover the origin of those bizarre family traits and track pedigrees that span countries and continents. If it seems daunting to do on your own, specialist operators can help trace your family tree and arrange private guides or group heritage tours of towns and regions.
2. Indulge your interests
No matter your hobby or passion, there is a global conference, congress or convention full of people who love it just as much as you. From weekend workshops to international exchanges, dance enthusiasts are spoilt for places to salsa and swing. Lovers of science, fiction and fantasy gather at annual UFO, Steampunk and Faerie events, while others delight in discovering the stomping grounds of famous authors and artists. Treasure hunters scour maritime wrecks or look for one of the 3 million active geocaches hidden in 191 different countries across all 7 continents. If you need help identifying your interests, there are plenty of subcultures to explore.
3. Teach your kids
Bring history, culture and environment lessons to life and give your kids a head start on becoming global citizens. Museums, galleries, nature reserves, science institutes and places of significance often provide educational programs designed for children. Whether it’s a weekend camping trip or a visit to NASA, travel can offer an interactive, memorable and hands-on learning experience unlikely to be replicated in the classroom.
4. Rest and recuperate
The world is bursting with bespoke wellness retreats, back-to-nature experiences and detox destinations designed to relax and recharge. From silent meditation in Bhutan, yoga in Portugal, massage in Israel, or sleep therapy in Thailand there is a self-care activity on offer perfect for you. Many cater specifically for women travelling on their own and provide a safe space in which to enjoy the experience. If your budget doesn’t allow for luxury overseas escapes, look out for local suburban retreats and wellbeing collectives that offer low-cost options close to home.
5. Get the competitive edge
If you are going to run, climb, sail, paddle or ride for hours on end it may as well be somewhere spectacular. Destination sporting events attract competitors and spectators to some of the world’s most beautiful and toughest environments. For an extreme challenge, sign up to the 6633 Artic Ultra and experience the windiest and coldest ultra distance footrace on the planet. Marvel at the Dolomites and the Alps as you whizz through during the Three Peaks Bike Race, try your luck in a novice triathalon event, or throw caution to the wind and race a Tuk Tuk across India.
6. Master another language
If you still don’t know the difference between una cerveza and deux bières its time to ditch the ad hoc classes and surround yourself with native speakers. Sign up to an intensive language school, stay with a family and do as the locals do. Daily practice will increase your confidence and help you to get the hang of common phrases and colloquialisms. Watch TV, read newspapers and try to resist helping eager locals practice their English.
7. Live like a local
Who knew taking a holiday could save you money? Book a long-term accommodation option in the low or shoulder season instead of expensive hotels. Explore the place as if you lived there rather than spending coin on entry fees to touristic spots. Buy fresh food at the markets, learn how to prepare local dishes yourself and pack picnics to avoid splurging on takeaways. Use public transport and walk or cycle the streets to discover the quiet nooks and quirky features. Make an effort to meet people who live and work nearby and join in community events. Search local guides for free activities and make the most of public spaces such as parks and galleries.