“How do you rate your life? Out of ten what would you give yourself?”

In my travels, I’ve asked this question to a lot of people. Most people rate their lives at about a six or a seven. Above average, but don’t we all want a score of ten out of ten? To squeeze every last drop of excitement, adventure, peace and love out of lives. We want to find and live out our passions. Is your score out of ten increasing or decreasing? Are you better or worse off than five years ago, or have you hit a plateau.

Among many things such as relationships, money and health, travel is vital to a full and exciting life. A life well travelled is a life full of experiences, fun and adventure. As religious leaders, writers, philosophers and explorers such as Moses, Henry David Thoreau and Howard Carter travel into the wilderness so can the everyday traveller. You might not come back with the Ten Commandments, great works like Walden or an amazing archeological discovery but it will transform you.

Travel to new and exotic places challenges your brain, firing neurons that you’ve never fired before. This expands and opens you mind to new and exciting possibilities. Travel makes you wiser and smarter, not just with general knowledge but in dealing with people from different walks of life.

Travel will impact all your relationships for better and for worse. Distance makes the heart grow fonder they say. Some relationships back at home will grow stronger upon your return. Other relationship might wither away; maybe these relationships weren’t all that much to begin with? Travel can distill you friends into a close mix of loyal and loving friends and family. You’ll of course meet many new friends on the road. The shared interests and comradely of fellow travellers is unparalleled anywhere. Maybe in the army or navy, I suppose, but these are under vastly different circumstances, i.e. under enemy fire compared to being on vacation! 🙂 With airfares so cheap these days and with email or Facebook, it is easy to stay in touch and visit new friends. New friends can fast become old friends in this day and age.

In contrast, the solitude of travel can still broaden your mind. Travelling by one’s self can be lonely at times, however this can lead to healthy introspection. Surrounded by a strange culture, language and country can highlight what you do know – your own experiences, knowledge and true self can shine like a beacon in the dark of night. Healthy introspection (as apposed to becoming an old hermit) can transform your mind and bring acceptance of one’s own faults and flaws whilst bringing pride of one’s own achievements and accomplishments.

My recommendation is get out there and see the world. Don’t be obsessed with how others travel – hike your own hike as it were. You don’t have to listen to everyone and travel with this particular airline or only stay in those types of hotels. Do it your way and you’ll have a great time and transform your life. Go get it! Get that ten out of ten.