A few days ago, I posted my thoughts on why traveling is overrated (as well as location independence), particularly from a financial point of view. My premise is that what comes down to it, traveling is another form of entertainment. When people spend money they don’t have in order to travel, yet view it as some type of more “acceptable” big expense than other forms of entertainment, it’s a waste. Additionally, people that spend large sums of money to travel to far flung places, and do so even partially in order to compete with others and have bragging rights, it’s downright silly. I said this from the perspective of one who has traveled a decent amount.
Well, not long after posting that article, I got an email from a reader with his own persepctive. I was glad to get the email, and with his permission, I’m sharing it here:
I usually (often) agree with you, but today, I believe you are way off the mark with travel.
If the context is showing off, keeping up with others, spending beyond one’s ability/budget, status, or so-called entertainment, I can accept your hypothesis, but I strongly believe in travel for the following reasons (and many more): it is a potential source of personal growth & learning in history, art, culture,geography, personal independence, self awareness, adaptation, appreciation of others, intercultural relationships, getting out of one’s “comfort zone”, budgeting/financial management, challenging one’s perceptions of self, home & the world, new areas of literature, new places to discover cuisines, etc. Of course, all the above do not apply if one goes on a “bubble vacation” with no interaction with people one visits.
Given the effort to travel today, and in spite of it, the rewards are potentially huge. An amazing return on investment!
This response got me thinking: even if one views travel as more than entertainment, and actually as a source of personal growth, is it worth potentially large expenses? In other words, is traveling legitimate form of investment and/or education for some people?
What do you think of the reader’s comments?
What are your thoughts surrounding the idea of spending money on traveling for the purposes of personal growth?
Can you view travel as something that provides a return on investment, that might not be financially quantifiable but still well worth potentially large expense?