Beautiful Tamarindo Sunset Girls
Beautiful Tamarindo Sunset Girls

“I wish I had traveled less,” said no one ever. If you’re wondering what you should do to make your deathbed more bearable, the answer is travel. There are so many reasons that people can make for deciding to stay at home, in their comfort zone. They will say that it is too expensive; it isn’t safe; they don’t have time. Well, I’m here to call all of these excuses out as debunked. You can travel on a budget, you can travel safely, and there is always time to travel. Always. When you put some effort into planning your travel, it will be well worth it, and you will never regret having done it. Here are my top reasons why you will smile on your deathbed if you have filled your life with travel.

Making new friends in Costa Rica
Making new friends in Costa Rica

1. You will have made lifelong friends

Whether you are seated next to the most amazing person ever on the plane, or you meet fellow travelers while you are out for a drink, you’ll encounter all types of people. If you open yourself up to making new friends, your life will never be the same. So, take of the headphones, put down the book, and look around you for the most interesting person. You can always listen to your favorite song later, but you may never encounter these cool strangers again. When you find that fellow traveler that you connect with, make sure you stay in touch! These days, there are so many gadgets and technological advances that make it easy to instantly communicate; and who knows how many more advances there will be over the years.

Feeding a large crocodile
Feeding a large crocodile

2. You will have had a lifetime of great stories to tell

A person that is well­traveled always has a story to tell. Whether you’re talking about that beautiful girl you saw, that huge bug that you ran from, or that windy road that survived...you’ll be super interesting. Traveling can be something that goes according to plan, or something that ends up being total chaos. Either way, you will get some great stories. Whether it is a bunch of expeditions you went on, or that time you were stuck at the airport for a day; you’ll never forget all the adventures you have while traveling. I know that I’m always happy to invite a traveler over to my dinner parties, even if I’ve heard their stories a million times.

Enjoying the river while rafting on the Rio Savegre
Enjoying the river while rafting on the Rio Savegre

3. You will have gotten in touch with nature

Travel to diverse places, like Costa Rica, and you’ll know what true nature is. With the world’s most incredible landscapes and animals, it will take you a lifetime of travel to see it all. Even if you live in an adventurous place, you are less likely to get out and do things because you get so caught up in everyday life. When people travel, they are all about getting out and exploring. Travel to see the sunshine, travel to feel the sand between your toes, travel to experience a rainstorm, travel to get in touch with nature. When you’ve been to other countries and seen how connected nature can be across the world, you’ll know how beautiful it can really be.

Orosi Church, the first one in Costa Rica
Orosi Church, the first one in Costa Rica

4. You will get to see history

Yeah, you can technically see history through photographs. But obviously it is not the same as seeing it in person. When you visit historical landmarks you can feel the energy of a place. Try doing that through a photograph...and be prepared to fail. There is nothing that compares to seeing something in person. Imagine all of the landmarks and museums that you can visit if you travel. All those things that you have heard about in textbooks or seen in movies – come to life. If you travel with your children, you’ll be giving them an educational advantage by brining history to life for them, too.

Swimming with Sharks
Swimming with Sharks

5. You will have once­in­a­lifetime experiences

Sometimes, travel makes you look at life differently. Something as frustrating as a multi-hour delay can turn into a live Broadway sing­off concert. It’s all about perspective, and traveling helps you have an optimist perspective. Those once­ in­a­lifetime experiences can help shape the person you are, and of course will give you a ton of great stories to tell.

Delicious Vegie Casado in Nosara
Delicious Vegie Casado in Nosara

6. You will have eaten some of the best food

OMG the food. Seriously, the food. I am almost ok with traveling and just making reservations at the best restaurants instead of having adventures. OK, that is not entirely true – I wouldn’t want to give up zip lining in the Costa Rica Cloud Forests – but it is almost true. My favorite part of eating abroad is bringing the ideas of the food home with me. I love to get inspired by all the different flavors I experience and bring that home to incorporate into my own dishes. And if you are a coffee drinker, there are so many amazing coffee blends to experience all over the world. I’m drooling a little just thinking about it all.

Sunset at the Papagayo Gulf in Guanacaste
Sunset at the Papagayo Gulf in Guanacaste

7. You will have seen true beauty

Maybe everything just seems more beautiful when you are on vacation? No, there really just is beauty all over the world. From the sunsets to the sunrises, to the happiness that you feel and encounter, true beauty is waiting for you when you travel. You can try to capture the most beautiful moments of your travel on film, but you’ll always be able to close your eyes and remember what it was like to experience those moments. What travel experience have you had that you know have made your life more complete?