Today we are featuring, Magnus Hirst, a tour guide and Social Media Coordinator at IcelandicTravelMarket.is, a leading Iceland tours company specializing in bus tours, Iceland day tours, jeep tours, Iceland group travel, glacier walks, whale watching tours and more.
Travel can be one of the great joys of life. When you travel, you get to experience new things, new people, and new places. While there are plenty of interesting domestic travel destinations, international travel brings with it a whole new world of experiences. Here are some reasons why you might consider an international trip this year, rather than a domestic one:
1. International travel can be less expensive.
Sure, you’re probably going to pay more for that ticket to get to Thailand than you would to get to Toledo, but that’s where the higher expenses end. Many international destinations feature such a favorable exchange rate that you can live like royalty on just a few dollars a day. For example, in Thailand, you can enjoy the highest-quality (and authentic) Thai food for less than $4 for the entire day. Other budget international destinations include Bangladesh, Ecuador, Hungary, Ugunda, and Jamaica (outside of the tourist destinations).
We mentioned Thai food, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Why not have real German potato salad – in Germany? And you haven’t really had hummus until you’ve eaten it on the shores of the Mediterranean. If you want to expand your palate and discover some wonderful new dining ideas, you won’t find it on the Jersey shore.
3. International travel puts your own history in the world in perspective.
It’s easy and proper to be educated about and proud of your country’s history. That being said, the fact is that there are cultures in this world that are literally thousands of years older than our own. It’s one thing to look on the 300 year-old liberty bell in Philadelphia; it’s quite another thing to look on the 2,500 year-old Parthenon in Athens. There’s nothing wrong with being the relatively new kid on the block, but exposure to more long-standing worlds is truly amazing.
Whenever you see a movie that features Big Ben, you’ll always have a frame of reference from when you visited London. When you hear Michelangelo’s name, you’ll remember staring up at the ceiling of the Sistine chapel in Rome. These are experiences you can’t get without getting on a plane. Memories of Mickey Mouse and Disney World are fine, but international travel memories become iconic.
5. International travel lets you bear good will to the world.
Traveling outside of the United States lets you be a bit of an ambassador to the world. It’s your opportunity to help defy some of those stereotypes you hear about by not being a “rude American.” In some cases, international travel lets you practice charity, and reach out to those in need who aren’t in your own community. There are even a number of types of planned trips that give you the opportunity to do some good while you’re also enjoying a vacation.
6. International travel gives you a good excuse to learn a new language.
Learning a new language can be fun, and in some cases it can become an asset in your job. If nothing else, it keeps the mind nimble, and is a particularly fun experience if you’re travelling with friends or family to learn and practice the language in the months leading up to your trip.
Whether it’s another vacationing American that you meet on the beach, a loquacious cab driver who takes you on an all-day tour of the city, or even the bellhop at your hotel, there are plenty of interesting people out there to meet. When you travel internationally, you’ll meet people of all shapes, sizes, and personality types. And, with modern technology, you may even find that you establish long-lasting long-distance relationships, corresponding via email for years to come.
8. International travel helps build your confidence.
There’s nothing quite like being in a strange land without any comfortable frame of reference to build your self-confidence. Think about the people you’ve talked to in the past who have travelled internationally: doesn’t it always sound like they’re the most adventurous people? There’s no reason you shouldn’t join their ranks. International travel is much more accessible than you might think. Whether you wind up walking the streets of Paris or whether you want to bathe in the Blue Lagoon, think about your ultimate international vacation and then start planning to make it happen.