7 Reasons Why You Should Travel More

The tread of several footsteps pattered on the irriguous earth. They were advancing in the distance, following a narrow trail. Upon hearing them, I looked up to see green foliage all around. This place reminded me of a rainforest. But the rain had stopped for now. I was standing in the middle of a dense wood. I could hear the ocean in the distance, the waves pounding against the cold beach and rocky cliffs. The air was fresh and sweet. And I was alive.

“Faster, Ben!” My 10-year-old nephew shouted at me from close by. “They’re beating us!”

He was right. I could barely see my two brothers and my other nephew in the distance. At least they were keeping to the trail. I picked up my pace in acquiescence to Eden’s demands. There was no place I would’ve rather been than right there on that nature trail with my family. But I wasn’t there just to see the sights. I went out to that wild place for many reasons. Until now, I didn’t have words to explain.

I ran after Eden, pushing green branches out of my way. In that moment, the world was bright. And life was perfect.


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Cape Falcon Trail, Oregon Coast

My Journeys

I’ve been asked a lot about my adventures and why I travel so much. At first, I never had a good answer. I would usually reply with the cliche, “I just love it”. But as I went out more and discovered new places, and as that same question was asked over and over again, I began to think seriously about it. Why do I travel so much?

I think some people travel to escape. Some travel to find themselves. Some travel to discover and explore. And some people don’t know why, but they discover a passion out there that they wouldn’t find any other way.

About 14 months ago I went on a trip to Hawaii with one of my best friends. It was the first time I’d taken a vacation away from my residence in what seemed like forever. The 10-day adventure I had while I was there inspired me to make traveling an essential part of my future. The experience begged the question, “Why not do this more?”

From that day, I resolved to travel somewhere at least once every month. None of my trips have been disappointing. And every adventure has given me a great return on investment. This decision has taken me all over the United States, allowing me see some amazing things and learn a lot along the way. To be a lifestyle traveler was one of the best choices I’ve ever made.

Recently I spent a good while pondering the benefits of travel. I came up with 7 core items to consider. Here they are, each followed by a short description. Hope you enjoy:


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The Grand Canyon, Arizona

1. Traveling… refills the heart

I have always been attracted to/obsessed with the concept of beauty and the beautiful things in this world. Every one of my close friends can attest to that. This is more than just about pretty places and people, though. I am attracted to beautiful interactions, concepts, theories, creations, and minds… I place a lot of value in filling my life with beauty. It’s so easy to develop a negative opinion of our world and its events. But beauty keeps our lives balanced. It is the solution to the influence of depravity and depression. It gives us hope.

When you travel, you are recharging your heart. You are filling it up with beautiful things and ideas and exposing yourself to beauty in general. You come back with a renewed idea of what beauty is. And it overflows into your daily life.


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Pagosa Springs, Colorado

2. Traveling… inspires creativity

Creativity is one of the hardest concepts to pin down. There is no universal formula to inspire creativity, or even to be creative. But I have found that travel and adventure are all I need to inspire creativity in myself. I am exposed to new environments and am forced to deal with those environments in new and creative ways. Then, my mind becomes practiced in coming up with creative solutions for everyday life. I guarantee travel will do the same for you.


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New York City, New York

3. Traveling… makes work enjoyable

Taking a break from the normal schedule is always welcomed among humans. I just plan those breaks in advance in the form of a trip every month. That way I never get burnt out doing the work I love back at home. People weren’t meant to operate the same processes every day, day after day, without end. People need challenges. They need adventures to momentarily distract from the monotonous. Everything on this earth becomes boring given enough time. Travel breaks through the normal to keep you ever becoming bored with life, work, and location. It’s the balance of work, rest, and travel that generates quality of life.


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Cozumel, Mexico

4. Traveling… grants perspective

Being introduced to the mindsets and ways of life of other cultures and peoples provides perspective into one’s own life. We can live a certain way for all our lives without knowing anything different. But different can be good. Indeed, different can be better. And how can you know different unless you see it? Traveling allows us to see and compare the differences.


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Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma

5. Traveling… tests your comfort zone

Many of the best books I’ve read have a  common theme. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Probably the best advice out there if you want to grow and be successful. But sometimes it’s hard to find opportunities to try new things. So create the opportunity through travel. Expose yourself to new zones, atmospheres, and people. As I travel, I run into a lot of situations and experiences that aren’t comfortable or convenient. But part of me knows that I’m training to become adaptable for situations that life throws at me that are out of my control.


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Roatan, Honduras

6. Traveling… clears the mind

I have a tendency to focus very hard on whatever is in front of me. It usually generates a great amount of benefit and efficiency, but can be taxing as well. My solution for thinking too hard is to go out into the wilderness where there is less going on and less to be worried about. Most people call it a vacation and do it once or twice a year. I call it part of life and do it once a month. It allows me to keep a clear idea of what I want to pursue and what I want to let go of. If you’re looking for refreshment and refocus, try travel.


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Roosevelt Island, New York

7. Traveling… reminds you to consider life rightly

“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton

We can easily get caught up in the conveniences and inconveniences of life. We get addicted to the former and dread the latter. But both are simply a part of life, a sign of the bumpy road. Those who are used to traveling a lot tend to stop worrying about these things. They know that all worrying does is drain their energy. Travelers take inconveniences as they come and simply include them into their expectations. If you expect an adventure, you are not worried about whether you’re going to have everything the way you’d like it. And since life is an adventure, that’s what we should expect.

Life is an adventure. And adventure reminds us of that.


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Sandia Mountains, New Mexico

If this list has inspired you to think about traveling more, I hope you’re able to take a trip soon. Make it a priority! I’d love to hear about it afterward. Remember, it’s not necessarily about where you go or what you do there. It’s about new experiences and putting yourself in situations where you can grow. This is the goal.

Please comment with your thoughts and questions!

6 Tips For When You Lose Someone in the Grand Canyon

You’re probably thinking, “Wait, what? How do you lose someone in the Grand Canyon? And what do you mean by “tips”? Is this a normal thing that you do?”

I am asking myself the same questions.

Adventures are usually riddled with unpleasant circumstance, but this trip was singular in that respect. Something about that canyon makes everything more grandiose. If you know what I mean.

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The Beginning

Our journey into the Grand Canyon began pretty uneventful. None of us knew or expected what was ahead. Or that over the course of the next several hours we would travel as far as a Roman Centurion engaged in a forced march.

But as experienced hikers/travelers through mountainous terrain, three of my brothers and I started out early that Thursday the morning with all the gear we needed to complete the day. It basically consisted of cliff bars, fruit snacks, water, and a light jacket. You know, the essentials. And I say three because they are three of ten. Yes indeed, I have ten brothers. Those with me were Isaiah, Malachi, and Gabriel.

The four of us took the South Kiabab (not kabob like I first thought) Trail from the South Rim to the Colorado River. Isaiah ran while the rest of us walked. Can’t say which of us enjoyed it more because he’s freaking addicted to running. But in this case, by the time we ended the day, we equally felt like we’d been trampled by a sea of horses. Or was it seahorses? Never mind.

Isaiah’s plan was to run all the way to the North Rim and then head back to meet us at Phantom Ranch at the base of the Canyon. The rest of us opted to walk down the trail and meet him at the Ranch whenever he arrived. We would then head back to the South Rim as a unit.

As it turns out, he never showed up. Hence, I will now lay out these 6 pivotal tips for when you lose someone in the Grand Canyon. Never forget them.

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Here’s tip numero uno:

This is Obvious, But…….. Don’t Panic

When your comrade fails to arrive at the rendezvous point, a plethora of thoughts will surge through your brain. Questions arise as to his intelligence, and your intelligence (cause people be stupid out in the mountains), and the possibility of death or paralyzation out there on the trail. Or worse, what if he was attacked by thieves (cause that happens).

But the last possible helpful thing is to worry your pretty little self about all the things that “could’ve happened”. Don’t panic. If he died, there’s nothing you can do about it. (If you can’t tell, I’m a highly commited ENTJ. “Say what?” Google MBTI. You’ll thank me later.)

Number 2:

Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst

Keep in mind the possibility of death, but don’t think about it too much. All the people we talked to on the trail said that humans get lost out there all the time (not that that’s comforting). At this stage, in the event of a missing person, it is critical to talk it out. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of search and rescue. Bring up the weather, the terrain, the food and water prospects. You’ll reach better conclusions if you think together with your comrades.

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The Colorado River

And… 3:

Nag the Authorities

It sounds messed up, I know. But what are they there for if they aren’t willing to put up with petty requests from wide-eyed hikers?

But seriously, let someone know. Preferably someone with the resources and ability to help. In our case, we found a stout Park Ranger by the name of Adam. Adam was grand. Like the canyon. But better because he had a phone we could call if Isaiah didn’t show up by the next morning.

Park Rangers have never been my most favorite people in the world. Previous experiences have told me that the majority of their time is spent griping about all the rules and regulations. Campers just wanna have a good time. But in this instance, Adam the Park Ranger came in clutch.

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Here’s number 4:

Come Up With Plan B

Hopefully, you’ve figured out by now that you need to adapt and go with your Plan B. Prepared as we were, we actually had a Plan B. No matter that it was 30 seconds old and involved ascending 4,380 feet over the course of 7.4 miles in the dark. Did I mention it was dark out? But we were troopers.

Now let’s take a quick moment to enjoy this photo of one of the stunning views we experienced while on the trail:

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Overlooking the Canyon

I share that with you to emphasize that the way down into the Grand Canyon was a dream. In contrast, the way back up was similar to trying to kiss your girlfriend in a movie theater with chapped lips… in the dark while experiencing a migraine and a midget stabbing your feet with a pitchfork.

Yeah, not as dreamy.

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The steepest part of Kiabob Trail

 

This brings us to number 5:

Stay Focused With the Most Annoying Song You Can Think Of…

There’s a well-known story circulating society about a fish named Dory. She went on a long journey with another fish named Marlin. She had this song she used to sing, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming”. It’s annoying as heck most of the time. But I tell you what when you’re out there grasping for breath you’ll sing just about anything.

So in the business world, there’s a lot of talk about grit. Everyone seems to think that the people with the most grit end up going the furthest. I don’t disagree, but I dare those CEOs to hike the Grand Canyon in the middle of the night. The only grit they’ll be caring about is the stuff inside their shoes.

(Side note: Malachi almost got bit by a rattler on the way back up. Heard the rattlesnake right by the trail and we all almost jumped off/fell off the cliff. Malachi wanted to investigate further, which I advised against. Gabriel fled up the trail.)

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These cliffs were incredible!

 

Lastly, let’s take a look at number 6:

Don’t Be Suprised to Find Your Missing Person Sleeping Soundly Back at the Hotel

Five hours after starting at the bottom of the Canyon, we finally got to the South Rim. It was a short distance to the car. Imagine our surprise when, lo and behold, Isaiah’s pack was sitting on the hood. But he wasn’t at the car or in the surrounding area. You could say we were thoroughly nonplussed.

With less than a bar of cell phone service but no other options, I decided to try calling.

The phone rang. Static burst out of the microphone. Somewhere in between the crackles, I heard a very tired voice say, “hello?”

“Hey! Where are you at?” I wanted to yell, but too tired.

“At the hotel.”

At the hotel he says.

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Conclusion

Well, that’s the end of the story. Be sure to check out the Grand Canyon if you get a chance! I highly recommend the place if you love the outdoors! Can’t wait to go back and maybe camp in the bottom. Hopefully, I won’t have to hike in the dark again. Just keep in mind these 6 great tips if someone in your group goes missing!

Where will you go next? Have any travel plans for the summer? Comment below!