Today is World Tourism Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political, and economic value worldwide. As a budget travel blogger, I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate this day. Traveling has brought so much joy and growth into my own life, and I want to share a few reasons why I think everyone should make an effort to travel more, especially on a budget.
First, travel broadens our perspectives. When we visit new places and experience different cultures, we start to realize that there are many ways of living, thinking, and being in the world that differ from our own. These differences and new perspectives help combat stereotypes and prejudices and foster more openness, empathy, and compassion. Travel has a way of making the world feel smaller and more familiar. For example, when I did my study abroad in Spain, I remember sitting in a plaza and people-watching. I distinctly remember thinking, "I am in Spain, far away from home, and all of the people here are similar to people back home. There are families walking and spending time together, there are high schoolers who think they are too cool, and there are couples enjoying ice cream on a bench." It all felt so similar but also so different at the same time. It was a beautiful experience. (Photo credit: Morgan Sharpe)
Second, travel relieves stress and rejuvenates our minds and bodies. Exploring new destinations awakens our senses and sparks curiosity, helping us break out of repetitive routines. Adventure and physical activity release feel-good hormones that improve our mood and wellbeing, and can decrease anxiety and depression. A little time away can do wonders for creativity, productivity, and work-life balance. When I have it in the budget, I like to visit the spa on vacation. When I don't have it in the budget, I enjoy using the gym to relieve stress and practice self-care because, in my day-to-day life, working out is often the first thing to go when I get busy. In Jamaica, during my family Christmas vacation in 2022, I enjoyed a bath drawn by our butlers. This is also a very relaxing way to spend vacation when you don't have it in the budget to get to the spa.
Third, travel creates lifelong memories. The experiences we gain from travel stay with us and become stories we tell for years to come. Visiting iconic landmarks, trying regional cuisines, learning local histories, and meeting fellow adventurers along the way all shape unforgettable memories that make life richer and more meaningful. Years from now, you’ll still remember the sounds, scents, tastes, and scenes from your travels. I still remember the taste of the best crêpe I have ever had in my life from when I went to France in high school (pictured below). (Photo credit: myself).
Fourth, travel supports economies and communities. Tourism is a huge industry that boosts economic growth in countries all over the world. When we visit a destination, we contribute to local businesses by purchasing goods and services. Our tourism dollars support people’s livelihoods and fund infrastructure improvements. Responsible travel and tourism are sustainable ways we can make a positive impact. Additionally, supporting businesses like Thatch, travel bloggers, and travel agents helps to contribute to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Finally, traveling can be a profound source of self-challenge as it can push us beyond our comfort zones and familiar surroundings. Stepping into new cultures, environments, and experiences can foster personal growth by encouraging adaptability, resilience, and open-mindedness. Navigating the unknown, whether it's a foreign language, unfamiliar cuisine, or different customs, forces us to confront our limitations and preconceptions. It encourages us to embrace uncertainty, problem-solve creatively, and develop a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us. In the face of these challenges, travelers often discover strengths and abilities they never knew they possessed, making travel a transformative journey of self-discovery.
In the end, travel enriches our lives in so many ways and does not have to be expensive to be meaningful or transformative. With some flexibility, resourcefulness, and an adventurous spirit, anyone can experience the joys of travel on a budget. Options like public transit, budget airlines, hostels, and cooking your own meals make travel accessible to all. My blog aims to prove that you don’t need a huge bank account to become a world traveler.
This World Tourism Day, I encourage you to start planning your next adventure. The world is open and waiting to be explored! If there is any way I can help you, please don't hesitate to reach out.
Eat, Drink, and be Melly!