As we go around the table this Thanksgiving, we’re likely to name check the many things we’re grateful for, including the loved ones seated around us and the feast we’re about to enjoy. This year, let’s add travel to the list, too. Not just because we’re always thankful to lay under the Caribbean sun in February drinking margaritas while much of the north is knee-deep in snow, but because travel is also an often profound, meaningful and transformative experience that makes us better citizens of the world and—let’s be real—more interesting at parties. Here, some of our favorite travel writers and bloggers share why they’re thankful for travel and how it has changed their lives. In the comments, we hope you’ll do the same!
Getting to know incredible people around the world
I am thankful for the people I meet along the way, introducing me to their daily life. Everyone from famous sculptors to hard-working doctors, violin makers, yacht owners, cooks and even waiters who free dive. Recently, I met a PR executive who was extremely charming and knows his home city of Wurzburg, Germany like the back of his hand. He was very informative and yet comfortable to talk about his love for this city he represents. I also met a writer from Washington, DC who asked the most intriguing questions. I never would have met these people if it wasn’t for travel. Sure many encounters are brief, but most of them are memorable.—Dr. Cacinda Mahoney, PointandTravel.com
Experiencing things you never dreamed of
Travel allows you to experience the world in ways you could never even imagine. That’s why I’m thankful for it. As a child, I remember listening in awe to my mother’s tales from adventures around the world—from India to Russia. I continued to feed my curiosity by devouring every word in National Geographic, and then grew up to build my life around exploring the world. I never imagined travel would allow me to view an entire village of storks in France while on a canal cruise, then watch grizzly bears climb a hill from a train—all within a few weeks. I have learned that no matter where we go, we are all connected—from the smallest creature to the largest—and the beauty and adventure of the world is a gift we get to share with each other.—Ava Roxanne Stritt, SpaTravelGal.com
Feeling completely free
I’m thankful for the sense of freedom travel provides. In a world where most of us are tied to full-time jobs, an endless stream of bills and the never ending demands that come with parenting children and/or pets, true freedom often remains elusive. Yet every time I board a plane, train or automobile, I get to wave goodbye to the emails that normally demand my immediate attention, a house that constantly needs cleaning and a city where traffic is at a constant standstill. In particular, I’m a road trip fanatic and for me there is no greater joy than that of the open road. Even though loved ones back home are given my itinerary in advance, when the windows are down, the radio cranked up and my foot is putting pedal to metal, all I can think is, “This is true freedom!”—Jason A. Heidemann, Inspire editor
Spending quality time with family
Becoming a richer person
Benefitting from a radical change of scenery
Staying close to your heritage
Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.