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The gift of travel

When I think of favorite moments that have made a mark on me, I usually go back to the journeys I’ve taken. Whether to nearby or distant places, with loved ones or traveling by myself, for just a few hours or for days and weeks at a time – my dearest memories are linked to the trips I’ve made.

Each time I have a chance to break away from day-to-day life to explore new places (or to rediscover sites I’ve visited before), I know that there are moments of thrill, discovery and personal growth waiting for me just around the corner. Expectation and curiosity for what lies ahead is part of what makes a trip so exciting from the very moment I start planning for it.

Maybe that is why lately I’ve been so drawn to stories of the so-called digital nomads, those insatiable travelers that have figured out a way to work from any place in the world, making the globe their virtual office.

Like them, I’m driven by a desire of being free and independent, something that has been with me ever since I was a little girl. I’m also convinced that true happiness isn’t tied to the number or quality of the material things we have, but has a lot more to do with our experiences. And I’m not alone on this!

Studies have shown that material possessions produce a momentary sense of happiness that fades away with time. However, the experiences we live become part of who we truly are. They help us build deeper connections with others. They enrich our life beyond the tangible stuff. That’s why Dr. Thomas Gilovich of Cornell University recommends buying experiences instead of things.

So ask me what is the best gift to give or receive at any given time and my answer will be: give the gift of travel!

As for myself, I want to start the New Year planning a new trip. I want to keep seeking experiences that transform my life beyond the imaginable. I want to get to know new places, people and cultures. And I want to invite others to travel with me just as much as I’m willing to do it on my own.

Life is made of moments, and there’s no better moment to travel than now.

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