Should Travel Be Considered a Personal Achievement?

Should Travel Be Considered an Achievement?

Naysayers will tell you that there is nothing to travelling — you book a flight, hop on a plane, and go. But is travelling as easy as some say it is?

Now that travelling has become more accessible to the wider world, the knee-jerk reaction is to undermine its significance. You pick a random spot on the map, then go. Following this cold logic, there is nothing remarkable or praiseworthy when it comes to travel. 

But why do we still look forward to future trips? Why do we feel a sense of accomplishment in leafing through the pages of our passport, even though we might only have a few stamps? What is it about travel that makes all of our striving seem worth it? 

If travel can be considered an achievement, here are the reasons why it shouldn’t be downplayed. 

Also read: Why It’s Important to Travel for Yourself Every Once in a While 

It teaches you essential life skills

One of the beautiful things about travel is how you are always poised on the edge of discovery. With every journey, you are experiencing diverse ways of living in the world and thinking outside of the box. In your travels, you learn valuable life skills that will come in handy in any situation: cross-cultural communication, budgeting, research, time management, and adaptability, to name a few. 

By venturing out of your comfort zone, you cannot help but take home fresh insights from the places you visited. Having a history of travel tells people that you are no stranger to embracing change and uncertainty, and that you are more than capable of steering your own wheel and being self-sufficient. 

A life well-travelled keeps you on your toes. It will prepare you for almost any hurdle thrown your way. 

Also read: 15 Practical Life Skills That Travel Teaches You

It is the fruit of hard work

travel achievement: climbing a mountain

That snapshot of a mountain might look effortless in pictures, but what you are observing is actually the result of tireless planning, the proper timing to catch the light, and hundreds of failed shots. Often, travelling feels like a balancing act of hotel reservations, fickle weather conditions, packing bags, and organisational skills. All of these factors must magically fall into place. It’s no wonder many people feel that it’s a miracle when their plans come through! 

Even without considering the logistics, travelling is hardly a walk in the park. And that’s not even broaching the subject of adventurers who are brave enough to scale mountains or dive underwater for a living. If you make a considerable effort to complete a task and see it to the end, then yes, the culmination of your hard work — and in this case, travelling — is an achievement. 

It is a series of small accomplishments

Certainly, travelling has gotten easier over the years, especially with many remote countries opening their borders and declaring their territories visa-free. However, that doesn’t mean travelling is suddenly easy, or that there aren’t substantial economic barriers preventing aspiring wanderers from reaching their goals. 

For many people living in Southeast Asia, the goal of getting on a plane is preceded by a massive headache. There are nerve-wracking visa appointments, consular fees, and inscrutable documents that constantly seem to give birth to other requirements, all of which have to be prepared months before the date of the flight. That is to say, travel is not a low-risk endeavour. Rather, it is the accumulation of small triumphs, as you see your trip gradually come into fruition. 

This is why “travel shaming” should have no place in any traveller’s vocabulary. Casting doubt into those who recognise travel as one of their achievements is to make light of the experiences they had to endure to get there. 

Also read: Why We Have to Stop Travel Shaming

It is a rare gift that we give to ourselves

There are times when travelling feels like the dawning of a new day. Maybe it’s the adrenaline or the wide-eyed wonder of being somewhere unfamiliar. You’re not quite sure what sort of opportunities are waiting for you around the corner, but a surge of excitement propels you onward. All you know is that inspiration comes easier, the work-related dread has lifted, and you can see things a little clearer now.

Few experiences can rejuvenate the self as thoroughly as travel can. Like many rituals of self-care, travelling alleviates stress and improves mental health by distancing you from the factors that are triggering your tension or nerves.

Leisure travel offers a clean break from home and a chance to come back refreshed. And in an age when employees are overworking themselves to death, having the guts to file for a vacation leave and carve some time for yourself can be an accomplishment on its own. Honouring what makes you happy is meaningful work. 

Also read: 10 Reasons Why Travelling is a Form of Self-Care

travel achievement: top of the world

Just because it doesn’t yield quantifiable results doesn’t mean that travelling isn’t an achievement. On the contrary, there are plenty of milestones in travel worth celebrating, even if they are known only to you. And if it makes you happy at the end of the day, what else can you call it? 

About Author

Tiffany Conde
Tiffany Conde

Tiffany is a writer based in Manila. When she was younger, she knew she wanted to write stories or go on adventures—now, she's learning to do both. She enjoys being swept up in books that spark her curiosity for new places, both real and imaginary. While travelling, she finds herself going off the beaten track quite often, but it's probably because she gets lost easily.

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