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How World Travel broadens your mind and opens up new Lifestyle opportunities.
The full chapter on World Travel will show you how to travel inexpensively but with key cultural and economic benefits.
Understanding and utilizing World Travel means new experiences, new horizons, learning, and growing.
There are few activities that are as life-changing as world travel, and I don’t mean going to the nearest Western country. The most mind-broadening travel in my experience is to developing countries and to cultures that are vastly different to our own. There is no way you can appreciate how incredibly fortunate and blessed we are until you have experienced other countries and cultures. There is something outrageously mind bending about sitting in the home of a Hindu man in rural India listening to him talk about how his whole family is working seven days a week so they can afford the dowry for the arranged marriages of his two daughters because he wants them to marry an engineer or a doctor, and the dowry (unlawful but practiced everywhere) will be US$50,000 for each daughter. Then you think about the fact that there are over one billion people living in India and you begin to wonder whether our way of doing things which is so vastly different, is the right or the best way.
And there is something frightening about being in Mexico, in the border city of Tijuana and meeting people from Central America who are so desperate to get to the USA they will pay a fortune to a people smuggler, and risk the river and the guns to get there in the middle of the night. And then you wake up in the middle of the night and you hear the sound of gunfire from the border.
The more you travel the more you realize we are in the most fortunate 1% of the world’s population.
My advice is to travel as early in life as you can. If you can get a school or university exchange – go for it. If not, take a gap year and travel. If you are older, go overseas between jobs. I travelled alone to England when I was 16, and soon after I turned 17 I hitchhiked around Europe. I did this instead of doing an extra year at high school. I learned far more in that year than all of my friends who stayed at school put together.
You should definitely travel before you have kids. Of course it is possible to travel with kids but not on the bones of your butt, and not in flea-bitten developing world accommodation (which I recommend).
Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, whatever age you are: if you have not travelled to challenging parts of the world and seen other cultures first hand, make it a priority.
Tip #1 Mini Retirements
I talk in detail in my book about taking mini-retirements. So if you have a job or a business, make a plan to take a mini-retirement of a week, a month, or three months to travel to a different country and do things you have always wanted to do:
A great train journey;
Diving in crystal clear water;
Exploring ancient ruins; and so on.
If you know how it is cheaper and easier than you think.
Tip #2 Short Term Missions
A great way to go to a developing world country is to join a short term mission trip with a missionary or aid organization. They arrange everything and you get to go to places and meet people that you just couldn’t get to as a tourist.
Tip #3 Global Volunteers
There are a number of organizations that offer volunteering opportunities in developing countries. You can Google specific countries or specific occupation groups. Or you can contact a large organisation such as Global Volunteers International: