Why Traveling is Good

I love to travel and live nomadically. I also think most people would benefit from traveling more. Why?

1. Discomfort stimulates creativity

First and foremost, traveling is always uncomfortable. You’re thrust into foreign environments, with foreign cultures and ways of behavior. Most people get accustomed to comfort and predictability in their everyday lives. I think a life of comfort is the road to waste (ancient Roman saying).

The point of traveling is to be uncomfortable. If you want to travel in luxury, I think you’re kind of missing the point.

When you’re uncomfortable, you challenge your preconceived ways of thinking. For myself like living in Vietnam, I’ve learned a lot. For example:

  1. In Vietnam everything is negotiable. This is a great life philosophy, whereas Americans like to follow rules.
  2. In Vietnamese culture, it’s not considered rude to stare. Everyone stares, just out of pure childlike curiosity. In America it’s rude to stare — but why? (probably something we learned from the British). Now I’m more confident to stare at people I’m curious in.
  3. In Vietnam almost nobody uses headphones at the gym. This means more social interaction at the gym, which is awesome! American culture is much more antisocial in this sense.

Anyways, I learned a lot more from living in Vietnam in terms of risk taking, bending the rules, and being more social (compared with living in America).

I wouldn’t have learned these life lessons if I never left America, never traveled, or never lived abroad.

In places which are foreign to us, there’s often a hidden logic or rationality that escapes us westerners. What we often perceive as “inefficient” is actually more efficient.

Traveling has humbled me, it has made me recognize:

My way of doing things isn’t the only way, nor is it the “right” way for everyone else.

So friend when you travel and get into a travel mindset, open your mind. Welcome the fact that you might be wrong, and you can probably learn more from locals (than you can teach them).


For more free travel photography tips, subscribe to ERIC KIM Newsletter


Umbrella and flash in color. Kyoto, 2017
Umbrella and flash in color. Kyoto, 2017

Travel Photography 101

Travel Photography City Guides

Travel Photography Articles

Travel photography tips video

Scroll to Top