Traveling is healthy for the body, mind, and spirit; Islam prescribes these exact reasons to why Muslims should travel.
If you’re looking for encouragement to plan your next adventure, here are eight wonderful benefits of traveling to help you decide.
1 – Create Meaningful Relationships
Knowing and learning about others is part of our deen. Allah says in the Qur’an,
“O mankind, indeed we have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another […]” (Al-Hujurat 49:13)
Visiting, experiencing, and relating to new people and cultures helps improve both your social and communication skills. You’re always likely to make some new friends along the journey. Traveling to new places allows you to build new relationships.
You can also use the challenges, experiences, and new knowledge about yourself to strengthen existing relationships.
2 – Shake Things Up
Travel keeps things interesting! If you are feeling confused, stagnant, or just plain bored in your life, taking a break from the ordinary can help you move forward. New experiences help you process old ones to make fresh, interesting connections in your brain.
Traveling can also act as a muse to your creativity. It helps you gather and assimilate new, original, and creative thoughts. Anytime you are feeling stuck or need a change of pace, travel is the perfect solution.
Travel also enhances and grows the amount of uncertainty you’re able to tolerate. And tolerance to change is a great skill to have when you head back to a more stable and settled life. Because no matter where you are, your days will always have unexpected challenges and hiccups: that’s life!
3 – Prove Dreams Come True
The whole experience of travel involves both planning and achieving your dreams. There is goal setting, itineraries, mapping out your experience, and waiting for the date. Travel is a new experience in space and time that usually requires both money-saving and pining for the experience.
There is a deep sense of accomplishment during and after travel. You’ve proven to yourself that you can achieve any dreams and goals when you apply yourself to them.
4 – Gain Peace of Mind
While some people use travel as a temporary (or semi-permanent) escape. It can also give you a renewed sense of peace with yourself and your “regular” living environment.
Travel — especially to drastically different cultures and faraway lands — can help you gain gratitude and appreciation for what you already have in your life. Travel inspires you to make peace with what you have and be grateful for your many privileges and blessings.
5 – Broaden Your Horizons
This travel reason is cliché but true. You don’t understand all that you don’t know until you’re exposed to it. Traveling helps you understand and see that you have a lot to learn.
There is a mystery to unlock about you, others, and the world we all live in. Traveling throughout the land gives you a chance to expand your maps of how you move in the world and gain new perspectives. Travel can also help you connect to God, His creation, nature, and the universe in ways that you can’t when locked in a box of your own making.
Islam doesn’t want us to stay blind to the ways and cultures of others. In fact, quite the opposite. Allah commands us to travel:
“Say, [O Muhammad], ‘Travel through the land and observe how He began creation. Then Allah will produce the final creation. Indeed, Allah, over all things, is competent.’” (Al-`Ankabut 29:20)
6 – Collect Cool Stories
Travel gives you a wealth of memories to last you a lifetime. While there will be some fun (and some harrowing) experiences, no matter what happens, it will always be an adventure. Traveling helps you loosen up and have a good time experiencing new places, cultures, and people. Travel creates feel-good memories that you can share with your friends and family, or recall whenever you need to go back to a “happy place.”
7 – Challenge Yourself
If you feel you’re stuck in a rut in your daily life, travel can help you break free. Travel pushes you to the limits of what you can tolerate and master. This helps you get to know yourself better. Getting in touch with yourself, your essence, and your uniqueness are some of the greatest gifts travel gives you.
8 – Gain a Real-life Education
When you are on the ground in a new place, there is much learning to do in a short amount of time. You must work through puzzles and challenges on the fly. Traveling pushes you to develop new skills — even learn new languages — to both survive and thrive.
9 – Boost Your Confidence
Traveling, especially solo traveling, makes you trust yourself and become more self-reliant. It gives you a chance to understand and use your unique gifts to conquer new challenges. The more you practice traveling, the more your confidence builds and the easier it gets. This means that over time it will become easier to identify your fears and overcome them in new situations.
10 – Food! (For Thought)
Last but not least, let’s not forget the new foods. We tie so much of our cultures into the foods we eat. The spices, the preparation, the ceremony of serving: food is a powerful way to understand others.
When you understand the foods others eat and why they eat them, you get to know them on one of their most primal levels. We also can’t deny that most of the new foods you’ll taste on your travels are delicious!
Remember, you don’t have to go far to experience all these benefits of travel. Even a few hundred miles (or kilometers) out of your hometown can expose you to all the challenges, situations, and people who will help you grow.