You know you want to. Your whole life you’ve been saying, “One of these days I’m taking a vacation, and I just may never come back!! Just watch me!” And then you follow it up with, “Well, but…” and you talk yourself right out of it…again. You’ve got a career to think about, and to be the best in the business you need to get just one more degree, right? But riddle me this: What if traveling could provide you with all the education you could possibly ever need? What if your passport became your “certificate of completion” proving you’ve passed all the courses necessary to live your best life? Would you do it? If you find yourself still on the fence teetering between the side of experiencing all that life truly has to offer and the side of going back to school, read on. Here’s the Top 10 List of reasons traveling is a far more valuable learning experience than traditional schooling ever can be.

10.  Because you can actually touch the Eifel Tower and not just see pictures of it in a text book.
When is the last time you touched a picture of something you longed to experience and could truly feel its magic just by looking at the image printed on the page? Your imagination is powerful, but experiences create memories that genuinely touch the soul.

9.  Because traveling teaches you about YOU.
If you never take the time to harvest coffee on a farm in Guatemala, you’ll never know if you’re capable of doing it. If building playgrounds for inner city children is your passion but you never venture outside the rural confines of home, your dream will remain just that…a dream. Traveling puts you in a position to fast-track making your dreams a reality, and what better way to learn to farm coffee than from the farmer himself?

8.  Because pictures of foods from other countries still leave you hungry.
It’s one thing to look at pictures of food on the internet and crave the flavors on your palate. It’s an entirely different experience when you’re looking at pictures on a menu in the Mediterranean and get to order the fresh, local cuisine from its point of origin.

7.  Because traveling is less expensive than a formal education.
Are you one of the hundreds of thousands of people staring at a student loan debt that will seemingly never get paid and have nothing to show for it but a piece of paper? You spend at least four years of your life learning about things that may or may not apply to your future, and there’s still no guarantee you’ll have a job in the field you studied. Traveling positions you in places YOU choose to go, teaches you about the things you desire to learn and creates memories that leave you satisfied and fulfilled.

6.  Because you’ll meet people where they are.
Studying the culture of the people of India through a book only teaches you the aspects of it the author deems important. Immersing yourself in the environment not only teaches you customs of the natives of other countries, it enables you to intimately practice their rituals as well as understand the importance of each tradition.

5.  Because your passion might be waiting for you in Kenya.
Staying in one spot your whole life limits your scope of influence. More than likely you’ll follow in the footsteps of the generations before you or be “persuaded” to better yourself to become the person your parents never were. But what if you were to travel to Kenya only to discover protecting lions is the only thing that makes any sense to you? If you had merely read about lions or watched a documentary on them, your interest may have been sparked but you never would have been able to fully understand the depth of your passion had you not traveled to experience them.

4.  Because you’ll learn humanitarianism.
Race, poverty level, social status and possessions all become irrelevant once you begin to travel. The more places you go, the more you’ll understand every person is created the same — it’s only our circumstances that cause separation.

3.  Because it’s a proven fact that vacations are good for your health.
It’s no secret people who use retail therapy to “buy happiness” experience their high for short periods of time and will need another fix soon after their purchases. The flip side of that reality is that people who spend their money on experiences, i.e. vacations and travel, have longer-lasting happiness. Memories, unlike shoes, never wear out. They can be recalled at any time, transporting you back to the time and place you were carefree and liberated.

2.  Because you have the power to influence the next generation.
If you could travel the world…the country even…and learn for yourself that education outside of the confines of a structured organization is far better than studying topics you’re forced to endure, would you do it? Would you do it knowing you could help even just one person live an authentic life free of limitations and restrictions? Would you?

1. Because, well…YOLO (You only live once).