Experience changes an individual, often for the better and in permanent ways. So why should it not be fought for, sweat for, bank breaking for, and earned? Many believe that the best things in life are free; that’s true if those things are air, sun, and a view of the stars at night. But in reality, most things today are not free. Not the water we drink, nor the resources we depend on, the grass that we walk on, and even falling in love; it all has a cost. And with the exception of love, those things just sustain, not change us.
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
~ Helen Keller
If a picture is worth a thousand words, where are we with experiences? Stagnation is a sad reality, but growth through learning about more than we are, seeing more than we know, and pondering more than we commonly conceive is priceless…I’d say. Therefore, the best way to learn, see, and conceive more is through experience, and that is what travelling is best for. To be clear, a person does not have to jump on a plane and fly halfway around the world in order to feel like they are legitimately traveling; a neighboring state will do just fine. Although, an opportunity to experience the way a foreign culture lives can promote tremendous perspective in all of us.
Logically speaking, its not the actual experience that brings anyone change. Instead, it is the result of an experience that yields the high returns. The actions–our experiences– those are just the means; the vehicle, if you will. But the result, the facilitator of change in all of us, that must be earned. And the cost…not always a financial dilemma. Rather, the cost of change (of experience) is fortitude; its facing a fear of the unknown, stepping outside the comfort zone, and taking away the most comfortable aspect in our lives, and that is control. Without control a person is powerless, and vulnerability is the absence of control, something travel presents an abundance of.
According to multiple sources, common reasons for avoiding traveling include the following: no one to travel with, can’t afford it, the element of danger out there, a lack of time and vacation days, language barrier, logistical nightmares, and germs (LOL). What these reasons all boil down to is a lack of resourcefulness and/or fear. Overcoming a fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of leaving the comfort zone, it’s not what we are designed to endure. Our brains are designed to do one thing, and one thing only; keep us alive. A desire…that goes beyond survival. It’s take guts and a real f***it kind of attitude to say “to hell with familiarity and comfort, I want to know and see more.”
Like most things in life that aren’t handed to us, we need to earn it. We need to put in, in order to be able to take out something in return. Experiences make a person grow. They formulate differing perspectives, intelligence, understanding, and debate. If you want the experience, you aren’t going to have it given to you. To learn about the world you don’t know, you will have to take yourself from the one you do. And it will cost. It will make you nervous, intimidated, and timid, until you return home a different person than the one who left. OF COURSE it comes with a cost, but almost anything worthwhile does, so you have to make the effort to be someone other than the person in you who refuses to change. You have to actually try, and want to be and know more. Jim Rohn once said, “if you think trying is hard, wait until you get the bill for not trying.”
So, if you want to know what the cost of experience is, it’s life as you know it. And whether a person chooses to experience all that life has to offer or not, they should know that they will pay in any case. Pay for the experiences now, or pay for the regret later. It’s something to think about.