Visitors to a foreign land can expect to face language barriers, cultural shock and shysters as well as countless other risks to their psychological and physical health the moment they leave their routines and comfort zone behind.
So why bother?
For many, travel is a journey we undertake to redefine ourselves with the help of new surroundings. By escaping daily routines, we often gain new perspectives on life. (Scientists have discovered that even a slight modification from everyday routines can help us cope with the stress and depression.)
Thanks in part to the arrival of low-cost carriers, more travelers than ever before are enjoying the riches of new cultures, new experiences, new languages and new cuisine.
According to the WTO, there were about 50 million international arrivals in 1950. By 2010, that number was 935 million, and it's expected to reach 1.6 billion by 2020. Once a luxury for the rich, international travel has now become a commodity for the masses.
So whether you consider international travel a yearly ritual or a frequent treat, go ahead, break out of your comfort zone. I think you'll agree that it was worth it.