No, I am not talking about the most obvious impact. Of course, if you are travelling and you have no passive income or a way to make money on the move, it means a drain on your finances. That is a fairly obvious and immediate impact.
I am talking about something more treacherous.
If I had never made that first long trip out (hello, Beirut!), I would never have begun to wonder why a people in such a war-torn country know hope and good humour better than us urbanites living in cosy Singapore. If I had not gone to Kyoto, the concept of wabi-sabi would not have been viscerally felt. The magnificence of Mont St Michel and the actual sculpture of David in Florence left strangely deep imprints within me. I still remember the joy of having my trip to Vienna coincide with an Annie Leibovitz exhibition.
Through those varied cities I ran through – in Lebanon, Vietnam, France, Italy, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Austria – I begun to, more and more, contemplate why a quiet(er) life would appeal to the modern man. If I had not travelled, maybe I would have settled into a mortgage, staying at a job I know I would not come to see as my life’s work even if it meant a very, very nice pay cheque. If I had not travelled, I would not have a restless need to examine what one could mean by a good life. Maybe it was that restlessness that led me to travel.
Hence, you now have all the reasons why you should travel.