Travel – The Benefits of Exploring the World

What on earth is happening to the world?

The financial sectors are being brought down to their knees the world over, jobs are on the line, and we feel forced to watch this happen and feel powerless to do anything to stop it. But are we powerless? No. Good enough reason to want to survive this ruin. In fact, the key to surviving this difficult and unprecedented stage in our planet’s history is to take responsibility, alter our thought process altogether and change the way we see the world. Travel and the exploration of our world provides us with the perfect platform for this change to occur.

When approached with openness and humility, the benefits of Travel are endless. But for the sake of simplicity, I have broken them down to 5 points.

1. Travel gives us the opportunity to silence the mind.

2. Travel gives us the opportunity to be touched by beauty.

3. Travel encourages us to grow.

4. Travel fuels our imagination, and awakens a sense of lightness and joy.

5. Travel fulfills our yearning for Unity.

1. Travel gives us the opportunity to silence the mind. Silence, which has been grossly underrated by modern society, creates a nourishing environment for contemplation and the appearance of inspiration. Yet, we find it extremely challenging to silence the mind in the midst of our everyday routine. This is where stepping outside of our comfort zone and exploring unfamiliar lands can play a very important part. It becomes easier for us to focus our undivided attention on a chosen object, such as a sunset, a beautiful landscape or a work of art, when we are outside of our normal environment. We allow ourselves to experience that sense of wonder and rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural laws, and feelings such as exhilaration, joy and peace are triggered. Time seems to stand still. Our intuitive capacity is increased, leading us to reach the Self and contact it fully. This is called an insight or “Illumination”, that “AHA” moment, where we arrive at a new level of awareness. And when an insight or illumination does appear, it sometimes reveals something that may have even been staring at us in the face all along.

The opportunity to silence the mind during my own personal travels has enabled me to find practical solutions to problems, the courage to change direction in my life at pivotal moments, and has provided me with the fertile grounds to think creatively. I have also observed that insights come as “feelings”, and so the insights vanish when the feeling vanishes. I have found that registering the insight on a mental level, like recording it into a diary, journal or workbook, fully assimilates the insights on a mental level. By recording insights, it anchors your thoughts, and thus forms the beginning of a gradual unfolding.

2. Travel gives us the opportunity to be touched by beauty.

Beauty can be described as a certain visual harmony, a spontaneous aesthetic experience. It is elusive, highly personal, it’s impact unpredictable, and yet is as integral to our human survival as Oxygen. Beauty is healing, regenerative, uplifting. Beauty allows us to put our pains and problems aside and helps us succeed in forgetting ourselves. It reveals unknown worlds and nameless possibilities. Beauty lightens our greed. As human beings, we have the choice to increase our aptitude in the art of appreciating beauty by opening ourselves to it and making ourselves available to experience it. Travel and exploring the world provides us with that opportunity in spades. After all, planet Earth is the “paradise planet” of the universe.

3. Travel encourages us to grow.

Growth is understanding what we have not previously been able to conceive. It is feeling what we have never felt, or doing what we have never done before. It obliges us to leave our comfort zone and progress into the unknown. Growth can sometimes be a joy, and sometimes it can be uncomfortable or even downright painful. But one thing is for certain. The personal growth experienced through travel and the exploration of the world results in a far greater sensitivity to the pain of human beings in general. And through this, we begin to see our own life in perspective, which in turn gives us a greater sense of purpose.

4. Travel fuels our imagination, and awakens a sense of lightness and joy.

What has happened to our imagination? Have our life experiences, schooling and conditioning discouraged us so much from using our imagination that we now view it as a frivolous word? Take a look at the eyes of a child. That look reminds us of a time when anything and everything was possible, unobstructed by past experiences and without exclusions. Travel reminds us not to take things quite so seriously in our lives. It awakens a sense of lightness and joy, and the realization that life is a dance. And dance, though powerful, is also a great pleasure.

5. Travel fulfills our yearning for Unity.

It is instinctive for human beings to naturally seek union with larger units, as we wish to share and participate in something that we regard as being greater than our individual selves. It is only natural. Travel encourages a sense of unity with all beings everywhere. Through travel we acquire a sense that we all share in the same destiny. So rather than confining ourselves to our own local communities and remaining in a stagnant mindset about the world, now more than ever, it makes so much sense to explore our wonderful world and travel more. The planet is in dire need for human beings to start resonating with each other, despite our cultural differences. No man is an island, as we have seen from the more recent financial meltdown. What has happened in Wall Street has affected us all on a global scale. We now have the opportunity to raise awareness and reverse the process through the art of travel.

Our outer world is simply a reflection of our own inner process. As without, so within. And as wonderful as the world is, it is no match for the beauty and depths of our imagination and own soul. And yet we can reach those depths via the richness of our world. The colours, languages, peoples, cultures, sounds, smells, taste sensations, art, all are part of a rich tapestry that forms our world heritage, and it’s just waiting for us to discover and enjoy it.

So act now and book that honeymoon travel destination, or that Summer holiday to somewhere that you haven’t been to before. Bring your diary, journal or workbook to record all those great insights and ideas that will come to you along the way, and don’t forget your camera so that you can capture the beauty around you.

Benefits of Schengen Visa for International Students

Seven European countries signed a treaty to do away with the border checkpoints in 1985. Today, these are together known as Schengen countries. Schengen visa allows visitors to stay for a period of 90 days in any one of these countries. For international students this signifies a chance to find admission opportunities in various educational institutes across these European countries, without worrying about separate visas. Furthermore, people travelling to Europe for attending conferences, seminars and other types of business events, with a Schengen visa, needn’t wait to obtain permission for travelling across the European nations.

With Schengen international students may move within different places in Europe, without restrictions, and keep their documentation and paperwork to the minimum. There are various visa choices available to make your selection easy and you can find an option that suits you best. Some of the options are as follows:

  1. Visa for a Short Stay- This is the most commonly applied for visa related to Schengen countries. For students this signifies a single trip on the student visa. For those who wish to travel as a conference delegate or a tourist for at least 90 days in a period of six months, this is an ideal choice.
  2. Visa for Airport Transit- This is for transit through airports of Schengen countries. However, this does not allow you to exit the airport, before flying to your next destination.
  3. Visa for Multiple Entry- Those wishing to travel within the Schengen space more than one time during the 90-day stretch, visa for multiple entries are the right choice. In order to get a visa you need to provide relevant evidence of your travel needs.
  4. Transit visa- With this transit visa, you can travel across multiple Schengen country borders before travelling outside this member zone.

Students can consider their specific requirements and opt for any one of these visas to ensure trouble-free travel during their international trip. One of the main difficulties that international students have to face is dealing with cross-border legalities and complex documentations. With Schengen visa coming to your aid, you can make this process hassle-free and concentrate on your travelling purpose instead of the related formalities. There is a single visa requirement because of the presence of an immigration central database. Besides, there is also a common visa issuing and processing procedure to make the process simple and quick for the benefit of international travelers.

While this visa does not exempt you from immigration control completely, it does give you a breather and allows you to travel independently within Schengen space for 3 months. In order to apply for this visa you require the following documents.

  • Completed & signed application form
  • Original passport/travel documents
  • Passport photograph
  • Purpose of visit proof
  • Student status evidence
  • comprehensive travel insurance

These are only the main documentation is required for the procedure. One can approach the embassies to know about the complete rules and benefits from the opportunities such student visa provides.

The Many Benefits of Travel

Many people travel for business purpose or just for pleasure to see new places. Travel has become an important part of these people. Some travel routinely, some others travel frequently and some travel occasionally. Some of the main benefits of travel are mentioned here.

Exploring new places – Travel provides you an opportunity to explore new places, enjoy and admire them. Some people may be excited in learning about the history of those places. For the nature lovers, it is a great way to learn about the amazing ways of nature by watching the thundering waterfalls and climbing the mighty mountains.

De-stress and Rejuvenate – By traveling and exploring new places you forget about your tension in your work place and transport you to a new pleasurable and enjoyable time. These days the work pressure is too much in the work area to keep up with the changing world and its increasing demands. Travel is the best opportunity to take you away from such pressure and can return more rejuvenated.

Enjoying food – Through travel you get a chance to taste and enjoy new dishes and flavors of many types of food. It may even help you to learn and experiment some of those unusual recipes later at home.

Broadens perspective and enriches knowledge – Through travel your perspective of life broadens by seeing many places and people, which you were hitherto not aware of. Ultimately it enriches the quality of your life.

Active and responsible – Travel makes you more active and responsible. During the excitement of exploring new places, you may walk more than your usual, and become more active. Sometimes you may even wonder about your hidden capacity, which you didn’t know till then. Likewise, in an entirely different atmosphere, you can’t just afford to take it for granted. You have to be more alert and responsible there.

Learning new culture – Travel is the best way to learn about new culture. Nothing like seeing the life style of people with your own eyes and experiencing it.

Learn to Adjust – When you are away from your comfort zone you will learn to adjust with the available facilities in the new surroundings, food habits, timings to eat and sleep. If you have a daily workout schedule or activities, you may have to forego such things in the new surroundings, without any complaint.

Meeting new people – Travel provides you to meet new people and often can even make great friends. Some of them even remain as life long friends.

Sharing travel experience – It is an exciting moment to share your experience of seeing the new places and showing the photos, if you have taken, with your family members and friends.

Binding the friendship – While traveling with your spouse, or family, or friends, spending that much time together, provides you an opportunity to understand the companion better and develop a stronger bond.

Make Money – You can write articles and stories about your travel and preserve those memories forever and also make money.