- I can talk to people. For me, this applies wherever English is prevalent, and in places where there are lots of Nepali people. Malaysia scores well in this category.
- I have a companion to share the experience with. I’ve been fortunate enough to share most of the past few months on the road with dear friends, which has brightened my experience regardless of place.
- I have a strong interest in the religion, culture, and history of the place. This largely includes places in the Indic sphere and places where Buddhism is still alive. This also largely excludes major tourist sites such as the main temples of Angkor Wat, the remnants of which are daily trodden upon by the unwashed masses.
- I’m going for work. I love my job, my coworkers, and my students. I have had a fantastic time everywhere that my work takes me, even in some places that I would otherwise not have enjoyed nearly as much.
- Good food. Duh.
- Cultural engagement, through communication and the drive of my personal interest. And food.
- Companionship, both with local people and fellow travelers.
- Having some purpose, either in work or the pursuit of knowledge and personal growth.
To really travel, to exit one’s own culture and comfort zone, is of unsaid benefit to personal development simply through increased exposure to the world, and to spiritual development through connections with kind and generous souls outside of our usual circles and through facing physical hardship perhaps for the first time. This must be the best way of generating openness, understanding, and compassion, as these are only hindered in ignorance and fear of the outside world. Therefore, I travel.