THE FIRST TIME I traveled abroad as an adult, I bought a Eurail pass for one month (10 trips). I went with my then-roommate and we carried with us a Let’s Go Western Europe guidebook (which we rarely cracked). We visited cities like Barcelona, Sevilla, Paris, and Luzern; we went to museums and art galleries and churches. In essence, we saw the sights. We did what we thought you were supposed to do when you traveled.

I learned a lot of lessons from that trip — mainly how I didn’t like to travel. Over the years and with more travel experience accumulating under my belt, I learned that seeing sights was just a small part of what appealed to me in travel. I was growing as a person; I was learning about how other people around the world lived. Travel took me out of my bubble and taught me that just because I was raised to live a certain way, it didn’t mean it was the only or right way to do it. In fact, I changed my entire lifestyle and life outlook because of travel, because I discovered what’s important to me.

This is what I love about the above video by The Perennial Plate, titled Travel is more than the seeing of sights. They manage to capture, in under a minute forty, that it’s the experiences — the being a part of life — that’s important. And the truth is you don’t even need to go very far to have them.

Check out our Real Life Experiences series — 17 posts that celebrate our world’s many and diverse cultures — in partnership with Intrepid Travel.