Ah, the beach. White sands, crystal clear waters, a hammock, a banana milkshake and my Kindle, now that’s my idea of paradise. 

There are those who prefer a secluded cabin in the woods. Some enjoy luxury ski resorts, and there are others who prefer the nightlife that the big cities have to offer. 

The fact is that to be uber-productive, we need to find ways to release stress and what better way than getting away from it all. Traveling does this, and so much more.

Traveling is the ultimate food for thought. It gives us exposure to different cultures, people, and ideas that just can’t be captured by video. You’ve got to live it, feel it, not just see it.

I remember my first experience traveling overseas way back when. I was only eight when my family moved from Newscastle-Under-Lyme, England, to the capital of the Philippines, Manila. From a small sleepy city with a population of about 70,000 to one with almost six million. The sites, the smells, everything was different and it opened my eyes to so many things.

Since that time, I’ve been lucky enough to have traveled all over the world and with each destination I learned something new. 

Over the years, I have come to realize what many entrepreneurs and CEOs already know, that traveling has incredible benefits to the company’s bottom line and our own productivity.

Here are 11 reasons you should book a trip tonight.

1. Appreciation – The Pyramids, The White Cliffs of Dover, Machu Pichu, Jellyfish Lake, Christ The Redeemer, and Mt. Fuji, are just some of the amazing places the world has to offer. My friends and I left our hotel at 3 AM to go to The Grand Canyon and enjoy the sunrise back in my college days. I can still remember how inspiring it was despite it being over 20 years ago. Entrepreneurs and CEOs can always use some inspiration as they often have their decisions questioned. 

2. Memories – Life is not meant to be lived in front of a computer screen or in a meeting room. Go out and see what the world has to offer. The memories you make will serve you well. Don’t forget your camera. Capture the moments. Print up your best ones and put them on your office wall. 

3. Recharge – The stresses of daily life get to us over time. The pressure on entrepreneurs and CEOs can be extreme so burnout is not uncommon. Traveling to a lovely resort, or quiet beach is the perfect place to unwind and forget about your troubles. If only for a few days. 

4. Focus – New destinations mean we can’t just turn on automatic pilot like we do at home. They bring with them new challenges and adventures which force us to be present. 

5. Purpose – If you’re unsure of what you want or why you do what you do. Get away from it all and within a week, you’re likely to at least get some insight into just what you want out of life.

6. Expand your horizons – Too many people think they understand just what the world is like, sitting in the comfort of their living room. It’s one thing to see it on TV, and another to be there. The world will surprise you.

7. Creative thoughts – If you’re looking for new ideas, either go somewhere completely unlike anywhere you’ve ever been or somewhere so isolated that your mind will be free to wander. 

8. Communication – New environments force us out of our comfort zone. We have to talk to people we’ve never met and try things we never thought we would. That’s a good thing. 

9. Tolerance – Some destinations are more challenging than others. From time to time you may find your stuck in situations that don’t always go as planned. Learning to handle uncertainty is helpful for any entrepreneur and CEO who are often asked to think outside the box. 

10. Real life education – Meeting and talking to people from all over the world is an education in and of itself. It’s something we can’t get at a traditional school, college or a university. 

11. Exploration – Let’s face it. The area around where we live we know like the back of our hands. As such, we tend to not explore it. Going to new destinations and not knowing our surroundings forces us to explore. The childlike quality of curiosity tends to shrink as we get older. Travel helps keep that alive.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your passport and get going.