Traveling and reading are two sides of the same coin, as we say in Italy (due facce della stessa medaglia).
One action specifically makes your body travel, the other one your mind. They are completely different things, yet linked in the strongest way.
Not long ago I've written about how writing and literature can be deeply similar and connected.
Both require will, passion, interest, time.
Reading can be traveling, with your mind, heart and dreams - traveling can correspond to reading people, places, landscapes.
Both need direct experience, but it doesn't matter how that happens.
Paying attention helps, but it's not definitive. Natural is always better. Sometimes I want to but can't quite do it; other times it just happens, everything flows through my senses and I don't even notice until later.
The highest emotions and deepest experiences happen when they are unexpected.
These happen when you travel, and when you read.
Your mind is the most powerful element for your dreams, either through traveling or reading.
You are never alone with a book.