Traveling is not just about ticking off bucket lists and taking lots of Instagram-worthy photos. When you pack your bags and set off to a new place, you’re opening yourself to experiences that can change your life for the better. Not only do you discover new things about the world, but you also learn about yourself in the process. Here are some of the ways that traveling can help you grow into a better person:
1. You widen your perspective in life.
Traveling exposes you to different ways of living. You get to experience other people’s unique cultures and develop a respect for their heritage. You learn that it’s okay to break away from the status quo and try something new for a change. You become more open-minded and tolerant of other people and you learn to not judge them for their beliefs or the way they live.
2. You develop empathy and become more grounded.
You’ll meet all sorts of people on your journey–and some of them are in far worse conditions than what you have back home. You'll realize that you have much to be thankful for and that there is so much you can do to help other people’s plight. You'll learn to put yourself in their shoes so you can understand their struggles and motivations. You become kinder and more generous because you empathize with their situation.
3. You deepen your appreciation of nature and the world’s wonders.
Traveling allows you to see the best of what the world can offer: stunning landscapes and seascapes, impressive man-made structures, Mother Nature’s incredible phenomena. You become appreciative of being able to witness such beauty and realize the importance of preserving these things for future generations. You treat nature with respect and practice the traveler’s maxim of “leaving nothing but footprints” wherever you go.
4. You learn to roll with the punches.
When you travel, rarely do things go according to plan. You need to be able to shift gears quickly and adapt to whatever situation you end up in. You learn to let go of expectations and embrace spontaneity and surprises. You become more flexible with your plans and realize that you can still have fun even if things turn out differently.
5. You get to know yourself more.
There’s a reason why soul-searchers always opt to travel–it’s a tried and tested way of getting to know yourself and becoming more attuned to your thoughts and feelings. You discover what your limits are, and what you are actually capable of. You learn to let go of extra baggage that’s weighing you down and become certain of the things that you truly value in life.
6. You develop independence and confidence.
Traveling pushes you outside of your comfort zone. You learn to be at ease with uncertainty and to go with your gut feeling. You know that you can’t always rely on other people for help so you learn to figure out things on your own. You also learn to trust in yourself more and even start to amaze yourself with all the things you are able to accomplish.
7. You develop an unquenchable thirst for learning.
Wherever you go, there’s always something new to learn. It could be a new language, an interesting piece of history, an essential life hack, or a unique hobby. Your sense of curiosity and wonder is always on overdrive because there is so much to discover in this world.
8. You become stronger and more resilient.
Traveling is rarely a walk in the park. Sometimes you have to overcome some physical and mental hurdles to reach your destination. Other times, you have to face and conquer your fears. Every challenge you encounter in your journey builds you up to be a stronger person, and at the end of the road, you are more than ready to face whatever life throws at you.
9. You learn to live in the moment.
Traveling teaches you to live in the present and to embrace every fleeting moment. You learn to let go of the little worries in life so you can fully immerse yourself in each experience. You realize that living in the now is the best way to make memories that last a lifetime.
10. You learn to see the good in other people.
Every stranger you meet during your travels is a potential friend, like the milk tea vendor across your hostel or a fellow backpacker who volunteers to take your pictures. You learn that for every unscrupulous person who wants to take advantage of you, there are far more people who have good intentions and are willing to help you out in your time of need. You learn to trust in people and accept their goodwill.
PHOTO: Pixabay; GIFs: Giphy