What is it about travel that brings out a more relaxed, fun and happy person within? Is it the countless days of having no worries? Eating delicious foods and snapping photos of beautiful sites? I would say all of these things contribute to the euphoria of travel. But besides these things, there is more value in what travel brings out in us. When we seek out new experiences and open ourselves up to others we can be changed, and in that change there is immense value not just for us but also for the world around us. Here are 5 ways travel makes us a better version of ourselves.
“ I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”
Mary Anne Radmacher
It Teaches Us To roll With the unexpected
Anyone who has traveled understands that nothing goes as planned and flexibility is key. Flights get cancelled, transportation does not arrive on time, baggage get lost, you name it. Or you fall in mud/dung mix in the middle of a field in Nepal and end up covered in filth. What value do these things really have? What comes out of this is that we learn to adapt and change with the circumstances. We learn how to deal with things as they come and understand what is actually worth freaking out about. When we arrive home, we don’t sweat the small stuff and can adapt to change a lot easier than before. The confidence we gain from navigating difficult circumstances as we travel gives us new tools to find things in our life we might never have thought to look for.
Trust The World Around Us
If you pay attention to the news, you would rightly feel like the world is on fire. You would think that danger lurks around every corner and that staying in your safe bubble at home is the only way to live. It is important to practice safety precautions wherever you go, and use common sense like you would anywhere. While there is safety concerns wherever you go, including at home, getting out into the real world is one of the best ways to help squash any of those fears we might have. When you see people living their daily lives, shopping the markets, taking their kids to school, and giving a passing smile while walking down the street you will realize that all of our prejudices and preconceptions are shaped out of fear and misunderstandings. Travel will help you trust the world around you more, which leads to a more confident you, which opens you up even further to more experiences.
Excitement About Learning Again
As we get older our desire and opportunity for learning decreases. We get set in our ways and think we don’t need to keep learning in life. Traveling brings back that excitement of learning again, that innocence of seeking out something you don’t know or understand. This is a different type of learning, one we can sink into, take our time and find that curiosity again that is taken away from us as we grow older. No more worrying about cramming for a test, or if we will pass. It is pure, unadulterated joy, exploring the for the sake of exploring, like when we were kids running through the woods. This is one of the most underrated things we get out of traveling. We should never stop learning no matter how old we get.
Puts Things Into Perspective
When traveling we are forced to see how other people live, learn about different cultures, and come to grips with how economic and opportunity disparities. Coming face to face with these things shifts the lens you look at the world through. Once you have seen these things, you can’t unsee them. This does not mean we need to walk around feeling how #blessed we are, having pity on those around us. What is does is bring awareness towards how narrowly we had previously lived our lives and this can be just the reality pill that we need to swallow. It forces us to get comfortable with the some of the hard truths and try to look at our lives and hopefully turning that into something that can bring a better world for all of us.
Good For Our Health
Travel is not only good for us physically , but also mentally and emotionally. The reality is as humans we tend to want to avoid getting uncomfortable or doing anything hard. But travel forces us to go there, and learn how to deal and be OK with the uncomfortable times while also helping us deal with challenges that arise. It also allows us to have experiences we would not usually have, go on adventures, eat delicious food and meet amazing people. All of this leads to us feeling happier and more content. As a society we have moved away from the need of having community around us. We are taught to live an individualistic life, tied to our phones and booked calendars and wearing our “busy” as a badge of honor. Traveling take us out of that. It Brings us back to the core of what makes us humans; the desire for connection to the world, people and places around us.
In the end traveling helps us be and feel our best self because we are more willing to see the world for what it really is and be open to its many lessons. It is important to recognize our shared humanity together, despite our fears or incorrect information we receive. It is much easier to love the world then to walk around with fear and bitterness. So next time you are contemplating that trip, go ahead and take the leap, it will be worth it.