Without question, travel changes us. But perhaps in more ways than we realize.
When we travel, something changes inside us. However small it may be, you’ll feel a shift in your perspective of the world upon returning home. Maybe it’s leaving the space where we feel most comfortable and replacing it with something we’ve only seen in pictures. When traveling abroad we’re exposed to a wealth of new experiences and adventure. From transforming strangers into lifelong friends to trying foods you would have dreamed of meeting your gut, travel gifts us with some of our most treasured memories. Not only has it been proven to boost your creativity, but it makes you more trusting and a better problem-solver. There is enormous research revealing how travel cleanses you mentally. So, without further ado, here are 9 reasons that you’re amazing for traveling.
1. You’re Meeting Some Incredible People
This strange phenomenon happens when you’re abroad and you meet people: You’re instantly comfortable with them. Whether their friendly locals or fellow travelers, you’re all keen on meeting new people and having new experiences. More often than not, the people you meet will want to learn about your culture and much as you do about theirs. If you’re set on making friends abroad, I highly suggest staying in a hostel. Not only are you likely to encounter travelers like yourself, but you might befriend some locals who can take you to the hidden gems of where you’re visiting.
If you’re lucky, you’ll get connected with some of these people and stay in touch for years to come.
2. You’re Opening Your Eyes to Foreign Cultures
No matter how many travel documentaries you watch, you will never be able to experience a foreign culture unless you’re truly in it. Most of us will live our whole lives in our native country, never having been exposed up close to a culture vastly different from our own. Cue: traveling. When traveling, you catch a bug — an inspiration bug. You want to know everything, experience everything, meet everyone and hear their stories. You’ll return home feeling lighter, happier and poking around online for where you’re next trip will take you.
3. You’re Traveling the Way You Want to Travel
Now, this one pertains mostly to solo travelers. That said, even if you’re traveling with one of your favorite people, this is your trip to do your way. If you want to blow a couple hundred dollars staying at a beachfront resort in the Bahamas, do it. If you want to penny pinch and only stay in the cheapest hostels and see free museums and attractions, do it. The point is, you can travel the way you want to travel. It’s entirely up to you and the experience that you want to have.
4. You’re Building Confidence
Hell yes, you’re traveling to a different country. Of course you are and of course you’re able. You’re able and going to have an amazing time. While you’re out there you’re going to feel like you’re on top of the world. Having a killer travel playlist composed of your favorite inspirational songs to accompany your journey is always an added bonus. If you can navigate a foreign culture, you can literally do anything. I’m not kidding.
5. You’re Learning
Even if you don’t feel like you’re learning, you are. Let me explain. As you’re navigating a new city, you’re figuring out how to manage unfamiliar situations. Finding yourself in the middle of a foreign city is about as unfamiliar as it gets. You’re finding what makes you uncomfortable and pushing beyond them, overcoming your fears. You will come to terms with the culture at hand, what is normal and what isn’t. You’ll learn how to interact with the locals and gradually feel more comfortable doing it. You might not be 100% aware of it, but the learning happens, inside and out.
6. You’re Being Challenged
Traveling to a country you’ve never been to is without a doubt one of the more challenging things you’ll do in your life. Especially if it’s a country where you don’t speak the language. Even more so if you’re traveling alone. But don’t let the prospect of a challenge deter you. As you’re learning how to navigate a new city, what neighborhoods to find the best food, and how to interact with the locals, you are pressing yourself outside your comfort zone. You will overcome these challenges placed before you and learn just how capable a traveler you are.
7. You’re Discovering Just How Easy Travel Is
I went abroad for the first time ever alone. Not only was I freaked about traveling abroad for the first time, but scared about doing so alone. Nonetheless, Spain and Portugal were calling. Upon returning home I recall telling my mom on the phone about this obnoxious misconception that travel is hard. One of the most striking things to me about traveling was the ease at which is happened. This is certainly circumstantial. There are some places that are much easier to access than others, but the vast majority of places are not impossible.
8. You’re Starting to Think Differently
You’re thinking differently about yourself, the world, and your place in it. The world truly is your playground. I’ve heard people speak of how traveling changes for them the more the do it. The more places you visit, the more your reasons for traveling will change and the more you’ll realize the kind of traveler you are.
9. You’re Coming Home With Some Insane Stories
Remember that time you ate a fried cockroach? Or when you jumped off the ledge of a canyon with a thin bungee attached around your waist? Stories make for the best souvenirs. Months after I return from a trip I can look back at the pictures and countless memories of the events surrounding that image bubble to the forefront of my mind. Those memories are ones you can’t help but smile at.
Feature Image: Benjamin Voros | Unsplash