Here are the ways I, personally, feel I have become a better version of myself through travelling, and why I recommend it to anyone willing to try it.
#1. You Connect
The world is a big place, and it can easily feel like you are just another face in the crowd. But as you spend time museum-hopping in cities, sunbathing on beaches, hiking in mountains, camping under the stars or driving down endless roads, you start to feel a connection to the world around you, whether it’s feeling one with nature, being in tune to the pulse of a city, or making friends with locals and fellow travellers.It’s a beautiful feeling.
|Photo credit: Vivian Lee from Miss Happy Feet|
#2. You Discover
Self-searching can seem like a selfish hippy thing to do, but so many people don’t take the time to understand who they are as a person. What motivates them, what they believe in, and sets them off. Technology and day-to-day grind keeps most of us distracted from all that. Never mind social media and ads telling you who you should be every 3 seconds.
When you break away from the social structures of your home town, you suddenly become much more aware of your identity in the world, especially when you transplant to a new environment. You are suddenly free from the typical expectations, pressures and influences. It can be scary, but so incredibly rewarding as you take your baby adult steps and evaluate your beliefs, convictions, and put them to the test and find out what you really believe in, who you are and who you want to be.
#3. You Love
You learn to love MORE. You see incredible things and are constantly falling in love with new experiences: a new song, a new food, a cultural quirk, a breath-taking sight, or maybe even a new person, and it isn’t always romantic love. You meet people from all walks of life and form connections you never expected. As you go on, you recognize your blessings and begin to understand what truly makes life worth living. As one matures, there is also a change in perspective, and you learn to be the better person by judging less and sympathising more.
|Photo credit: Edward Young from Reborn Stronger|
#4. You Learn
From tour guides who teach you the history of their city, to life lessons that can only really be learned through experience. Not to mention all kinds of cultural nuances, traditions, recipes, skills and languages that you could pick up on the way! I learned how to cook couscous in France, how to belly dance in Quebec and currently learning Arabic in Egypt! (not all those things go together, haha, but just shows how international the world is becoming!)
#5. You Grow
Whether it means to grow in maturity or to grow as a person, travelling helps with both. Self-reliance, courage, flexibility, all these skills, and more, are developed, perhaps even more quickly since travelling usually leaves you with little choice.
|My amazing friend Julia, going missions in Nepal!|
#6. You Change
I think everyone who has gone on a trip has come back just a little different. Those who venture for weeks and months at a time, even more so. I think of it as being a rock on the beach that gets hit continually by waves. The change is gradual, but soon the rock is smoother and shinier. Sometimes i’s just the small things, like a change in tastes in food, music or art, which is inevitable through constant different cultural exposures. I’ve seen travellers who went from having low self-esteem to having confidence. From being ignorant to having awareness. From being timid, to being brave. Even our style of travelling may change, perhaps from being more anxious and uptight, to being able to roll with the punches and see the bright side.
To you fellow travellers, how do you feel travelling has affected you? Do you or other notice a difference? Share in the comments below!