Whether you travel to see the world, to get away from it all or to meet new people, there’s something undeniably transformative about stepping outside of your comfort zone and seeing other cultures up close. Although travel can bring out the best in us, it can also reveal our worst traits, and that’s why I’ve put together this list of 10 ways how travel can change us for the better. So before you jet off into the sunset, take some time to make sure you have your best self in tow!
1) Travel teaches you about life
It’s no secret that travel broadens your horizons. Travelling to different countries and exploring new cultures teaches you so much about people, places, food, art and more. It gives you a unique perspective on your own culture; all of a sudden things at home don’t seem quite so big or important anymore. It is no wonder why travel changes us for the better; it makes us appreciate other people’s perspectives and learn how to be open-minded.
2) Travelling shapes who you are as a person
travelling gives you access to more opportunities than staying in one place. Each experience provides an opportunity for personal growth. When travelling, you are exposed to new cultures, new ways of thinking and living and it will definitely change who you are as a person.
3) You learn that everyone is different
There are more than seven billion people on Earth, and every single one of them is different. Going to a new country or even just a new city will open your eyes to how differently people think, behave, and work. No matter how much you travel, though, it’ll never be enough—there are just too many people to meet! Try making friends with as many locals as possible when traveling; they have interesting stories and insights that most tourists never get to see.
4) Travelling makes you more tolerant
Travelling allows you to interact with people of different backgrounds, exposing you to ideas and beliefs that may be very different from your own. In fact, studies show that living abroad for an extended period can be as effective in improving intercultural sensitivity as many years of traditional cross-cultural training.
5) Getting away from routine opens your mind
Travel is a great way to break out of routine. But it can also open your mind, as you’re exposed to new languages, cultures and points of view. When you come back home, your perception may be different: maybe you’ll value simplicity more than status symbols or find joy in family relationships rather than free time. At a minimum, travel shows us that some things we take for granted aren’t universal—and it can help us appreciate them all over again.
6) Meeting new people helps you grow personally and professionally
A study conducted in 2014 by Dr. Robin Dunbar, an evolutionary anthropologist from Oxford University, found that people with more social connections—whether they be family, friends or colleagues—are happier and more successful than their more solitary counterparts. The key to maintaining a high-quality social network is keeping up with old friends and making time for new ones—and there’s no better way to do that than traveling.
7) Seeing the world expands your worldview
Visiting new countries and cultures gives you a broader perspective on life, making you more open-minded and tolerant. It’s an interesting fact of human behavior that we tend to bring our own culture with us wherever we go; however, it can be difficult to see things from someone else’s point of view. If you travel internationally, you will develop a keener sense of how other people think and act as well as gaining respect for their customs.
8) New experiences make you more open-minded
When we travel, we are confronted with new experiences, cultures, and ideas on a regular basis. As a result, we grow and our world becomes bigger than before. The more open-minded you are to new things, from food to other cultures, personalities, and beliefs (and everything in between), the richer your life becomes. With every new experience comes an opportunity to learn something new about yourself.
9) Travelling makes you an interesting person because of all your stories to tell
Travelling is not only fun, but it’s also an educational experience. Travellers are interesting people to speak to because they tend to have a lot of stories from their trips that you can use as conversation starters. Not only that, but travelling can make you more cultured, broad-minded and open-minded. There are so many different cultures in the world and each one is unique in its own way.
10) Some things can’t be learned in school
It’s easy to forget that sometimes there is no substitute for experience. The more you travel, and expose yourself to different environments, cultures, and people groups, the more likely it is that you will learn things you could never learn in a classroom or textbook.