Ways travel changes you for the better

There are moments in life that change and define who we are. Travelling to a new place – taking off into an unknown adventure, completely open to the world and whatever comes – is exactly one of these moments.

Travel teaches us not only about the world and other cultures, but also about ourselves. While travel changes people in many different ways, there are some things you can expect to happen while travelling that will change you for the better.

You’ll gain a sense of independence

A young woman bicycles across the canal - Amsterdam, The Netherlands
A young woman bicycles across the canal – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Regardless of whether you’re travelling solo or with someone by your side, travelling helps you become more independent in ways you might not even realise. You’ll have to figure out how to get yourself from point A to point B, what you want to see and do each day and how to manage your own budget. All these little things might not seem like much at first, but each is a small step towards building a stronger sense of independence.

You’ll break out of your comfort zone

By removing yourself from the comforts of home and all the things that you are most familiar with – like the language, the weather, the food and even the people – you start to see the world and yourself in a new way. Things that used to seem scary or uncomfortable to you, like eating alone at a restaurant or diving off a cliff into crystal-clear blue waters, won’t seem so scary anymore and you’ll be able to do things you never dreamed were possible.

You learn to value experiences over things

Holi, or the “festival of colours”, is an unforgettable experience
Holi, or the “festival of colours”, is an unforgettable experience

When you’ve had the opportunity to stand in front of Rome’s towering Colosseum or hike up to the peaks of Machu Picchu, you realize that life is about the things that you do, rather than than the things you can buy. Slowly but surely, it will become more and more obvious that what matters more are the experiences you share and the memories you make, not the souvenirs you buy.

You’ll become more adaptable and flexible

Sometimes things go unexpectedly while you’re travelling. Flights get cancelled, rain comes out of nowhere and maybe, just maybe, you fall asleep on the train and miss your stop. But throughout all these ups and downs, the good news is that you learn how to handle whatever situation is thrown at you. You learn to adapt and find a new solution, and you might even laugh about it at the end of the day.

You’ll develop a desire to explore more

A traveller overlooks Yosemite National Park, California
A traveller overlooks Yosemite National Park, California

Once you get a taste of travel, you won’t be able to get enough. After you’ve experienced the sights, sounds and smells of a new place, you’ll find yourself even more eager to find a new place to add to your list of must-visit destinations. Luckily, the world is a very big place and there are plenty of options out there to satisfy your wanderlust.

You’ll gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of other cultures

When you’re surrounded by people from other countries – people who have different values, traditions and ways of thinking than you do – you realise that there is so much more to the world than just the small part you come from. You’ll see things from a different perspective and be able to understand different ways of living. By interacting with people and communities around the world, you’ll learn to truly appreciate their differences, but also their similarities.

You will open up your world

When we travel and embrace new experiences, our world is opened up
When we travel and embrace new experiences, our world is opened up

After you’ve opened up your mind and heart to travel, to new experiences, new places and new people, you’re world becomes more open too. By embracing curiosity and exposing yourself to something different, you become more connected to the world and are able to fully experience all that it has to offer.

originally published in Here

Written by

Samantha Fanelli

After completing her first book at the age of five, stick figure drawings and glitter glue included, Samantha pursued a life in journalism and landed her role as momondo’s Data Journalist. She has an insatiable hunger for creative storytelling, travelling and good pizza. She also has no problem waiting hours in line at the latest foodie hot-spots.

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