Travel changes you. It really does, there’s no doubt about it. You won’t be the same after you travel and there’s no getting around it. You may not notice it at first, but you will soon realize the subtle differences in the way you interact with people, in your attitudes about life, and in your views on the world. I believe travel changes you for the better, and the following are just some of the ways in which you’ll never be the same.
You’ll have more patience.
We are so often caught up in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives that even the smallest things which stall our schedules can cause major stress. However, when you’re traveling and not having to rush to work, rush to appointments, rush to do errands, etc., you’re able to slow down and take each moment for what it is. Patience in this setting will come more naturally and you can carry this virtue back with you into daily life.
You’ll be more empathetic and accepting.
After being exposed to the ways in which other people live, you’ll have more capacity for empathy for those different than yourself. Travel puts you in situations you wouldn’t normally be in and you’ll see things in new ways that will allow you to gain new insight about others. In turn, you’ll be more accepting of other cultures and ways of life. You’ll remember how you felt when you were in a foreign land unsure of your surroundings, and you’ll be kinder to those you encounter who are feeling the same.
You’ll gain knowledge.
You’ll learn about history, culture, language, and geography in ways that textbooks could never teach you. Yep, you heard that right – travel makes you smarter.
You’ll be more open-minded.
Travel takes you out of your comfort zone. Consequently, you’ll discover new ways of doing things, new foods you love that you would have never tried, new activities that become hobbies, etc. Travel opens you up to so many aspects of life that you may never have considered.
You’ll make more friends.
Making friends out on the road is one of my favorite things about traveling. In our regular day to day lives, it’s not always easy to strike up conversations with people you encounter, but traveling puts friend-making in fast forward. You’ll never make friends easier than while traveling. You already have a common interest (travel) and your friendship will quickly accelerate when you share adventures, spend hours traveling together, and mutually experience the hardships you may encounter. You’ll make friends from all over the world that you may never have met otherwise. And even better, you’ll have places to stay around the world when you want to travel again!
You’ll be less reliant on your phone.
If you’re traveling in a foreign country, chances are you won’t have cell service and therefore won’t be able to use your smart phone as much as you normally would. You’ll have to remember how to use a real map, figure out the answers to things in creative ways, and correspond with people through more than just texting. You’ll get used to not checking your phone every two minutes and learn to be present in the moment.
You’ll be more appreciative of the little things.
When traveling, you’ll likely have moments where you’ll be without things you usually take for granted. When you get back home you’ll really appreciate that hot shower, the constant wifi, being able to ask for directions in your native tongue, and the ease of jumping in your car to go to the store.
All of these changes that happen while you’re traveling can be carried back with you in your day to day life. You’ll become a more knowledgable, open-minded, easy-going person with friends all over the world. Be warned though, there are some downfalls to travel – every day mundane tasks may begin to bore you, you may have a harder time fitting in with those who only want to gossip about trivial things, you may accidentally order something in another language, your friends will be jealous (but really, if they’re not happy for you, time to reevaluate said “friendship”), and your case of wanderlust may never go away. I’ve decided these are problems worth having, the choice is yours.