However, perhaps the old cliche, that people go travelling to find themselves, is foremost in people’s minds. This is usually thrown at people as a way of deriding them for travelling. As if they should already know who they are before they set off on their adventures!
However, in my experience, this cliche is completely true. I’m a much different person now from the one I was before I went travelling. I credit travelling as the best thing that I’ve done.
This isn’t to say that I went travelling to go and find myself, merely, that I realised who I was while I was travelling. The two are very distinct and different.
Here are 8 reasons to go travelling and how it can improve and change your life!
8 awesome reasons to go travelling now
You become better at meeting people
Unless you want to spend the majority of your time by yourself, then this is a skill you’re going to have to master. Going to all these amazing places as a solo traveller is great in itself, but without anyone to share the experience with it’s a waste!
It’s certainly true that people make the trip. All of my best experiences whilst travelling have come when I’ve been going to places with a group of people. As you get to share your experience with other people and see it from their point of view, as well as your own.
If you aren’t particularly great at meeting new people and striking up conversations, then don’t worry, as I was in this boat as well. But, it does get easier, as you are constantly meeting new people. This is one of the best reasons to go travelling, as your interpersonal will improve markedly!
You’ll also be meeting people that are like-minded, so the odds of striking up a friendship are greater. You also have to remember that a lot of people may be in the same situation as you and are travelling alone. So reach out to someone and strike up a conversation!
You gain more confidence
This ties in with the point above. Meeting new people and interacting with different people on a daily basis will instil you with more confidence., especially if you are travelling alone!
A big thing for me when I first started out was the belief that I could do it. Going on my Australian working holiday visa on my own was scary. But, once I got there and acclimatised, I revelled in the independence I had and grew in confidence as a result.
This was something that I had put off for a while. I had intended to go travelling after I finished university. However, the thought of going by myself scared me, so I put it off. Getting hit by a car and realising life is too short to not do what you want, forced my hand and I decided to go for it.
This is one of the best reasons to go travelling! If, like me, you were apprehensive about travelling at first, then once you actually get into it, this gives you great confidence. The thought process is basically; well if I can do this, then I can do anything.
There is no bigger confidence booster!
You become less materialistic
There is no getting away from the fact that we live in a materialistic age. New products are brought out every year and are advertised as not worth living without it. As if our lives would be 10 times better with these products!
Yes, it’s nice having cool gadgets such as an iPhone and tablets, but after a few months on the road, you realise they’re not essential to your happiness. In many ways, they can be a detriment to it.
Travelling around poorer parts of the world, where people have barely any possessions and yet are still happy hits home. It makes you realise that the accumulation of wealth and objects does not make you happy.
I have certainly become less materialistic the more that I have travelled. It has now got to the point, where I actually get a little stressed if I have too much stuff!
Reducing the unnecessary clutter in your life, and keeping only what you truly need, will do wonders for your mind and your wallet. Often we only want things, but we do not really need them! This is one of the benefits of travelling, it makes you realise what is important in life!
You become more adventurous
This is certainly true of me, some of the things that I have done while travelling, I would not have entertained doing previously. I never really considered myself a daredevil, but I have certainly ventured outside my comfort zone.
Of course, this is good, comfort zones are nice, but stepping outside them reminds you that you are alive. Nothing says that like jumping out of an aeroplane or doing a bungee jump! Taking risks is an essential part of life, if you are not doing this, then you are not really living!
But even seemingly insignificant pursuits such as snowboarding or white-water rafting can signal a change. I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to do either previously, but doing so has given me a new-found love for both of these pursuits.
Seeking out new pursuits is good for the mind, as it opens you up to things you never thought you would enjoy. It’s amazing what an adrenaline rush can do to you!
You can deal with pressure situations better
This should perhaps be renamed to you HAVE to deal with pressure situations. The bottom line is that when you are travelling you only have yourself to rely on. Granted, if you’re with friends then it’s slightly easier, but if you have an issue you have to sort it.
I have had numerous situations like this, where I have had to unblock cards, sort out repayments and deal with fraud on my bank card. It is stressful, there is no getting away from it, but you just have to get on with it.
Once you can handle situations like this, then anything else can feel immaterial in relation. You become more relaxed in general during your everyday life, and realise what is actually worth giving a fuck about. As opposed to getting stressed about every little thing in your life!
You learn to read people
Meeting new people every other day, you soon begin to develop a skill for quickly figuring people out. This is a particularly handy skill to have in life, and up there with the best reasons to go travelling. Here’s why:
It’s important to read body language when you are either in a country that does not speak your language or speaking to someone who doesn’t. I found that I had to simplify what I was saying to the bare essentials in many instances.
In situations such as this, using non-verbal gestures and reading body language help to get your point across. Obviously, being attuned to body language is no bad thing, as it can reveal a lot about how a person is feeling.
This is one of the major benefits of travelling for me. I feel that I’m much better at reading people than I was before, and I can work out people much more quicker than before.
Travelling is perhaps the best way to broaden your horizons. It is only through leaving your comfort zone behind and seeking out new experiences that you develop as a person. This is another one of the best reasons to go travelling, as you become more attuned to other cultures.
Seeing people living in abject poverty is an eye-opening experience and makes you realise how lucky you are to be able to travel the world. This was something that I realised while I was backpacking in the Philippines!
Just because things are done differently in foreign countries, does not mean they are wrong or out of touch. It is just the way to do things.
You learn to live in the present
This is perhaps the most important lesson you can learn from travelling. Time is the most important commodity we have as human beings, it is not finite and we don’t know when it may be up.
So you might as well start making the most of your time, while you have it. It’s important to remember that today is the youngest that we will ever be! That is quite powerful, so it’s important to make good use of our time!
This is especially true when travelling, yes there can be the stress of planning etc, but sometimes a look out the window can bring you back into the present and make you realise how lucky you are!
Remember what you do today, sets you up for the future and gives you something to be proud of looking back on!
There are many reasons to go travelling, and I could list a lot more here. However, I feel that these are some of the most important lessons I have learnt from travelling.
Travelling around the world, either by yourself or with friends opens you up to so many different experiences that it can only be beneficial.
I really feel that if you are travelling then you are really missing out. Not just on seeing all the amazing places that make up our planet, but also on developing yourself as a person!
I credit travelling with making me the person I am today, so what’s to say it won’t do the same for you!?