There are more benefits to traveling than you could possibly imagine. As soon as you think you have experienced them all, another one pops up during your journey to remind you how fabulous traveling really is! I am constantly amazed at how much better I feel after every trip I take, and I know you will feel the same way if you choose to travel on occasion.
1. You gain new knowledge & skills by traveling
When you travel around the world, or even just around the country or your little town, you are going to learn something new every time. I love exploring new parts of the world because I return home with skills & knowledge that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned.
There are times when you do not even realize that you have been learning something new on your travels until the knowledge comes in handy. Some examples are planning skills, communication skills, and knowledge of different cultures and languages.
2. Traveling boost your self-confidence
Even if you are the most confident and independent person in the world, you can still benefit during your travels. Every time you venture somewhere new, you’re constantly forced to do things on your own and be reminded that you can get them done. What are some of these “things”? Well, everything from planning to making / changing reservations to ordering food successfully without understanding a word on the restaurant’s menu.
3. You learn about other languages
I wish I could say that you’re going to master new languages by just traveling and talking to locals! Unfortunately, learning a new language takes a lot more effort and time. However, it is possible to learn a few phrases from the locals.
Actually, if you’re traveling to a destination that doesn’t speak your tongue, you should really learn some common phrases before you even set foot in your destination. Using these phrases with some English mixed in can work wonderfully when communicating with the locals. They are also excellent ice breakers — people are so much friendlier when a traveler shows that they have put in some effort in learning their language — even if the phrases aren’t spoken perfectly.
4. It’s good for your health
When I am traveling, I find that my stress level returns to a manageable level. Getting away from the chores and responsibilities once in a while is a liberating experience. And that is good for your health.
You may also notice that you do not have as much anxiety when you are traveling because there is less for you to worry about when you are away from home and work. It might even help if you have mild depression.
For those of us whose jobs involve sitting in front of the computer 8 hours a day and don’t do much exercise, traveling forces you to move your lazy bum. You will walk more than you’d normally do, that’s for sure.
5. You become well-rounded
As you are learning more about different parts of the world, as well as the traditions and cultures found there, you will find that you are becoming a more well-rounded person. You will find that you can easily join in on conversations and have something unique to share with the people you are talking to.
6. Traveling helps you become an adventurous eater
Some travelers begin as picky eaters, but that can easily change once you travel more. I know that I was always looking for familiar foods when I traveled, until I was in a restaurant that had nothing I had eaten before. Since I was starving, I needed to order something, so I chose what appeared to be the least intimidating. Nowadays, I try to spend at least half of my travels eating foods that I normally wouldn’t eat back home.
7. You’re more open to new & exciting adventures
When we are home, we get stuck with what we normally do. However, during a vacation, we are more likely to step out of our comfort zone and try new adventures. I have held a baby alligator, come face to face with a giraffe, gone swimming with dolphins, and even touched a stingray. I never would have done any of these things had I not left my hometown, so this is huge on my list. If you are bored with your daily life, simply head out on a trip and see what you end up doing!
8. The real treasure is friendship all along
Everyone has their own social circle but imagine how many more friends you can have if you meet new people every time you travel! I have met many people from all over the world and many of those people became friends that I still keep in touch with all these years later. Sometimes you make friends with the locals, and sometimes you meet your fellow countrymen (or women) in a foreign country and find that you share the same interests. There are even stories of people meeting their soulmate during their vacation.
9. Traveling turbocharges your creativity
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a project at work and realized you have no idea what to do? Have you spent hours, or days, stuck in the same spot, waiting for a breakthrough? It’s called a creativity block and it happens to the best of us.
Going on a trip helps to push that blockage aside — it would help even if it’s only a short getaway. But it doesn’t stop there, traveling also helps expand our creative capacity by exposing us to new ideas: food, music, people, architecture, nature, and so much more.
I find that when I return from a trip, my creative juices flow much better and I can complete projects that have been stuck in no time.
Sometimes planning a trip has the same benefits. So if you are not planning on traveling soon, simply sit down and start researching for different things you can do on your next vacation. I think you will be thrilled with what happens as a result.
10. You learn valuable lessons of patience and tolerance
No matter how meticulously you plan your trip, it will never turn out 100% how you’d like it to be. Things can go wrong: delayed plane, canceled tour, horrendous dinner, or one of a million other things. I’m not saying that these inconveniences happen all the time, but when it happens you will need to be patient and solve the problem in front of you.
You will also learn the importance of tolerance. You will be spending time with people who are different than you — in terms of their cultures, languages, and beliefs they hold. Sometimes the differences inspire you, and sometimes you think they are heading in the wrong direction. When you encounter a situation you do not like, learn to take a deep breath and simply continue on. This will help you gain a different perspective when you return home as well.
And these are some of the amazing things that could happen to you when you get out of your comfort zone and travel. At least these are some of the benefits that I’ve personally experience the most. I would love to hear which benefits of travel you notice the most and how they differ from mine!
This post is contributed by Jen.