Almost every one of us agree that life’s real education happens outside the classroom. Classrooms with teachers, friends and textbooks are of course one way to learn but they are not the only.
In fact, traveling is the best way to learn things and the things that matter. Whether you stroll through the streets of Paris, hike through the most trying trails in the Himalayas or spend a sunny afternoon on the Caribbean beaches, travel will never fail you as a teacher.
Here below are ten reasons why traveling is the best form of education you can get irrespective of the places you travel and adventures you have.
1. You learn languages.
English is spoken in almost all parts of the world and it will work for you mostly. Nevertheless, it’s always better to learn the native language of the place you’re going to visit. In a way, travel forces you to learn languages.
After learning the basics through books, apps or videos, you can stretch your skills when you speak with the actual native speakers. By putting your language education into use, traveling mostly develops your listening and speaking capabilities.
Even when you have already studied a language, traveling is the best way to master that language. When you travel, you don’t just test your language skills in a real world scenario but also learn things like accent, intonation and slang in the most practical way.
2. You learn about other cultures.
Not just traveling to a foreign country but also to the different parts of your own country is the best way to discern what it’s all about. You better understand how the cultures around the world vary and where the common ground lies.
Differences exist in cuisines, etiquettes and lifestyle across different cultures. But in spite of the differences, you can find so many commonalities like shared love for art, nature and ancestors that bind all the different cultures together.
Education is not just about learning things to make our living but also contributing towards making it a better place to live in. The understanding of diverse cultures plays a vital role in your education.
3. You learn history.
You studied about the civilizations and major historical events in your history class. All that was really cool. But nothing beats traveling to historic landmarks and exploring your way around a city’s history and culture.
When you stroll through the streets and visit museums, palaces and galleries, the entire nation’s history comes out right in front of you. Learning about different dynasties, conflicts and changes is so much easier when you actually explore a nation.
Most often, what we learn about history through text books is deviated from reality. Entering into a dialogue with the locals you understand history in a more accurate way or at least it provides with you with a whole different perspective.
4. You learn about today’s world.
Travel teaches you not just about the world as it was in the past but also as it is today. It’s probably the best way to truly understand the political situation, economic scenario and social structure of the world we are living in today.
Our views about distant people and cultures are often influenced by what we are fed through the media. Traveling is a way to learn about them for real and not through the eyes of the media, which are often biased and prejudiced.
When you begin to travel often, you fully begin to understand the underlying reasons behind why the societies of different areas are shaped in a particular way and differ from the societies in other places.
5. You learn about nature.
When you move out of your comfort zone of the concrete jungle and begin to explore the most exotic natural wonders of the world, you will begin to realize the colossal majesty of nature.
Understanding the grandeur of nature is essential to solving most of the issues of the world today such as climate change, air pollution and global warming. When we fully realize what we are going to lose with our conduct, then solving these issues will be much easier.
So better than spending all the funds in organizing seminars and conferences,. It would suit you better to send the people backpacking to the most exotic mountains, lakes, forests and plains of the world.
6. You learn to do new things.
Traveling will test you in each and every step you take. As you’re exploring your way into the unknown, traveling naturally forces you to do so many things which you wouldn’t have done otherwise.
Whether it be while learning to pet the elephants in Cambodia, mountaineering through the snowclad mountains in Nepal or dancing Samba in Brazil, you will experience plenty of new things during your travels.
Traveling is in fact a way of learning to learn. You are out of your comfort zone and so you must learn to be able to adapt to a new learning environment in a very short time. It also helps in your overall learning as well.
7. You learn social skills.
You may be little shy and find it difficult to engage yourself socially. But traveling will change that as things like talking to complete strangers or asking them for favor is not an option but a necessity during travels.
If you are thinking of some personal development courses, you don’t need to do so. Travel your way to a wonderful place somewhere and if possible, on your own. You’ll grow much better than through such courses.
Lack of skills in conversation, presentation and public speaking often limit opportunities for us. Most of us find it difficult to master them how hard we try. If you’re facing difficulty with them, traveling will make your situation much easier.
8. You learn to be independent.
If you have spent your life being reactive, reacting to the circumstances placed upon you and you want to change that and haven’t been able to do so, traveling will teach you to be proactive and control your own fate by yourself.
Traveling forces one to be independent. This is even more the case when you travel on your own. There’s no choice but to make decisions and take initiatives completely by yourself as you don’t have anyone to tell you what to do nor anyone you can outsource the task too.
Independence is a fundamental goal of education. The focus of what we refer to as traditional education may be on financial independence but traveling will also teach you to be independent intellectually and emotionally.
9. You learn compassion for the lives of others.
When you travel extensively, you begin to realize that in spite of all the differences, we all are same somewhere deep down in our hearts. All your prejudices based on race, color and nationality will subside.
You can’t truly hate anyone when you know what they have been through and why they behaved in a certain way in the first place. And when you travel, you have a better understanding of people and their actions.
You’ll be touched when you find so many wonderful people all over the world that you begin to feel the whole world is your home. There is a fair share of bad people and good people out there.
10. You learn about yourself.
Probably the most important aspect of education that travel helps is your education about yourself. Travel is your best teacher not only on history, language and politics but also on yourself.
You realize your true potential, the things that you really enjoy and the person who you really are. Without travel, you have a very limited understanding of your true self and you may even be completely unaware of your real persona.
If you haven’t really decided what you are going to do with your life or what you want to be in future, traveling extensively and preferably to places you have never heard of before, is the best way to help you make a decision.
Featured photo credit: Guilherme Stecanella via unsplash.com