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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

12 Common Characteristics Of People Who Love Traveling

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12 Common Characteristics Of People Who Love Traveling

If you are like me, you absolutely love to travel. It is a part of who you are. And when you are asked why you travel by friends, family or complete strangers, you will list a myriad of reasons:

  1. You love meeting new people.
  2. You love experiencing new things.
  3. You love seeing new places.
  4. You love tasting new foods.
  5. You love adventure and the spontaneity that the journey brings.
  6. You enjoy pushing yourself out of your comfort zone
  7. You enjoy the personal growth that happens within you through the culmination of everything you experience and the people you meet.

I want to specifically touch on this last point – the personal growth and the transformation that happens within because this can be difficult to express, unless you actually give it some serious thought. I know I struggled to express this in words when I returned from backpacking on my own for over a year. I had undergone a massive change personally. But, what exactly did this look like on paper?

Let’s analyze 12 common characteristics of people who love traveling. Bear in mind that many of these are learned traits that are refined the more one travels. And if you are an aspiring traveler – the best advice I can give you is take the plunge. Traveling will change you for the better. Without a doubt.

1. We are adventurous

Traveling more often than not involves venturing out into the unknown. It involves traveling to a new place, meeting new people and engaging in new experiences. As travelers, we naturally have an adventurous spirit. It is part of who we are, and the more we travel, the more we feed this spirit. Adventure is our normal.

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2. We are empathetic

We have a strong sense of empathy. This is a culmination of our diverse experiences, the diverse cultures we encounter and the diversity of the people we meet. We may encounter immense poverty in certain countries. We will share stories with random strangers. We will work random jobs, from being a bartender, to a cleaner and even a waiter.

We have experienced tough times such as being stranded or having our bags stolen. All these experiences and encounters allow us to accept and appreciate differences amongst people. They allow us to see the world differently and see things through another persons’ point of view.

3. We are willing to learn; we are curious

As we move from place to place and meet new people we continuously find ourselves learning new things (whether out of choice or not). We become intensely curious about everything and are eager to learn new things, whether it be cultural customs or a new skill.

4. We welcome change; it’s a way of life

When we travel, the only constant is change. We find ourselves surrounded by new people and new places regularly. Over time, we learn to welcome those changes. We learn to expect them. When we meet a new person, we are cognisant of the fact that that person has their own travel itinerary in mind and they probably won’t be around forever. Change becomes a way of life.

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5. We have higher self-awareness

Self-awareness refers to our knowledge and awareness of our own personality and character. It also allows us to understand ourselves better and how others perceive you. It is the first step in developing your EQ and it is shaped by our experiences. As travelers, we draw from a diverse spectrum of experiences as it relates to people and cultures. Through traveling often and reflecting on those experiences we develop higher self-awareness.

6. We have higher self-esteem

Whilst we travel, we find ourselves continuously pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. We talk to random strangers. We meet new people at hostels. We create travel plans on the move. We overcome challenges such as having to deal with having money stolen (this happened to me; my entire account was cleaned out in New Zealand). All this improves our confidence in our own abilities; to overcome any challenges that are thrown our way. Traveling develops our self-esteem.

7. We know ourselves better

This may seem cliché, but it’s true. Traveling teaches us about our strengths, our weakness, what we like and don’t like. It teaches us about our personality.

For example during my travels, I spent time living and working on a dairy farm (very remote) and also time living and working in a city, where I lived with 16 people in a house. I enjoyed both experiences, but at some point, I either longed for more human interaction (when working on the dairy farm) or more ‘me-time’ (whilst working in the city). I am an introvert and an extrovert. What have you learned about yourself through traveling?

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8. We are more observant

“A traveler without observation is like a bird without wings.” – Moslih Eddin Saadi.

It may not seem obvious that we as travelers are observant. After all, there is so much that we need to take in as we move from place to place. Surely our brains will filter out a lot of information as to prevent information overload?

If you think about it though it is for that exact reason that we are more observant. We have become accustomed to taking in a lot. A sensory overload if you like. Of sights. Places. People. Our brains are well accustomed to taking in a lot more and as a result we filter out less. We have trained ourselves to observe more. And besides, we have far less distractions such as mobile phones and laptops.

9. We are more grateful

Gratitude is the base or foundation from which appreciation grows. When we are traveling we are often exposed to other people who live in immense poverty. We are exposed to ways of living that seem morally incorrect. This makes us more grateful for what we do have. For being able to have food. To be able to afford to actually travel in the first place. It’s easy to forget.

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10. We are more appreciative

From our feelings of gratitude, we develop a greater appreciation. We find beauty in those things that we previously took for granted. We accept, that that plate of food we have is giving us the needed nutrition. We recognize it’s value. We are more than grateful for those hiking shoes, we appreciate the value they provide in supporting our feet hike after hike. We appreciate our family and friends back home. Our appreciation is heightened.

11. We are very independent

When I was traveling and landed in New Zealand I didn’t have much money, but I made it work and organized myself accommodation and work.

When we travel, we realize it is just us and the big wide world. We are responsible for every step and action we take. Where we go. The places we see. The people we interact with. We learn to deal with any challenges that come our way, whether it be having to sort out visas, book accommodation or even organize a job.

12. We adapt well

Traveling by nature requires us to continuously adapt; to new environments, experiences and people. Traveling to a new country where there is different food, language(s) and ways of living, requires us to adapt our diets, learn some of the local language and function within new laws. There is constant change and we need to constantly adapt. Use that on your CV when applying for a job, where someone is skeptical about your ability to adapt to a new position.

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Featured photo credit: Thom Holmes via unsplash.com

More by this author

Nick Darlington

Nick is a Multipotentialite, an entrepreneur, a blogger and a traveler.

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Last Updated on January 27, 2022

5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

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5 Reasons Why Food is the Best Way to Understand a Culture

Food plays an integral role in our lives and rightfully so: the food we eat is intricately intertwined with our culture. You can learn a lot about a particular culture by exploring their food. In fact, it may be difficult to fully define a culture without a nod to their cuisine.

“Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.” – Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1825).

Don’t believe me? Here’s why food is the best way to understand a culture:

Food is a universal necessity.

It doesn’t matter where in the world you’re from – you have to eat. And your societal culture most likely evolved from that very need, the need to eat. Once they ventured beyond hunting and gathering, many early civilizations organized themselves in ways that facilitated food distribution and production. That also meant that the animals, land and resources you were near dictated not only what you’d consume, but how you’d prepare and cook it. The establishment of the spice trade and the merchant silk road are two example of the great lengths many took to obtain desirable ingredients.

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Food preservation techniques are unique to climates and lifestyle.

Ever wonder why the process to preserve meat is so different around the world? It has to do with local resources, needs, and climates. In Morocco, Khlea is a dish composed of dried beef preserved in spices and then packed in animal fat. When preserved correctly, it’s still good for two years when stored at room temperature. That makes a lot of sense in Morocco, where the country historically has had a strong nomadic population, desert landscape, and extremely warm, dry temperatures.

Staples of a local cuisines illustrate historical eating patterns.

Some societies have cuisines that are entirely based on meat, and others are almost entirely plant-based. Some have seasonal variety and their cuisines change accordingly during different parts of the year. India’s cuisine is extremely varied from region to region, with meat and wheat heavy dishes in the far north, to spectacular fish delicacies in the east, to rice-based vegetarian diets in the south, and many more variations in between.

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The western part of India is home to a group of strict vegetarians: they not only avoid flesh and eggs, but even certain strong aromatics like garlic, or root vegetables like carrots and potatoes. Dishes like Papri Chat, featuring vegetable based chutneys mixed with yoghurt, herbs and spices are popular.

Components of popular dishes can reveal cultural secrets.

This is probably the most intriguing part of studying a specific cuisine. Certain regions of the world have certain ingredients easily available to them. Most people know that common foods such as corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, and chocolate are native to the Americas, or “New World”. Many of today’s chefs consider themselves to be extremely modern when fusing cuisines, but cultural lines blended long ago when it comes to purity of ingredients.

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Black pepper originated in Asia but became, and still remains, a critical part of European cuisine. The Belgians are some of the finest chocolatiers, despite it not being native to the old world. And perhaps one of the most interesting result from the blending of two cuisines is Chicken Tikka Masala; it resembles an Indian Mughali dish, but was actually invented by the British!

Food tourism – it’s a whole new way to travel.

Some people have taken the intergation of food and culture to a new level. No trip they take is complete with out a well-researched meal plan, that dictates not only the time of year for their visit, but also how they will experience a new culture.

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So, a food tourist won’t just focus on having a pint at Oktoberfest, but will be interested in learning the German beer making process, and possibly how they can make their own fresh brew. Food tourists visit many of the popular mainstays for traditional tourism, like New York City, San Francisco, London, or Paris, but many locations that they frequent, such as Armenia or Laos, may be off the beaten path for most travelers. And since their interest in food is more than meal deep, they have the chance to learn local preparation techniques that can shed insight into a whole other aspect of a particular region’s culture.

Featured photo credit: Young Shih via unsplash.com

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