The millennial population is rich in adventurers who manage to switch from their full-time jobs to a digital nomad life. Their stories are inspiring and mesmerizing, but they usually focus on how great the world is and how to quit your job.
I want to give you a different perspective: traveling changes your perspective on the world. All your life expectations will be shaken and turned upside down as you see how other people live and work. In time, the traveling culture perpetuated by millennials is going to change society, but let’s take it one step at a time.
1. You will understand international relationships better
Traveling helps you meet and bond with foreigners, so after couple of weeks, you will have a network of foreign friends. Each one of them comes with their own cultural background. This will show you a different reality from each country, a reality which is not broadcasted on the news.
I visited San Pedro Sula and learned that each city has its own charm, even if the news only presents it from a negative viewpoint. Traveling makes you see the world more objectively, which is going to open your mind to a new range of judgments and conceptions.
2. You will learn how your decisions impact locals in other countries
When you travel, you might stumble upon some traveling laws which ask you to do certain things, present certain papers, or restrict your access to entering a country. All these obstacles might be a direct or indirect result of your decisions. When you vote to enter a war (OK, this is less likely, but let’s keep it to the extremes for this imagination exercise), you might ignore the impact of this decision, especially if you don’t have any loved ones in the country your state is declaring war upon. But if you’ve traveled to that country and seen the people, possibly made some friends there, you are going to think twice before making a political decision that might impact another country.
The most recent example we have is Brexit, which impacted not only Europe but the entire world as it changed the economic dynamics in the European Union.
3. You will appreciate your country more
For Americans, it is easy to be patriotic because we have all the reasons in the world to be grateful and proud. But other countries don’t always offer so many reasons to be grateful or proud. Certain countries in Eastern Europe and Africa are struggling, which means their citizens have tough lives. For them, being patriotic is harder than it is for Americans.
Traveling will make you appreciate your status. The more you learn about the formalities of getting a second citizenship, a work visa, or the struggle of trying to make the immigration officer understand you can’t provide the paperwork he is asking for, the more you will understand how it feels to be in a foreign country.
As immigration is booming, thousands of people are becoming foreigners and giving up on their citizenship in favor of living in a developed country like America. Traveling makes you appreciate your citizenship and your country of residence more than ever before.
4. If you work abroad, you will learn new office practices
Traveling is great, but if you manage to get a job abroad, you will learn another valuable lesson: office life is different from one country to another.
While for Europeans it is normal to leave the work email closed during the weekend, in the US this is not acceptable for many companies. In America, people do reply to emails on the weekend, even when they are on holiday, if there is an emergency. And this is only a small chapter of the big book of professionalism at offices across the world. If you have the opportunity to work abroad, do it, because you will learn new office practices and discover how other nations get the work done.
5. You will understand that learning a new language is easier than it seems
Millennials want to gain from their trips, so learning is always part of the trade. As you travel from country to country, meeting new people and understanding their culture, tasting their food, and trying on their clothes, you also get to understand the core of their language. Pair this with the increasing demand of knowing at least 2 foreign languages for your job and you have the perfect learn and travel experience.
There are millions of guides on how to learn a language fast, but until you visit the country, you will never truly grasp these words — even with an easy-to-learn language such as Spanish or Italian. Each language has its own specific words for emotions and situations.
6. You will ditch misconceptions
Each nation has its own share of myths and misconceptions, but traveling to another country is going to help you ditch them in the blink of an eye.
One of the destinations plagued by misconceptions is Amsterdam. The general opinion believes this is a modern day Sodoma and Gomorah, but if you take a look at the history of this city, you will see there is more to it than illegal substances and the oldest job of all time. When you step onto the streets of Amsterdam and witness how people speak, live, and eat, your misconceptions will disappear. The same magic happens anywhere you travel.
7. You will gain a mix of confidence and modesty
Traveling gives you a lot of confidence, but it also makes you more modest. As you get a reality check and see how other people live, you will see the world is a huge place and you have a lot to learn. The sheer immensity of cultures and sightings is going to make you modest, but in a good way — a way that keeps your mind open to learning new things every day.
Featured photo credit: Unknown via bokosmart.com