Travel lays a foundation for learning and absorbing new cultural systems and reasoning from scratch to break down any taboos and stigmas one may attach to the way they view the world. The key is to keep an open mind and start any adventure – locally or in a land far, far away – with a bright attitude and embrace the new experiences that await you on your journeys. Although it can be a daunting thought to abandon the comfort zone that has made you the person you are today, there will never be a better time to start an adventure.
Here are five reasons why travel needs to be a part of the next chapter in your life story.
1. It strengthens social skills
When traveling alone, you have the potential to meet more people than you would at home. You have a choice to enjoy your own company or interact with those setting out to try experiences just like you, many for the first time. Because your mindsets are better aligned, conversation flows more smoothly, and the topics you talk about come from a good place – the inquisition is genuine, and that helps form friendships. Not all personality types are prone to sparking up conversations with strangers and therefore it can take a little courage in doing so, but the rewards far outweigh the fears of what that other person may think of you.
Cheat: try these seven travel conversation starters to help you meet people.
2. It builds character
Travelling presents the opportunity to try something new, whether that is a lifelong ambition or a weird and wonderful surprise you may have never dreamed of doing in your previous lifestyle. Because these new experiences are limited to the time you are there you can’t let yourself shy away through the fear of the unknown. Climbing a mountain might seem difficult but people conquer them on a daily basis; funny looking food might make you queasy, but they are delicacies throughout the world; swimming with sharks may terrify you, but there are safe ways to try it. Each encounter helps your inner confidence grow, it enables you to become a stronger person all-around.
Cheat: try these 9 ways to build your character.
3. It broadens the mind
Travel helps remove what some researchers have called ‘habitual closed-mindedness’. The more you see of the world, the less stigmas and taboos you will hold attachments to; your journey will constantly challenge you to see things in a new light, which may break down preconceived ideas about what you thought a certain type of person should do, act, or behave; or where they live should look like, or how it makes you feel. The only way to evolve that way of thinking is to experience it first-hand.
Cheat: try these 15 tactics for thinking differently.
4. It creates unique memories
Every travel experience has its own story. What makes them special is that no two stories are the same. Those memories are personal and therefore precious – from the friendships you strike up in hostels or on trips, to the local experiences, to the sights that belong to only certain parts of the world. Another motivator to seek out memories is that the world as you know it may not be around forever so see as much of it as you can before it’s too late. Natural wonders such as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is diminishing and at some point that experience will be ruled out completely.
Cheat: learn how to make your memories last longer.
5. It makes you appreciate what you have
Being away from home and acknowledge how people live in places worse off than yours is both an eye-opening experience and a wake-up call. You are lucky to be in a position to travel and see the world; whereas 80% of the globe’s population aren’t. Carrying that notion with you will make you more humble and want to squeeze every last drop of joy from the experiences that lie ahead of you. You are in charge of your own destiny, so make every minute count.