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Why Traveling Will Literally Change Your Life

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Why Traveling Will Literally Change Your Life

There are few things as rewarding as traveling. It’s one of the most exciting things you can do, and it’s also something that you will remember for the rest of your life. I recently had the opportunity to live in London for four months while studying. I was lucky enough to visit several other countries while abroad, and it was one of the most enriching experiences I’ve ever had.

While it’s not always practical to pack up and leave for extended periods of time, there are a lot of opportunities to travel both domestically and overseas. Traveling is easier than ever. With the right planning, it can be done on even the tightest of budgets, and the payoff is definitely worth the investment. Here are the top 10 reasons why you should make traveling a priority.

1. It’s refreshing.

The number one reason traveling is so great? Your travel destination is not wherever you usually sleep, eat, work, and play. It’s a whole new place with endless sights and activities for you to explore. It’s really easy for life at home to get stale, so try to get out there and see more of the world. Or at least the next few towns over.

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2. It’s easy.

Okay, so it’s not always a cakewalk, but travel is becoming much simpler. Of course, I will always recommend doing a fair bit of planning just to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. Keep your travel documents together, make sure all your reservations are made and confirmed, make sure you know how to at least get to your lodging from the airport/bus station/train station/side of the road. With a few little details like this covered, though, it’s really quite easy to get going.

3. You’ll learn new things.

About yourself, about other peoples, about other foods, about the world you live in. Traveling is possibly the most fun anyone can have while learning. It’s fascinating to learn about the world outside of your small community, so embrace the option to do so.

4. It’s customizable.

As long as you’re traveling without a structured group or guide, you’re totally in control of what you do with your time. How great is it to be able to do whatever you want to do? Traveling gives you a great excuse to let loose and explore your interests.

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5. You’ll meet new people.

Traveling is a great way to meet new friends. If you’re the backpacking type, it’s often very easy to find groups of people who are heading the same way as you. Hostels, for those who are budget-conscious, are also good way to meet new people, as many travelers there are traveling alone or in very small groups. There are tons of opportunities to meet both fellow travelers and locals.

6. You’ll gain skills.

Learning new skills can be any of a number of things. It could be that you learn parts of a new language or how to tie the perfect sailor’s knot. Or maybe you gain the skill of time management simply by planning your day. A great aspect of traveling is that you often gain new skills without thinking about it as work, or even without knowing it at all.

7. It gives you something to look forward to.

Sometimes, it’s really nice to have something on your calendar to look forward to. Just a little reminder that in two weeks’ time, you’re going to be on a plane to an exciting new country or road tripping to the West coast. That anticipation and excitement is almost as nice as the trip itself.

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8. And something to look back on fondly.

Pictures, memories, memorabilia, whatever you want to remember your trip by. Traveling is great because even when the trip is over, you get to relive every moment of it again in your mind.

9. You’ll experience new things.

Traveling is a great way to experiment with new things. Whether that’s zip lining, rafting, getting pampered, or just relaxing on a far away beach, you’ll get to try things for the first time.

10. It’ll make you a better person.

Going to new places is a great way to round yourself out. Well-traveled people are more interesting, more knowledgable, and, often, more fun. Surround yourself with others who share your passion for travel and your interest in becoming a global citizen. You’ll find yourself changing for the better as a result.

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Featured photo credit: Ho John Lee via flickr.com

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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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