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11 Ways Traveling Makes You A Better Person

11 Ways Traveling Makes You A Better Person

Traveling is one of life’s great joys. It’s a way to see the world and learn about places you’ve never been before. Here are some ways to help you make the most of your travel experience.

1. Plan for the unexpected

An itinerary can be helpful, but you won’t be able to plan everything down to the smallest detail. How could you possibly have known about that little restaurant at the back of that alley before you arrived, or that friendly local who invited who into his house to hear him play the santuri? Often, the best parts of a trip are a result of an adventure.

2. Not getting what you want or getting what you didn’t want can be a blessing in disguise

When you have to take a later bus or a different ferry, you have no choice but to accept it. This is how a lot of successful people learn to be happy when things don’t go their way.

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3. The best things can come from the worst experiences

Once, when I was in Sicily, I was swindled by a stranger for a hundred dollars. At first I was devastated. I spent the entire next day thinking about what I should have done to keep my money, and what I would do if I had it. But what I learned from this about humanity, about the nature of good and evil within people, and how circumstances force them to do bad things showed me a lot about myself and how to cope with misfortune. So that when I was finished wallowing, I felt stronger, having experienced a variety of emotion over the past few days, and wiser, having understood so much more about the swindler and myself.

4. Price and value are two different things

The cost of a trip may be a couple of thousand dollars, depending on how big you go. But the value it could have on your life and your memories could be priceless. Think about how much you are willing to spend, sure, but also consider what else you want from your vacation, who you want to meet, what kind of experiences you want to have, and how you want to remember it ten years from now.

5. Don’t follow others’ footsteps and find your own path

Traveling in a guided tour can be informative and fun, but I look forward to wandering away from the group, down labyrinthine alleys, into falafel shops and sectarian neighborhoods, to experience my own understanding of a city and its environs. The same applies to when I come home from my trip.

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6. Living in the moment

Traveling is kind of like being in love. Except instead of being intimate with another person, you become intimate with a place. Those moments of pleasure when the sun hits your face and you look out onto a foreign countryside, or arrive at a new train depot in a bustle of taxis and hawkers—those are the moments you, or at least I, remember, and live for, again and again.

7. Seeing how other people live

We’re all part of a human family, but it’s easy to forget that when we move through our daily routine, seeing people who live just like we do. But when you see people going about their daily existence in ways very different from your own, it can open your eyes to how similar you are to them, and how different.

8. Appreciating what you have

When you see a family eating rice for dinner and sleeping on the street under the open sky, it can help you think about how lucky you are to have a home and warm clothes you can go back to. Chances are if you’re reading this right now, your probably in the top 20% of the world’s wealthiest people. Don’t forget it!

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9. Discerning tiny differences

When you travel to a country that speaks a different language, it’s easy to spot what else makes it different. From the way the sunlight falls across a valley to the different flora and fauna in the surrounding forest, use your senses to determine what else is different in your foreign destination.

10. Be more comfortable alone

Even when you’re traveling with others, it can be isolating when no one speaks your language. Too often, you will have to make do thinking thoughts in your head, which is what many great thinkers, philosophers and artists have long known and practiced.

11. Learn how to tell a better story

Inevitably you will see or hear things worth telling friends about when you return home. After traveling enough, you will have all the practice you need to become a master story-teller.

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So keep traveling with these lessons in mind and learn more from your experiences abroad.

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

1. Understand Yourself Better

Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

2. Keep Track of Small Changes

I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

3. Become Aware of What Matters

As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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4. Boost Creativity

The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

6. Process Life Experiences

When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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7. Stress Relief

In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

8. Provide Direction

Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

9. Solve Problems

Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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10. Find Relief From Fighting

Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

11. Find Meaning in Life

Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

12. Allow Yourself to Focus

Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

14. Let the Past Go

I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

15. Allow Freedom

Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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16. Enhance Your Career

Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

18. Catalog Your Life for Others

No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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