When I travel, I become a better version of myself. On my travels, I’m much more spontaneous, I require very little sleep, I’m up for any adventure, and I befriend everyone I meet. I would like to say that this version stays with me long after I arrive home, but that isn’t always true. Life tends to get in the way.
There are, however, some aspects of travel that stick with me long after I arrive home. These are traits that I believe anyone who has traveled brings back with them over time. The more you travel, the better you become at handling certain aspects of life.
It isn’t to say that people who don’t travel don’t have these characteristics. But, I do believe that overall travel changes people for the better. This is how:
Become More Adaptable
Traveling helps you to be better at adapting to different situations. Buses don’t come on time, travel itineraries change, planes get canceled, transportation breaks down, money gets stolen, natural disasters take their toll, and plans don’t always work out. That’s the life of a traveler in a nutshell.
Though through all the bad that can happen while you are away, travel can help you cope with disappointments and be better able to deal with change when you arrive back home. If you are able to let your guard down and relinquish your need for control while in a foreign country, you will also be able to do so at home.
Just think back to that time when you sat in Southeast Asian heat, in a bus with no air-conditioning, not knowing if you would make it to your next destination. If you survived that, you can survive anything that comes your way at home.
Develop Better Social Skills
Sometimes in our everyday lives, we don’t have the best social skills. We get angry too easily, cut people in lines or cut them off in our cars, we curse, we yell, we scream, and we have a hard time making new friends.
But, when you are thrown into a new country with a different language, all bets are off. You can’t yell at people and expect them to obey your orders. When you travel, kindness is the best way to get what you need. You also have to be able to talk to strangers and put your trust in others’ hands. Sometimes it works out and others it doesn’t.
Either way, when you travel, you can’t be afraid to meet new people or ask for help when you need it. Plus, what’s the fun in traveling around the world if you don’t make a few friends along the way?
Tidal waves in Fiji? Flooding in Thailand? Earthquake in New Zealand? Travel makes you more aware about what is going on in the world. The events I listed above weren’t ground-breaking televised news events here in the States. They got a few minutes of air-time, however, if you wanted more information, you had to go looking for it.
But, when you’ve been to another country, all of a sudden you are interested in all news surrounding it. Even though you aren’t there, you still care enough to want to know what’s happening at all times.
When you see a news story related to a place you’ve been, you become interested. If it’s good news, you feel a sense of pride knowing how the people of that country must feel. If it’s bad news, you think about the people you met and hope that everything is okay for them. All of a sudden you begin to care about the world as a whole, and not just your small piece of it.
Traveling is an adventure. It’s fun to make new friends and see the world, but it can also help you work on your character. And, even though you may be much more fun to be around when you’re abroad, there are still positive aspects of travel that you bring home each time you arrive back in your native land.