A journey across land or sea, near or far, is also a journey within. Whether it’s a weekend road trip or months of backpacking in a distant land, there is much to be learned about the outside world and the world inside of you.
Here are 11 things traveling can teach you about yourself:
If you’re on a solo trip or even if you’re travelling with a group, there will be times when you wish to visit a sight that isn’t of interest to others.
You can choose not to go alone, or you can embrace your independence. Solo excursions empower a traveler to see what they are capable of on their own. It will actually create a sense of true freedom.
Don’t take unnecessary risks though, it’s important to know what areas are safe for travelers.
To break away from the familiar and the routines of your daily life, takes confidence.
To remain in your comfort zone where you know the people and the places you’ll encounter, is safe. It takes real courage and a belief in yourself to go to an unknown place, either close by or far away.
Yes, your confidence will ebb and flow along any journey — that’s a given. It’s about having fear but doing it anyway.
Remember that it’s the action to bravely venture beyond the familiar that reaffirms your ability to push yourself and will, in turn increase your confidence. It’s in “the doing” that you’ll witness the presence and growth of your self-assurance.
In our day-to-day lives, we know what to expect. We know when the bus comes, where there’s free WIFI and the best spot to get a great cup of coffee.
When traveling in a new place, it takes time to locate items or services you need. Tasks that are simple in your regular life can become extremely time consuming — even frustrating.
This allows you to cultivate patience. Not only with your foreign surroundings but also with yourself.
Then when you do solve the problem and find what you are looking for, you will experience a personal victory. It will instill the knowledge that you possess the inner perseverance and patience to accomplish any task.
No such thing as a Mistake
If you get lost, take the wrong subway line or forget the name of your hotel, you’ll discover it isn’t a blunder. Instead it’s an opportunity.
It forces you to be fully present (your adrenaline will pump). It will also force you the engage with the people around you. You will see places and meet people you could never have anticipated.
These experiences, while stressful at times, may become some of your fondest memories. You will stumble onto an encounter or event that you could never have planned and never would have unexpected.
What you truly need
Not only can you not bring everything you own in your suitcase (always try to avoid over packing) — you’ll find that while you travel, you don’t use or need all your baggage.
Not only that but you will observe what you truly desire and what you don’t think about.
Traveling allows you to identify what you need to not only survive but thrive.
It’s not just about physical things and stuff. You will be able to cut out what is simply an extra, physically as well as emotionally.
You will be able to see what possessions, practices and relationships are and are not essential for your happiness and fulfillment.
Try New Things
It is a given that visiting new locales means you’ll be forced to try new things. It could be a new kind of drink or food or even a new language.
If you embrace the new sights, smells and tastes, you’ll expands your travel experience as well as your mind. Don’t be afraid to venture into the unknown, you might just enjoy it.
Your Likes (& Dislikes)
In attempting new activities, tasting new foods and meeting new people, will help you to further define yourself.
You will learn what you are interested in, whether it’s a wine tour or a tour of the region’s significant architecture.
You will better understand what you are drawn to and what you avoid.
Adaptability & Flexibility
Many unexpected events can happen while travelling. When they do, they present you with a chance to practice flexibility.
You can’t change the circumstances but you can change how you respond to them.
Patterns & Reactions
In your lives at home and work, we can tailor the situations to suit us.
You can avoid people and situations, which trigger us. But this avoidance doesn’t allow us to work through our issues.
When travelling we cannot manipulate circumstances as easily. We can then face our true selves, our patterns of behavior and how we react in various situations.
Travel can help us to see our emotional triggers, evaluate our behavior and make adjustments that can have a positive impact while on the road and also once back at home.
Appreciate Relationships and Connections of various lengths
In adulthood, it can be challenging to make new friends. But when travelling, we encounter fellow travelers or locals who can connect with.
Despite the short period of time you may have in a place, there are like-minded people, who are also on their own journeys. You can learn to appreciate your connection with people regardless of the time you have with them.
Gratitude for Home
By going away from home, you will gain perspective of what you have. You will get a better understanding and appreciation of what you have cultivated in your life.
To travel is to go away from the familiar and to embrace the unknown — out in the world but also inside of you, the traveler.
Be mindful with each journey as you take much away from it.
Make the most of each excursion and learn all you can about the world around you and yourself.