I always like to say that the world is too big for me to only stay in one place. When you think about it, it really is. With so many cultures and places to explore, why should we limit ourselves to only our home towns? The adventure you can find on a simple weekend getaway is doubled or even tripled when you start traveling the world.
Not only is traveling a way to get to know the world, but it’s also a chance to get to know yourself. No matter how much you think you know yourself, traveling puts your morals and principles to the test and pushes you to challenge your ideas and the dogmas you believe in. Every time you come back from a trip, you come back a changed person.
If you don’t want to invest in a therapist in order to learn new things about yourself and grow as a person- travel. It really is the best way to grow immensely. Let me show you why. (See also: Keeping Your Skin Radiant While Traveling)
1. What I learned in Germany
Visiting Germany was life-changing because I learned discipline and organization. No matter how free-spirited you are, human beings thrive on routine and solid grounds. Without those grounds beneath your feet, you have nothing to fall back on when you’re done exploring. Travelling might be about setting you free, but it’s also about giving your structure.
The Germans taught me how to find the best system of organization for myself and how to use my potential for good. These people have got efficiency nailed, and they’re not afraid to show you how to figure it out for yourself.
Most of all, they accept that each person is different and that there are many ways one can thrive through the structure. One works for me may not work for you. This lesson can easily be transferred to other sides of life and make you realize how different we all are. This means that you won’t judge what someone is doing anymore, as you’ll realize that the way you do things isn’t the only way to do them. In other words, Germany taught me that 3 plus 6 equals 9, but that 4 plus 5 also equals 9, and so does 1 plus 8 and so do many other equations.
There’s no one way to get the desired results, and more importantly- there shouldn’t be. Live your life the way you want to, do things the way it works for you, and let others figure these things out for themselves, too.
2. Getting out of your comfort zone
First of all, traveling really does get you out of your comfort zone in the right way. For anyone who missed the memo, getting out of your comfort zone is the primary condition for achieving self-growth. When you’re too comfortable in your environment, you don’t feel the need to challenge yourself, nor do the opportunities arise. A whole new place challenges you in ways you didn’t think it ever could. As well as that, it makes you think outside the box and shows you exactly what you’re capable of.
When you come back home, you realize that you’re competent and capable of handling daily life. All of a sudden, there’s this confidence and a radiant feeling of self-worth that you didn’t even know you were missing. Traveling shows you that you can do new things and not suffer terrible consequences for them. It shows you that stepping out of your comfort zone is fun, not uncomfortable. (See also: How to Travel the World Without Quitting Your Job [7 Useful Tips])
3. What I learned in Morocco
When I decided to visit Morocco, I knew I was in for something entirely different. This was really a test of how open-minded I actually was, as I was walking into a culture and religion completely different from that I grew up in and was used to. The only things that you can hear and see about Islam on the internet and on TV are bad. The media portrays a picture that isn’t really true at all.
You only witness and realize this when you put what you see everywhere to the test. Morocco taught me that I shouldn’t look at the world through the TV’s eyes. A person is a person regardless of what kind of background they have, the color of their skin, and their religion.
Moroccans are one of the friendliest and warmest people I ever met. Even as a foreigner, I was greeted and welcomed with the utmost respect. Neighbors and extended family members visit each other daily, eat together, help each other, and laugh together. The extroversion was simply baffling, as all you can learn about Islam is hostility if you trust the media.
It didn’t matter where I was from. When we were eating tagine with our fingers together, we were the same. All flesh and blood, all humans with thoughts and feelings. Coming back from this trip made me even more open-minded than I was and made me feel closer to the world more than anything else.
4. Building social skills
Those who aren’t really good with people need to pack their bags immediately. The only way to improve on something is to keep practicing. While traveling, you have to talk to so many different people in order to get to where you’re going, that social interaction becomes natural. As well as that, you come across various different personalities.
Instead of just interacting with the same set of people you always do, you’ll get to build your social skills in the right way. After your travels, you’ll know how to approach introverts, how to get closer to extroverts, and how to diffuse an angry person. Human emotions will also become much clearer and you’ll be able to better understand those around you.
On top of all this, experience with different people makes you a better judge of character. No matter how unique we are, there are still some things we share. These come down to behavior. You’ll be able to tell exactly why someone acted the way they did. Accordingly, you’ll know whether you can help the person or if you should just stay away.
Let’s not forget that social anxiety simply disappears with a lot of practice. Not only will you be used to talking to people, but you’ll also have interesting things to talk to them about. Everyone likes hearing interesting travel stories. You’ll be the life of any party without even trying.
5. What I learned in Bali
One other destination I visited that left a huge mark on me was Bali. This is a relatively rural island with a lot of tradition and history on its hands. The people I met there were one of the most amazing people I’ll ever meet. More than anything, I was impressed by the way they treat their history an how much they value spirituality.
Now, you don’t have to be a religious person to understand spirituality. Bali taught me that the ancient Temples aren’t just a place to pray and marvel at- they’re links to the ancient world that remind you there’s something bigger than just you in this world. We’re all here thanks to our ancestors, and temples like these are their testimony to the world that’s yet to come. This helped put things into perspective and made me realize we need to be thinking of our future.
Just like our ancestors are the links to the present, the present is the link to the future. What we do and make now matters because it is going to influence and impact the lives of our descendants, no matter how long we may live. Even if I’m not originally from Bali, we share the same ancestors because we’re all part of the human race. Even if you don’t plan on having children yourself, you owe it to future generations to make their lives easier and better.
Of course, Bali values the modern alongside the traditional, too, as it has already started building those links to the future generations. You can see this by the extraordinary Bali villas that are available for rent and the amazing touristic attractions and modern restaurants you can find.
6. The meaning of life
Finally, traveling uncovers the meaning of life. By getting to know the world around you and yourself, you also start to realize why we’re here. Regardless of if we’re a product of God’s will or evolution or an accident, you see the meaning of life every day in a different way. You see it through someone’s children, through someone else’s career, through a third someone’s passion for a hobby.
In other words, you start to realize that the meaning of life isn’t a universal thing. There’s no formula of happiness and no absolute reason why we’re here. The answer to the universe might as well be 42.
Once you realize this through your travels, you’ll get to uncover your own meaning. Whether it’s traveling more and returning home to build a stable life, or something entirely different- it’s yours. With this realization, all doubts and fears disappear. There’s only room for stability and security, regardless of what you may be doing.
Uncovering your purpose sets you free of all the feelings of uncertainty and questions about yourself and the universe. It gives you a goal to work towards and makes your time on this Earth more productive and happier. Don’t be afraid of uncovering the truth about your life through traveling, as it will also help you realize that life is all about living and all about the journey.
Set yourself free with your travels and see the world for what it is- one big adventure. The same can be said about life. Hemingway once said that all novels are about finding happiness, and in the same sense, so are all lives. That happiness is different for all of us, and through your travels, you’ll find many ways to reach it again and again. At the same time, you’ll also just keep growing.
Hopefully, now you see things a bit more from my perspective. Travel has always been a passion, and until recently, I wasn’t able to accurately explain why I enjoy it so much. Those who find this article a little far-fetched should definitely put my theories to the test. If you don’t end up growing as a person, you’ll at least end up getting to know the world you live in much better.
About The Author:
Liam Smith is a young and aspiring Australian blogger with a passion for everything related to travel, design, and style. He has a B.Sc. in Interior design and is an avid reader.