10 Wonderful life lessons traveling can teach you
It is said that travel broadens the mind, but it can do far more than just that. When you travel, and we mean real travel to far off destinations, it can change your whole perspective on life forever. Once you have experienced the different cultures, the diverse ways of living and you’ve survived the rigors of long distance, international travel itself, your eyes are really opened up to the wide, wide world that is out there. So here are just ten of the things that you can learn from traveling beyond the borders of your own country:
1. Stepping outside your comfort zone is not as hard, as you think
One of the most important life lessons that traveling can teach you is that stepping out of your comfort zone is OK. Just as in everyday life, you get far more from traveling, when you try something a little different. Go beyond just the capital cities of major western countries, which all look pretty much the same anyway, and you will find a whole new world of experiences to explore. Yes, it will be different and yes, at times, it can be scary, but step outside your comfort zone and you will find new precious experiences, you will find that it’s worth it.
2. Don’t carry excess baggage around with you
When you travel widely, you soon find that you don’t really need all that baggage; it just gets in the way. Leave behind what you don’t need and concentrate on enjoying today and looking forward to tomorrow.
3. Appreciate what you have
Another life lesson that you can learn from traveling is appreciation. Once you have spent time with people, who live in a one room home with a dirt floor and live daily on what you would think of as a snack, then it really makes you appreciate the things that you have and it makes your worries seem small and fade away.
4. Understanding that though people are different, they really are pretty much the same
Even though people have different religions, different ways of dressing and different languages, they are all the same underneath. Travel opens your eyes to the wonder of diversity and makes you far more tolerant of others, even if you don’t agree with them.
5. Don’t stress about things that you can’t change
Another simple life lesson that traveling can teach you is not to stress about things that you can’t change. They have a saying in African countries, ‘TIA’ or ‘this is Africa’. They will use this saying when the train doesn’t turn up, the power goes off or the road gets washed away by the rain. When you see this attitude you kind of realize how unimportant it is that you can’t get mobile phone reception on absolutely every street of your town, at exactly the point in time that you want it.
6. You become less risk adverse, but more sensible
Next life lesson that traveling can teach you is being able to take risks. There are bad people in the world, but, there are vastly more good people. If you weighed up all the risks in life, you probably wouldn’t even step outside your front door. Traveling teaches you to be more adventurous, but it also teaches you that by taking sensible precautions, you can minimize risk.
7. You learn to go out and get what you want
Another life lesson you can learn while traveling is to go out and get what you want. The world is not going to come to you and you soon learn that by traveling. Sure, you can watch the National geographic channel, but that’s not the same, as experiencing it first-hand. To travel, you have to plan, you have to book and you might have to save some money first, but most of all, you have to get out there and do it.
8. Things don’t always go to plan
Things don’t always go the way that you think they will in all aspects of life and traveling is no exception that rule. But, what you gain, when things go wrong, is the ability to stand on your feet and improvise. You also learn that you can gain far more personal benefit from the unexpected, than you can from the carefully pre-planned.
9. You learn to be more independent
When you find yourself far from home, in a strange country, you soon learn to stand on your own two feet and when you need a bathroom and you need it quick, which you often do when you’re traveling in some parts of the world, you learn languages pretty quickly too.
10. You learn that those people on the news are real people
Traveling gives you a much wider view of the world around you and you start to see people with problems as real people who are just like you. When some people watch the world news on TV, they can look dispassionately at the victims of disasters or famine, but when you have travelled, you see those victims, as people and traveling teaches you to be a far more compassionate and caring person.
What other life lessons, on your opinion, traveling can teach you? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.