Traveling and seeing the world is a wondrous experience you should jump at any chance you get. The trip itself will be remarkable in many ways, but you may be surprised at how you yourself will change long after you’re back home.
Some changes are subtle and some are much more obvious, but all are important to your self-development.
Here are ten ways you’ll change for the better after traveling:
1. You’ll Open Your Mind
Breaking down barriers starts with traveling. When you explore new countries, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the culture of the land. Even if you only spend a week or two abroad, you’ll be amazed at how you come home and have a new outlook on everyday experiences.
Exploring new cultures and learning about the customs of different countries will open your mind to the wonders the world holds.
2. You’ll Try New Cuisines
You probably know that going to your favorite Chinese food takeout place is nothing like eating authentic dishes made in China. When you travel, trying new food is a fantastic way to expand your horizons. If you’re traveling with friends, try ordering a few plates and sampling the different dishes.
When you come back home, you might even surprise yourself at the risks you will take, including eating some very odd dishes you wouldn’t have touched before. Trip, anyone?
3. You Won’t Hesitate to Explore
One of the best ways to see a new city or country is to walk or bike instead of traveling by train or plane. Exploring by foot in a new country allows you to venture into restaurants, shops or other stops you would have missed had you traveled in a different way.
When you’re back home, your penchant for exploring won’t go away. You’ll find yourself drawn to hiking new trails or biking around the city to find new hangout spots you missed in the past.
4. You’ll Become a Better Networker
Although many people are scared to travel alone, you should do it at least once in your life not only for the experience of being wholeheartedly self-dependent but also to work on your networking skills. Conversing with people who live in the region you’re traveling is one of the best ways to find out where to go and what to see. In a world with a global economy, it’s never a bad thing to have friends in different locations.
5. You Will Embrace Minimalism Easier
As you travel more and more, you’ll learn to travel lightly, and you’ll find you even start to apply this concept to your life wherever you call home. Although trinkets and certain things have sentimental value, many people have a very difficult time letting go of anything in general, including clothes, shoes or CDs they haven’t listened to in forever.
After you travel, you’ll find it easier to purge your home or apartment of things because you’ve found a more fulfilling enjoyment than materials: Adventure.
6. You’ll Develop More Confidence
Even if you travel with a group, you’ll be amazed at the confidence each new trip brings. Traveling forces you to stretch your mind and puts you outside of your comfort zone. Being scared of flying is a common problem, but as you travel more, your fear will subside.
Ordering a meal in a restaurant in a new language might seem very simple, but it will boost your confidence greatly. When you get back to your home soil, you’ll embody more confidence in your everyday interactions with others. Don’t be surprised if your friends or family say you’re acting differently or that you seem more poised!
7. You Will Read People Better
It might seem like some people are innately born with an ability to read people, and while that may be true, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn. Traveling forces you to learn the motives of people, and it will give you a better understanding of how to read people.
If you go to a country where you don’t speak the language, you’ll finally understand how much body language and facial cues play a part in communication. When you return home, you’ll find yourself being more conscious of your own verbal and body communication.
8. You’ll Learn to Overcome
Sometimes, traveling isn’t all sunshine and beautiful views. From canceled flights to bad weather, traveling can test your patience and sometimes become downright frustrating. You have to learn to accept certain situations you can’t change. Once you return home, you will find it easier to approach issues without overreacting, and obstacles won’t seem so difficult.
9. You’ll Develop Better Self-Reflection Skills
Self-reflection is key to growing as a person, but many people struggle with how to do it. You’ll find when you are on the plane back home from a trip, your mind runs through all of the events that occurred.
Some may have been good, some bad, but your brain categorizes them, and you will evaluate how you reacted in certain situations. Traveling allows your brain to do this on a more subconscious, unforced level than when you try to think about events.
10. You Will Have Travel Stories for a Lifetime
Bonding around stories is a pastime as old as humanity itself. Trip after trip, you will build a wealth of knowledge and experience your friends and family will love hearing about. While some stories might be funny or intense, each one is valuable to your being and has influenced you in some way or another. Journal your experiences and your reflections so you have them for a lifetime.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re only traveling a few states away or to a different country hundreds of miles from home, traveling has a way of seeping into your bones and changes you for the better. When you travel, try to take as many opportunities as you can (while still remaining safe, of course).
You might only get to see this place once, so make your trip worth it!