Travel: to go, move, or journey from one place to another.
Whether you have done so in the past, are currently doing so, or about to do so – traveling is something a vast majority of us desire to do. When I say traveling, what I really mean is getting out of our comfort zone and into a new place, surrounded by new people. This could represent an umpteen amount of situations. Which could be moving away from your hometown – to college, going on a road trip, studying in a foreign country, or just outright moving to a different state/country.
The type of people that constantly crave this “travel” are people that I tend to get along with and connect indefinitely with. Which is why this post may be a tiny bit biased!
I would classify myself – and others that are interested in traveling as much as possible – as wanderlusters. Our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls crave the unknown. We desire to be surrounded by anything and everything unfamiliar. We have an ache within us to travel.
Traveling is not just simply traveling. Even with no clear purpose, traveling this world we live in makes us grow in far more ways than we know.
Here are my “Top Eight” reasons how traveling changes a person positively:
1. Navigation Skills
The ability to navigate in this day and age is quite simple… With a phone/GPS! Take that away, and place yourself in a new city, state, country, or continent – now the test emerges. Personally, I enjoy going to a new place, and just getting lost. It is the best way to figure out a new city.
Being able to navigate your way through life is a skill that everyone should learn. It shows confidence, the ability to stay calm when nothing around you is familiar, and the determination to figure it out by yourself.
2. Putting Trust In Others
When I say putting trust in others, I do not mean you should blindly trust everyone you encounter upon your travels. What I mean, is to understand strangers, read them, and take away whatever you believe to be true from everyone you meet.
The take-away point is – being able to realize you are not entirely on your own in this world, and putting your trust in others will go a long way. It makes traveling much more worthwhile. Who knows whom you’ll meet when asking a simple question…
3. Confidence Booster
To be completely blunt and straightforward, being in a new place is terrifying. Being surrounded by the unknown is not a particularly comfortable feeling… For anyone.
Being able to be approach and talk to anyone is something that every traveler must be able to do. What else are you supposed to do when you’re intoxicated, lost, and looking for the Metro in big city? It is imperative that you are able to be confident in order to find your way.
4. Learning How To Be Hospitable
More often than not, traveling will give you the opportunity to meet locals (if not, then you are not doing it right!). Meeting these locals is extremely important – for more than one reason.
Firstly, it is exciting for them! They want to show you their city, state, or country. They want you to experience all that they are familiar with. They want you to be happy, enjoy yourself, understand their ways, and depart with only positive things to say about their “home”.
Secondly, you will experience SO much. It is important to take it ALL in. The good, bad, and everything in between. You will see (and truly appreciate) all that they do for you. The hospitality shown by locals, will, in turn, change you. Going home, you will realize and now know, how to better host a guest. It is a quality that any world traveler should be able to carry out.
5. Being Observant
Many of us grow up in the same town, or state. Some are fortunately able to travel around a bit with our families (vacations, road trips, or maybe even getting out of the country a couple times). I’ve always heard/been told, “Traveling opens your eyes to the world”… But the real question is; why?
I am young. I will not deny that I am still aimlessly wandering the world trying to find the right place for me. But, one of the things that I have realized is that when we travel – we become FAR more observant. I am a firm believer that it is the small things in life that matter most. And when we grow up in the same town/city/state, we become complacent. Things become familiar. We go through the motions… Driving to the same school. Walking the dog around the same park. Driving the same route to the same grocery store. This world is an extremely beautiful place. You can find it’s beauty anywhere. When we travel though, we are able to see “more”.
6. Being Independent & Truly Alone
Has anyone ever told you that being alone is O.K.? Because if not, I am telling you now; it is perfectly fine being alone. It is rewarding. Independence is earned as we grow up. Once we leave the nest for good and head off to college, we are nearly on our own.
I guess only the people reading this that have gone abroad (alone) will understand me when I say this; realizing that you are entirely alone in a foreign land is one of the most surreal and beautiful moments to experience. You are able to finally understand and comprehend that it’s up to you. Whatever it may be, it is entirely up to you.
7. Understanding How To “Flow”
There are two types of people in this world… “Plan-ers” and “flow-ers”. It is highly possible to grow up being a “plan-er”, and then switch over to a “flow-er”, or vice versa. But, it is highly unlikely to be both a “plan-er” & “flow-er” at the same time (in case you don’t know me – I am filled to the brim with sarcasm…)!
But seriously, I have always been the type of person to plan out everything (come on – I have this post numbered and extremely well organized). I warmed up to “going with the flow” in college, but it was not until I went abroad that I have truly been able to put it into action. I have a unique mindset that I will share with you all; if I have absolutely no expectations, then I will only ever have high rewards.
Taking things day by day. That is the best, most stress free, and easy way to travel this lovely world that we live in.
8. Realizing whom truly matters in life
When you travel, you (and only you) know who truly cares about you. Family, friends, and acquaintances. Why do you think there are three words to classify people? It is because they are each very different.
Acquaintances: the people you talk to in classes, grab a coffee with to get to know each other, people you see downtown and grab a drink with, or people that you consistently forget their name and have to discreetly ask their friend.
Friends: the friends you know will always be there for you. A shoulder to cry on, someone to eat food with you at 2am (sober bingeing), someone to hike a mountain with, or someone to go out on the night with. These people are held close to your heart. You may talk to these people occasionally along your travels.
Family: the “rocks” in your life. They are the one’s that will do anything for you, no matter the distance. They support you. They hold you steady even though you’re off doing your own thing. They probe you with questions to try and understand what you’re experiencing (even know both parties know that they never will be able to fully comprehend it). They are happy for you, even though you’re the one having all of the fun. They are the goofy, kind hearted, loving, family that you will never be able to replace.
To be completely honest, I have yet to see, experience, or hear of any negative consequences or traits associated with people who travel. It makes you well rounded, and I highlighted just eight of the many positives! Traveling is a way to see the world. Put it all together, and isn’t that what our wanderlust filled hearts truly desire?
By Evan Caldon: ENO College Brand Ambassador