What Travel Teaches You – Benefits of Traveling Around the World

January 12, 2019|Lena Scheidler

This post is here to convince you to travel around the world. Most of us don’t really need convincing to understand that traveling is a great privilage and that we want to do more of it.

There are many reasons why you should travel the world. Because there are many benefits of traveling around the world. Did you realize, for example, that you can learn a lot as a person from traveling the world? Not only your character will grow but you can also learn practical skills on a world trip.

If you want to do a trip around the world and are wondering what you need to plan check out the post about my 50 RTW travel planning tasks. You can also sign up to my mailing list to get exclusive access to my free content library that will help you plan your trip and give you valuable information straight to your inbox.

For this post I have collaborated with fellow bloggers who have traveled extensively all across the world. They all love travel and understand why travel is important. We all agree that travel is the best education.

Let them tell you what travel teaches you.

benefits of traveling around the world

Gain Self-Confidence

benefits of traveling around the world

by Katherine from Bright Lights of America

Growing up, I was a huge introvert – I always felt awkward in social situations, I wasn’t great at making new friends, and I did my best to fly under the radar in every way possible. It wasn’t fun and it stopped me from going out with friends, or trying new things. I was the opposite of self-confident.

So deciding to go on a prolonged trip seemed a little incongruous, but I really wanted a break from my job and to see the world before settling down to buy a house and have a family.

The first couple of nights after arriving in London, I’d get Subway for dinner and hang out in my hotel room at night because I was too scared to go out on my own, much less eat at a restaurant. But as I kept travelling I started to realise that I could be pretty self-sufficient if I needed to be.

When I arrived at the airport in Ireland 24 hours before my flight, I booked another night’s accommodation on the fly and worked out how to get public transport to it. I stayed in hostels in Scotland and Canada, and made friends with other people in my dorm or while making dinner in the kitchens. I started prioritising things that I wanted to do, as opposed to the less ‘touristy’ things that I thought would make people laugh at me. Basically, I realised that I was the only one holding me back from enjoying life and doing wanted I wanted to do.

That trip changed me in so many different ways, but most importantly, it changed the way I thought about myself and how I saw the world. I decided to move abroad alone after taking that trip. It helped my career, because I have so many interesting stories to tell and experiences to share, but I’m also not afraid to speak in a room full of people. I’m much better at making friends than I ever was, and I don’t miss out on any opportunities to do things that I want to do. Even if I’m doing them on my own. Travel has given me so much more confidence, and I’m so grateful for it, because I’m so proud of the person it has made me.

Want to do a trip around the world?
Start planning NOW!

Using the RTW Travel Prep Checklist including 50+ planning tasks

Find Your Own Path

benefits of traveling around the world

by Georgie from Journey with Georgie

Travel was life changing for me as it taught me that there are so many different ways to live your life and be happy. While traveling, I met so many people doing all sorts of things, from taking short breaks from careers they loved to traveling the world as digital nomads for years at a time. This showed me that there are so many options for how to shape a life that makes you excited, fulfilled and joyful.

Overall, I’ve learnt that you really don’t have to do what everybody else is doing or what TV tells you is the norm – you can find your own path and be happy!

Appreciate Differences

benefits of traveling around the world

by Alice from Planet Things

Traveling has taught me many things, but the most important lesson was to accept and appreciate how different human beings are.

I learned that normality is a very personal concept, it can be very different from individual to individual. Your idea of normal life, normal job, and normal family can seem crazy to someone else. On the other hand, you can gain a lot by being open to experience different cultures, cuisines and ways of life. Challenge your stereotypes, and you might be surprised by how enjoyable it is to adapt to new environments. This process has changed my life for the better.

Embrace Your Alone-Ness

what travel teaches you

by Alli from Alli’s Grade Escape

My first trip out of the country was a solo backpacking trip across four countries in Europe – to say that I was nervous being by myself would be an understatement! For the first couple of days, I felt pretty awkward doing everything alone: riding trains, eating every single meal, visiting museums, etc. I felt like people were judging me, or wondering why I didn’t have a big, strapping man by my side.

After a few days, however, I realized two things:

1. No one cares what you’re up to. They’re wrapped up in their own lives and aren’t just waiting to pounce on a person eating alone. Their extent of opinion about your dining solo is probably “yep, she’s hungry,” nothing more. And,

2. There is a power, of sorts in being alone. You get to do whatever you want. When you’re alone, there’s no drawn-out discussion about a dinner spot or time, no negotiations on how early to wake up. You just do whatever you want!

This ‘power’ in freedom can be pretty intimidating at first – we don’t always realize how much we rely on others to make or help make decisions. But when you’re thrust out into the world all alone, you simply have to make choices by yourself. Once you stop panicking over this ‘task’ and instead consider it an amazing opportunity, the world opens up a million amazing possibilities to you! You owe it to yourself to stop fretting over others’ imaginary opinions and focus on creating an amazing existence for yourself.

 

You can go to any destination or attraction you please, talk to strangers and make friends if you want, eat gelato for dinner (that would be me!), read a book in peace on a train, or do any other thing your heart desires!

This freedom in traveling, eating, and just being alone (abroad or at home!) can be totally empowering, and fairly intoxicating! The more you do it, the more you want to do it! Then, when you’re forced to function with other people, back in reality- it can sometimes be kind of a bummer. Once again you have to come to an agreement or compromise about every little thing you do. So each time you have it, remember to embrace and appreciate your alone-ness while it lasts!

My first international trip changed my life in many ways, but this was one of the biggest. Now I’m comfortable basically anywhere, even if I’m alone. In fact, I often seek big chunks of alone time, both while traveling and at home, just to regain my feeling of independence and power of decision making! Embrace your alone-ness while it lasts – you deserve it!

Regain Faith in Humanity

what travel teaches you

by Danielle from Live in 10 countries

It’s so easy to scroll Facebook, or flip on the news and think humanity is just, essentially evil. The world sometimes seems chockful of bad types – and it gets us down. 

Travel is the antidote to that. The more you wander, roam and collide with locals, the more you realize that humanity (outside the media) is something extraordinary. I’d go so far as to say, all but a tiny smidgeon of people are very good. 

Here’s a prime example: on a sabbatical break in Bolivia, the government went through a violent coup, and things went very pear-shaped, very fast. Local people were far more affected than I was, of course, and still many of them went very far out of their way to help me. A friend even queued with me for an entire day as I tried to get out of the country – diamond!

Ask for Directions

what travel teaches you

by Martha from Quirky Globetrotter

I can vividly remember the first time I asked for directions. I asked a cashier at Puerto Rican gas station how to get to Crash Boat Beach. My Spanish fumbled out of my mouth like a mouthful of noodles. I was tomato red and mortified. This wasn’t like me. I was never the type of girl to ask for directions, let alone get lost. Now, I am.

Traveling the world has taught me to be more self-compassionate and readily admit that I’m lost. Before asking that cashier, I spent 2 hours trying to navigate the Puerto Rican terrain. I finally admitted defeat because I wanted nothing more than to spend my day soaking at the beach.

I’ve grown because of it. Not only will I now ask for directions, but I’ll also ask the locals for advice. It’s perfectly acceptable not to be the smartest person in the room. By admitting that I didn’t truly know it all, I now can graciously ask for advice and therefore fully enjoy my vacations. Let’s be honest, I’d rather be relaxing at the beach any day over driving around in circles.

Go with the Flow

travel and learn

by James from Travel Collecting

One of the many things I learned traveling around the world is to go with the flow. There are so many things that can’t be controlled and may unexpected things happen that you can’t plan for when you travel. Being flexible to changing plans and to having experiences you hadn’t intended makes travel more enjoyable.

For example, in rural China, few people spoke English. I couldn’t pronounce anything correctly, so when I wanted to catch a bus, I would point to the destination written in my guidebook, get a ticket, show it to someone, they would point at a bus, I’d jump on, show my ticket to the bus driver and trust that he would tell me when to get off.

I spent three months traveling through China never quite sure if I would arrive where I actually wanted to go. At first, it was a little stressful, but I soon relaxed and figured that I would end up somewhere that I’d never been before and would have an experience I’d never had before and that was fine. Sometimes buses didn’t show up when they were supposed to – so I spent another day where I was and enjoyed that place for a little longer.

Sometimes amazing things happen that you need to change plans for. I had planned to spend an hour in a monastery, but when I saw monks making sand mandalas, I threw my plans out of the window and spent the next three days watching and even joining in making them. It was an incredible experience that I would never have had if I’d stuck to my plans.

This ability to go with the flow is not my go-to way of behaving (OK, so I can be a bit of a control freak sometimes), but learning that just going with the flow and not getting uptight when things don’t work properly and being open to unplanned things is something that I have used throughout my career and relationships.

Appreciate the Things You Have

travel and learn

by Audrey from Gumnuts Abroad

It’s easy to take the things we have for granted. But travel has a way of showing us how fortunate we are, and we arrive home with a greater appreciation for what we have.

I know I didn’t realize just how much I had until I traveled and saw how others live and survive each day. Just the fact I’m out there traveling is proof of how much I have. To have the health, wealth, time, opportunity and a passport that allows me to travel anywhere in the world is something to cherish.

And I think perhaps the longer and deeper we travel the more heartfelt that gratitude is. Living out of a backpack with the bare necessities for a year (find out what I have in my backpack) has changed my priorities. I now have a new definition of luxury and a greater appreciation for the simple things in life. And I go to bed each night truly grateful for what I have.

Want to do a trip around the world?
Start planning NOW!

Using the RTW Travel Prep Checklist including 50+ planning tasks

Be less Superficial

importance of traveling

by Lora from Explore with Lora

Travel taught me to be less superficial. Before I went on my yearlong trip around the world, I was spending a ton of money on my appearance each month. Between getting my hair colored and buying makeup I was paying over $2000 a year!

When I left to go on my trip, I cut my hair short and brought minimal makeup since I was living out of a bag. While I was traveling, I didn’t have to worry about getting my hair done or buying new makeup, and as a result, I became much more comfortable going out in my natural look. Looking back now, I can’t believe how much money I was spending on my appearance before. Now I can use all that money I’m saving to travel more!

Speak Other Languages

importance of traveling

by Chris from More Life In Your Days

One of the most practical skills that I have learned while traveling has been the ability to speak Spanish. One of my first world travel destinations was to see the wonders of Mexico and Guatemala. I was able to pick up a good amount of the language along the way, through merely interacting with the locals. I also had a couple of informal Spanish lessons mixed in with my travels to help me to get a better grasp of the basics. Tuition can easily be arranged in both countries, and residential stays for language learning are very popular in cities like Antigua, Guatemala and Oaxaca, Mexico.

It is a skill that has proved useful as my more recent travels have taken me around South America and to Spain itself. I can’t say that I have had as much success in learning other languages on my trips, but I can speak a few words of Indonesian.

Appreciate Diversity

importance of traveling

by Kevin from The Outcast Journey

I have been traveling to different countries for quite some time already. At first, it was all just for pleasure. Seeing beautiful landscapes, taking pictures of major tourist attractions. Everything was all for the gram! But as I go along this journey, I realized one important aspect that I’ve learned only through traveling – appreciate the people and the beauty of diversity.

I understand more about this world, how differences complement one another. I witnessed a lot of different cultures from different sides of the globe by meeting and interacting with people from the country that I visit.

It’s actually a good way to know more about the country and its culture from its locals. You can exchange your perspectives on how we see things. We will know the importance of the diversity when we accept, recognize, and respect all the groups in the society. From judgment based on my own culture to increasing the level of my understanding about others. That’s one step to peace and unity.

Scuba Dive

importance of traveling

by Claire from Tales of a Backpacker

Travel is always a learning experience for me, whether it is picking up a few words of the local language or learning about the culture and myself.  However, one of the most challenging things I’ve learned is how to scuba dive.  I took my PADI Open Water training in Utila in Honduras and fell in love with the underwater world I never knew existed before.  Diving in Utila is great for beginners and I really enjoyed my time there. It was hard to overcome my basic human reactions to breathing underwater, made even harder by my sea sickness when we took the boat out on our dives!  

However, once I’d mastered it, I loved floating gently through the water, spotting all kinds of fish and sea life.  It really is like another world down there, where you are not the master, merely a visitor who catches a glimpse of the animals and plants who make their home in the ocean.  I loved learning to dive as it is something that I can do all over the world where there is water deep enough, and it has given me a deeper understanding of how our actions affect the oceans and made me much more aware of plastic pollution.  

Want to do a trip around the world?
Start planning NOW!

Using the RTW Travel Prep Checklist including 50+ planning tasks

Accept Your Body

importance of traveling

by Kassie from The Flyaway Life

These days body positivity is hard to come by and I had to travel halfway across the world to find some. Before embarking on my 8-month journey around Southeast Asia, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). In addition to multiple health problems, the disorder is known for some pretty nasty cosmetic side effects— including weight gain and acne. In the months prior to my diagnosis, I had gained almost 40 pounds and was so nervous about being the fat girl on the backpacking trail. 

Once I got on the road, I tried hard to keep up with my routine of oversized clothing and caked on makeup to hide my symptoms, but South East Asia had other plans. My shirts shrunk or went missing and my make up seemed to just slide off my face in the humidity. I was left to just get over it and move on… and surprisingly I did. I was still self-conscious but I was having a blast trying new things and meeting new people. One day I realized I hadn’t put makeup on in almost two weeks and that going to the beach in my bath suit didn’t seem so scary anymore. All I needed was to release myself from all the expectations I thought society was putting on me. I realized no one really gives a damn but me. 

This revelation really led to me accepting my body for the badass that it is. Suddenly, I loved the body that I had once hid in shame. My body had brought me on so many adventures— those arms I thought were flabby were strong enough to rock climb, those thunder thighs hiked through jungles, and that acne covered face ended up making friends from all over the globe. Since being home, I’ve tried to keep the positivity alive. I’m still dealing with my health issues but I’ve learned that PCOS and its symptoms don’t define me. I’m thankful every day for all my body does to keep me well and I hope it brings me on many more adventures.

In Conclusion

If you ever wondered ‘why do people travel’ I think you should have found your answer in this post. There are so many reasons why people travel and even more benefits of traveling the world. You will learn skills like diving or languages, you will learn to ask for directions and you will learn to love yourself, appreciate what you have, humanity and the world around you.

If this post has convince you to travel the world, your next step is reading about where to get started with the round the world travel planning. For more posts about round the world travel head over to the Round the World Travel Planning Blog.

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13 things only travel can teach you. Especially round the world travel!
What only travel can teach you. Benefits of traveling around the world!

Authors Note:
None of the experiences in this post are in any way sponsored and have all been paid for by myself. The opinions stated are all my own and have not been influenced in any way.
This post might contain affiliate links. I receive a commission if a product is purchased through one of these links, at no extra cost to you. Please support me by buying products through my links!

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About Lena

Hi, I'm Lena the founder of The Social Travel Experiment. My mission is to help bussy millennials plan an unforgettable trip around the world, through stays with locals, without wasting valuable time and money.

Find out more About Me and The Social Travel Experiment

If you are a business we might be able to work together so check out the Work With Me page for more details

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The Social Travel Experiment is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

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Posts on The Social Travel Experiment contain affiliate links. I receive a commission if a product is purchased through one of these links, at no extra cost to you. Please support me by buying products through my links!

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About Lena

Hi, I'm Lena the founder of The Social Travel Experiment. My mission is to help bussy millennials plan an unforgettable trip around the world, through stays with locals, without wasting valuable time and money.

Find out more About Me and The Social Travel Experiment

If you are a business we might be able to work together so check out the Work With Me page for more details

Amazon Disclosure

The Social Travel Experiment is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Affiliate Disclosure

Posts on The Social Travel Experiment contain affiliate links. I receive a commission if a product is purchased through one of these links, at no extra cost to you. Please support me by buying products through my links!

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