There are few things in life that offer limitless rewards. Family, education, and personal relationships are some of the few life goals that are generally strived for in society. To many, however, none of these accomplishments are able to intimately touch one’s body, mind, and soul as much as travel does. Travel is not something that one can easily put their hands on, feel, and identify. It does not have a conclusive ending, nor a way to measure its success or failure. Travel is not simply a ticket stub or a city map. It is not a missed flight or a chance encounter. The benefits of travel are much more diverse than what we first think of when we hear the word travel. Though a part is seeing more of the word, a larger part is the experience we gain. Travel is nothing you expect it to be, yet somehow always exceeds your expectations. How does travel change us? Simply put, travel makes you a better person.
New Personal Limits
After travelling, the phrase, “I can’t do it!” suddenly seems to vanish from your vocabulary. Being thrown into a foreign country, many times with a foreign language, new customs, transport difficulties and an array of other obstacles, you will find yourself taking on more than you ever thought you could. Somehow we find our way out of the enormous train station, we discover that hidden cafe, or are simply able to make it from Point A to Point B. Seeing one’s personal abilities and limits builds self confidence from the inside, something that is hard to accomplish without being pushed outside previously defined comfort limits.
Expect the Unexpected
Living your day to day life, it is easy to get stuck in a routine where everything goes according to plan. While travelling, there is no such thing as a dependable routine, as something is always bound to go wrong. Plane delayed? Hostels all booked up? Not to worry, as there is always an alternative. With your new personal confidence, you can find a resolution to any unexpected change, sometimes even for the better! Learning to “go with the flow” is an attitude that will take you far in life, and being more flexible and open minded never hurt anyone.
Meet your Soulmate(s)
The people you meet abroad, whether it’s the groceryman on the corner or your hostel mate turned travel partner, will be some of the people who will touch your heart for the rest of your life. Friends, acquaintances, teachers, and more will have a profound impact on your travels, which you may or may not even realize at the time. People I have met from all over the world have a special place in my heart, regardless of whether we talk every day or once a year. I always remember the unique memories I have with them, the person I was during that time in my life, and how lucky I am to have friends from all over the world. Travelling opens you up to befriend all sorts of people, maybe some that you would not have thought would be your friends if you were at home. This is the beauty of travel – expanding your horizons and appreciating what comes beyond these horizons.
Learning Global Culture and History
In most traditional educational systems, there is an emphasis on learning about one’s home country and a severe lack of information on global history and culture. Travelling changes this. That civil war you heard mentioned once in history class suddenly comes to life when you meet a war survivor who tells you their story. Chopsticks are not only funny wooden sticks, but are an entire continent’s eating utensil you must learn to use to feed yourself. Kisses on the cheek (from one to three) determine someone’s nationality or city of birth. These little fact tidbits will most likely never be published in a history book. It is something that must be experienced first hand.
Travel helps us see how many blessings we have in our own lives. Once earth shattering problems seem trivial after travelling and observing life around the globe. Those who are fortunate enough to be able to travel, financially and otherwise, are given a very special and unique opportunity to judge their life with those around them. Many times, one’s own life will seem a lot brighter in comparison to those who are less fortunate. Recognizing this fortune is part of our personal growth, something that is often overlooked as it is less common to take a moment to examine it from afar. You will appreciate what you have in your own life, identify things you would like to change, and define your sense of self.
After many adventures around the world, some short and others for longer stays, there is a general sense of progression and personal growth that I have witnessed in myself and others who have reaped the benefits of travel. The benefits of travel are truly limitless. The only way to count them all is to, well, travel!
Visit Say Hueque for tours to South America and start broadening your horizons today!