When you talk about travel, the first thing that comes to mind is recreation, something that we do on our vacation or free days for fun, most people do consider travel as a leisure activity only, but what if I tell you that it can be much more than that? There are far more benefits to traveling than just de-stress yourself while you enjoy your pina colada in front of the pool, especially if you are traveling abroad.
Besides de-stressing yourself, which is indeed a fact, traveling can also improve your health and help you learn a new language, but the importance of traveling goes far beyond that. It completely changes the way you see the world and interacts with other people and the environment, and this by itself is already a good reason why it’s important to travel the world.
If you manage to take the best out of your travels, you will see that they can become valuable experiences not only for fun but also for learning. Thinking about that, I have compiled a list of reasons why travel is important and the benefits of traveling in our lives.
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9 Reasons Why Travel is Important
Benefits of Traveling
Builds self-confidence and independence.
For young people especially, it is hard to leave your comfort zone, you have lived with your family your whole life, have your friends, don’t have big worries, don’t need to pay bills, and live in a city where people know you since you were a kid. Leaving the comfort zone sounds more like an alien experience that most of us don’t really want to take.
Exploring the world and all its wonders can have a huge impact on an individual’s self-confidence and independence. As you explore, you are forced to take risks, step out of your comfort zone, and make decisions for yourself.
This ability to conquer challenges fosters a sense of confidence that lingers long after one’s travels come to an end, as it is in hardship that we grow. In addition, while traveling independently you also get to practice problem-solving skills which will prepare you for whatever challenge comes your way in life.
Teaches you problem-solving skills in unfamiliar settings.
Exploring why travel is important teaches you problem-solving skills in unfamiliar settings. By putting yourself in an unknown environment you are forced to think quickly, assess the situation and respond effectively.
Traveling can help hone your decision-making capacities, making you more adept at managing situations that are seemingly daunting or out of your control.
Additionally, by being exposed to different cultures and customs, you will start to understand how actions are taken on one side of the world can have consequences on the other side of it.
Develop cultural sensitivity
Sometimes you might think your country is the best or has the best culture, but the truth is that your country is just one in the middle of many others, care to feel small here, please? Cultural shock can be scary sometimes, but most of the time it gives you a different perspective on things.
Maybe you will like it, maybe you will not, but you will need to adapt yourself to this new culture, break taboos, and accept a different opinion that can be the opposite of yours.
But in the world of culture, nothing is really right or wrong, it is just a matter of perspective, and we need to deal with it.
Perhaps you will come across a different way to look at something, and it will change your life, maybe you will find out that something that is such a big issue for you, is just a simple matter that shouldn’t be taken as a problem in other cultures, and it will make your life so much better!
You have contact with different people from different countries and get to know other cultures and costumes. All this gives you a sense of existence, making you realize the world is not summarised in yourself or your city or country, helping you to understand your place in the universe.
It breaks egocentrism and makes you think more about others. Teaches you to respect other people and cultures and makes you less selfish. It breaks taboos that you may have with this or that people, and change your point of view towards someone.
Maybe you think that these people are weird, or those people are harsh, but after you finally get in contact with them, you will notice that your thoughts were just stereotypes.
While traveling you have a big chance to learn another language, at least the basics! English is almost an international language and very dear for those who travel but only because you have the means to communicate, doesn’t mean you can’t learn the local language!
Having to contact full time with people who speak other languages is the easiest way to learn it, better than only taking classes.
Of course, classes are great as it is how you will learn the grammar rules, etc., but to be fluent and develop conversation skills in this new language, nothing better than going out, trying, failing, and trying again!
And don’t worry about learning a language that you “will never use again in my life”. You never know when it will be useful. People used to tell me Arabic was pointless until I found myself lost in Brussels and the only person around was a Somali woman who didn’t speak English, I didn’t speak French, BUT AAH HAAAM, we could speak Arabic, the lady showed me the way, BAM! no loss anymore, now tell me Arabic is pointless again!!
Life experiences are what define you
The first time I heard that it made so much sense. I totally clicked! Your being is defined by what happens to it during life, the situations you put yourself in today are what will define you tomorrow, it is from the experiences that we learn, we change.
Traveling will provide you with so many different experiences that you wouldn’t have if you keep your bum on the sofa for the rest of your life, it will open your mind, and again, make you adapt to different situations.
Observe wildlife in their natural habitat
Remember when you were a kid and used to go to the zoo to watch animals locked in their cages doing what they probably wouldn’t be doing if they could choose?
Traveling allows you to watch those same animals in their REAL habitat, you can observe them keeping on with their daily lives, living just like they would if humans didn’t exist. The sense of dividing your own space with a wild animal is just surreal.
Few people have the chance to admire them in their real habitat, and those that do, don’t want to go back to the zoo, ever!
It is so rewarding to be part of their habitat, even for a few minutes, and have the conscience of so.
Bring to reality everything you watched in documentaries
Watching a documentary on TV is always interesting. I have always loved that since I was a kid, I used to spend hours watching Discovery Channel or Animal Planet. But seen from the distance it is hard to acknowledge the reality is all this.
It is just like a movie, something that perhaps even happens, but somewhere far away from me and that is not interfered with by me.
But when you finally travel to a destination that you watched the documentary about, that’s the moment when everything becomes tangible.
Learn about the history of the world and civilization
Reading books and watching documentaries are always very educative. But nothing is more educative than going to the place yourself and learning about the history, culture, and all the rest, from the source! You will not only learn from your own experience but also get the proof with your own eyes!
Needless to say that seeing history and culture firsthand is way more immersive, than watching it from a half-world distance right?
Why is it important to travel the world
Most people travel for vacation, a chance to be free of the daily life routine, and to spend time with their family. It is by itself good enough.
However, only a few people realize the positive effects of international travel, which are many, from healthy reasons to self-esteem, to personal growth. It changes you as a person, and shapes the way you see the world, and how you react to different situations.
It was never so easy to travel the world as it is nowadays, so if you are living in this generation, you should consider yourself lucky, to begin with.
I know it is not something simple for our mindset, it is not an easy decision to go out of your comfortable and secure house, to see the world, it may sound threatening, and it is, but trust me, it is so rewarding.
If you are still not convinced, take a look at this list of why traveling is important, and please, if you dream about traveling abroad but feel afraid of taking the first steps, maybe you don’t know where to begin, or you don’t know where to go first, why not sending me an email, perhaps I can help you out! 🙂
And if you are already planning to travel abroad, but are not sure of where to go, check this list of the best countries to travel to for first-timers.
This text was originally written and posted in December 2017 and updated in February 2022. New information has been added and links have been updated so that it could offer a better experience to the reader.