“You should travel more,” “you need to take a trip,” “you need to get away,” and my personal favorite “you deserve to travel.” Regardless of it’s because you’re burnt out at work, you need a little “me” time or feel stressed, travel seems always to be the solution to everyone’s problems.
If this is the case, then why don’t we do more of it? There are lots of different reasons for this based off of your situation, but I am here to tell you that you need to forget those and JUST GO! Now I know, easier said than done. I get it. As I write this post, I have six additional tabs open on my laptop while I map out my next adventure. It can be a daunting task! What you, and I, both need to remember is the benefits of travel are abundant. Here’s how it makes your life richer:
I know what you’re thinking ‘I’ve heard this a million times.’ And you probably have but did it change your viewpoint on travel? Instead of me taking the traditional approach and throwing a quote your way, let me pose this to you. A few years back researchers at San Francisco State University did a study on the overall happiness of people who buy material things instead of experiences. Any guesses on who was ultimately happier? You guessed it. Travel doesn’t mean you have to go to the other side of the world either. A staycation works too.
One of the most common answers I get when I ask people why they don’t travel more usually has something to do with money, or lack thereof. Choices between paying a bill or buying the outfit we
need want seem to rule the roost. My entire life I have always lived in insanely expensive areas; New York, Washington DC, San Diego, and The Middle East to name a few. Take New York for example: in the city, you’ll be lucky if $15 buys you a hamburger. Go to Thailand, and you can get a few nights at a hotel with wi-fi for the same amount. Point is there are a ton of places you can go that will make you feel rich without going into financial duress.
Have you ever taken a ‘Principles of Macroeconomics’ class? I have. And you want to know the one thing it didn’t help me with at all once I started traveling? Currency rates! Any class you take doesn’t have squat on experience when you open your wallet and have to figure out how much (or little) you’re about to pay for your shish tawook in bills or coins.
I can’t honestly think of a better way to build your tolerance for life than through travel. Between cultural differences, language barriers, different forms of dress, travel requires A LOT of patience. In the moments where things may not be as easy as you feel they should be, perspective and reality become clear. You’re likely to see that your ‘first world problems’ aren’t a big deal at all.
The benefits you’ll gain from travel don’t just impact your personal life; it means just as much for you as a professional. ‘Problem-solving,’ ‘ambitious, ‘ability to learn new things.’ These are just some of the things employers are looking for out of their prospective employees. All of these skills can be learned through travel (Bonus!!).
Can you get by in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language with a smile? Sure! But try telling the cab driver where you want to go when you don’t speak the language. Or attempting to order food at a busy, fast-paced restaurant or cafe when you don’t speak the language. In some parts of the world, countries thrive off of this by charging tourists more than the locals. Rage will happen first, but then you’ll keep on keeping on. After you’ve experienced customs and/or the visa application process, you’ll become unbreakable.
This idea of creativity or being creative is sometimes something that we only think certain people can have, or do. Sometimes referred to as a “gift” or “luck” it is neither of those things. You too can be just as creative as the next “creative person” as deemed so by society. There’s a fancy-schmancy term out there known as ‘Psychological Distance,’ and it has been proven to build creativity. How can you develop this? One way is by traveling, of course.
There is no better confidence booster than that which comes from travel. Being able to communicate with others who do not speak your language, or navigate a foreign city alone, will leave you feeling like you can take on the world. Your ability to be sure-footed will soar.
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