I previously published this post about two years ago but revisited and updated it. Next month, we will be cruising to Japan, not great timing after the recent typhoon but you can never predict the weather when travelling.
I love travelling and discovering new places. My husband and I have been very fortunate to be able to take an annual overseas holiday over the last few years and it has always been a period of growth for both of us. We love discovering new things and meeting new people.
From my travels I’ve realized that I have changed with each trip, so I’ve compiled a list of how travel can change a person.
9 Ways Travel Changes You
1. We Learn How Others Live
Travelling is an education. When travelling to another country you become educated on how other people live. Sometimes it makes you appreciate your life and your home. It is especially a rewarding experience to travel to places where the culture is so totally different to your own. Basic things such as the geography, how the economy works, the currency and how it converts to your own currency, everyday life are all learning experiences.
2. We are taken out of our Comfort Zone
Travelling can be challenging and take you out of your comfort zone. Learning to navigate around strange places, using public transport or even a map can be challenging. We have many experiences where we have been lost and have been able to laugh later once we were safely back at our ‘base camp’. I remember being in La Spezia in Italy and asking several times for directions. The people could not have been more helpful although everyone gave us a different answer! I am much more adventurous now than I was even 10 years ago.
3. We learn the art of Communication
We learn from others whether we can speak the language or not. If you are in a country where your native tongue is not the same, you learn to communicate in other ways. It pushes you to communicate and you realize that all humans are basically the same and a SMILE can go a very long way to replacing conversation. China was a perfect example for us and it was one of our best trips. Trying to communicate that my husband needed medication for a headache, sore throat and cough became more like a game of charades, however we managed to get what we wanted in the end.
4. We Learn Patience
Delayed flights, lost baggage or perhaps being in a place where the word ‘hurry’ is not in the vocabulary can certainly be a test of your patience. Even being with the one you love 24/7 for a long holiday can have its moments (although fortunately for us they are rare). Situations like this teach you to just relax and let it go. You learn to have the attitude of ‘What is the Worst that Can Happen’. When you chill out the holiday has started and you begin to enjoy every moment – frustrating or not!
5. We learn to be more Open Minded
Travelling certainly opens your eyes and mind. You live in your comfort zone at home and when you travel you realize that not everywhere or everyone is the same. Different ideas and way of life teach you to be more tolerant and open minded. Sometimes you discover that the way you think is not necessarily the right way and you become more accepting to a change in mindset.
6. We have New Food Experiences
I love trying different foods and travel can provide many occasions to taste the delicases of the country. Foods which you may not have at home can be a wonderful new experience. Of course, there are some foods that perhaps I just don’t think I could try but mostly it adds to the adventure. I love travelling to visit my husband’s cousins in Italy. Italians love their food and each meal is an event. Sunday lunch begins at 2pm and finishes about 8pm, then we find ourselves eating gelato in Naples at 2am and the streets are crowded with families.
7. Travel Creates Lasting Memories
Each adventure becomes a lasting memory although sometimes it is too easy to fall back into the hectic lifestyle and forget about your experiences. I usually try to make a photo book and love looking through them. The memories come flooding back and for a moment in time you are reliving your experience. I love talking to other travelers and hearing about their adventures.
8. Travel Enriches Your Life
Travel certainly enriches your life. You learn that there is a big world out there which is waiting to be discovered and you are a very small part of that world.
9. You learn gratitude and appreciation
I’ve learned more about being grateful and appreciating my home by experiencing the lives of others. However, i’ve also learned that people who have so little can still be grateful and happy with their lives. I’ve learned we don’t need as many possessions as we think we do.
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” ― Henry Miller ‘
Have you been fortunate enough to travel to another country? I’d love to hear your stories.
If you can’t travel to another country why not try a Staycation and learn about where you live! Read my blog on How to have a Staycation and enjoy your home town it can still be an adventure.