Many people ask themselves whether it is a wise decision to travel.
Is it a worthwhile experience? Will you benefit from it at all? Or is it simply a time waste that slows down your career path?
As this topic is very subjective, I will start by saying that there is no definitive answer to the question if you should travel or not.
In the end, it comes down to your personal situation and preferences.
But if you can’t stop thinking about it, you might want to have a different input other than your colleagues or parents telling you it’s a waste of time.
This article will offer exactly that for you.
As an avid supporter of traveling myself, I think that traveling in itself is extremely valuable, but not always in an obvious way.
This is why I will cover the different benefits of traveling. Those which might not immediately jump to your mind when thinking about it, and those you already know about but need to be reminded on.
How to travel
To make sure we are all on the same page, let’s define what to think of when you read the word “travel”.
As there are different ways to travel to new places and experience them, I will describe the way I think is the most beneficial and fun.
One way to do it is the typical family vacation.
You book a hotel, preferably in a nice and warm area, and try to relief all the stress that built up over the course of your everyday life.
You try to get rid of the thoughts about the temporary nature of your trip, dreading the end of the summer holidays.
Finally relaxing at the pool. Not worrying about anything but the perfect water temperature and the tan that is vital for proving how awesome of a vacation you had.
If you find yourself loving these kinds of vacations. Stocking you up on energy, filling you with joy. Then there is nothing wrong with that. You do you.
The traveling I will talk about for the most part in this article, however, will be of a different kind.
Instead of a monotonic break from your life at home, the travel I refer to offers excitement, challenges, and sparks curiosity.
It’s not about escape or retreat, it’s about merging with another culture, widening your experiences and horizon.
It can net you immeasurable experiences and opportunities, benefitting you in ways you didn’t even consider.
Traveling to a different country does not only have to mean new landscapes and language barriers in restaurants.
It can also mean learning about new cultures, meeting people with very different views and motives.
Most importantly, it is the perfect opportunity for adventures and experiences of all sorts.
Again, taking the time to step back from your everyday life is perfectly reasonable.
Having no responsibilities and letting your mind wander throughout the day can definitely help to reboot your system.
Anyhow, if you decide to put in a little effort, step outside of your comfort zone and embrace the unusual, new environment, I promise you will not regret it.
The only requirement is to open yourself up to these kinds of things.
It’s all about trying.
Trying new food. Trying to talk to a local at the bar. Trying to understand a different religion.
These are just some plain examples. New challenges and memories will await you every day, and around every corner.
Instead of relaxing at the pool, go to the local market and discover new fruits and vegetables.
Engage in conversations with people about their country, their culture, and themselves.
Don’t be afraid to try out new things in fear of embarrassing yourself. You are likely not going to see any of those people ever again.
Now that I enflamed your curiosity, I will list the benefits of traveling.
One of the biggest benefits of traveling is the personal development you experience during it.
Because of the unique experiences you make and the conversations you have along the way, your confidence together with your conversational skills will improve drastically.
The key to experience as much personal development as possible is your comfort zone, and to overall embrace your travels.
The more you step out of it, the bigger your comfort zone and confidence will grow.
Now I know, expanding your comfort zone is not on the easiest side of things. There is a reason for its name after all.
Nonetheless, if you find the courage to do it, it will be priceless in the long-run
All it really takes is one moment of switching your brain off.
One moment of not thinking too much about rejection or failure.
The more often you can do this, the easier it will get in the future.
But why the hassle? Why would you want to expand your comfort zone in your holidays? Why should you not just stay there?
The answer to this is quite easy. Having a bigger comfort zone that your confidence and conversational skills can build upon, will help you in countless situations and life.
It will also open up new opportunities you would not have been able to realize otherwise.
You see a beautiful girl by the bar and would love to start a conversation with her?
You want to ask your boss for a promotion or to take on new responsibilities?
You want to have fun and live life to the fullest?
Your comfort zone and the skills that come with it are the backbones of living a life in which you realize your full potential.
So what better place is there to expand your comfort zone than a different country, with different people and different possibilities?
Even if you end up stumbling over your words and totally fail to have a conversation by the bar, it is a valuable practice.
Making it easier and improving the chances of success the next time you do it.
The next time you go on travels, consider investing in yourself, your personal growth. All it takes is a little courage to start with.
Open Your Mind
The best education when it comes to being tolerant and open-minded is traveling.
Nothing teaches you different ways of thinking quite as much as a trip to a foreign country.
Talking with locals and understanding the reasoning behind their actions and beliefs makes it a lot easier to understand their way of living.
When the only source of information about a country and its people stem from media and prejudices, it is bound to paint an obscure and misleading picture in your head.
To combat this, finding out that their cultures, norms, and values are oftentimes derived from basic human emotions like fear and love helps tremendously in understanding them, and respecting them.
This is also the part that connects us with the rest of the world. Basic emotions.
As these are not only the fundamental pillars of different cultures but also the ones of our very own.
But other than developing a healthy and open mindset, dealing with other cultures inherits other benefits for you, too.
One of them is the sparking of your curiosity.
When stuck in everyday life, where most days seem to be the same, and there is not a lot of new input, it is hard to remember how much joy and excitement new things can bring.
Additionally, you might experience that there is rarely enough time to think of new things to do.
Moreover, once you have found something new that would interest you, finding the time in between your other responsibilities to act on it can be incredibly hard as well. I am sure you know what I am talking about.
But what other time is better suited for trying out new things, sparking your curiosity for something new and challenging, than in your holidays?
You have fewer responsibilities, more freedom and more time to pursue new things.
On top of that, you are in a completely new environment. Filled with activities and things you have never seen or experienced before.
Another benefit of developing an open mindset is the personal and conversational value it can introduce you to.
Dealing with foreign colleagues?
Meeting people from other cultures?
Talking to companies originating from different countries?
In all of these scenarios, showing understanding and knowledge of the given country can help you tremendously.
It makes it easier to have a conversation, talking about your experiences and the people you have met in the said country.
It helps you to understand the cues and behaviours of the other person.
And it helps you to realise your conversational goals a lot better.
Whether it is to make a business deal, or just to win the person’s sympathy.
Furthermore, it creates respect among others if you have been to many different countries and places.
Creating an aura of knowledge and wisdom.
A reason that holds back a lot of people from traveling is the professional relevance of it.
Many people fear that a gap year in their cv or a break from work to pursue traveling will make them less attractive for employers.
However, instead of hurting your chances for your desired job, traveling could help you to get it.
Because of the already mentioned boost in confidence, experiences and conversational skills, you will have an easier time to impress at the job interview.
Next to that, seeing that you have traveled and made your own unique path in life, can make your future boss respect you and even admire you.
The saying that you need to have a flawless CV without any holes in it is outdated.
To compliment that, embracing your travels, meeting new people and taking on new challenges can net you opportunities you didn’t even account for at the start of your journey.
You might come up with a business idea to import a famous product you got to know during your travels in your home country.
You might help someone to fix their car and get a job offer in his successful company in return.
There are countless opportunities waiting to be realized while out adventuring.
You might start out traveling with a job you hate and end with a job you love.
This is part of the beauty of traveling.
Building upon that, visiting a foreign country for an extended period can make learning a new language a lot easier.
Being constantly surrounded by the spoken and written language is the single best way to learn any language quickly.
On top that off, with a little bit of studying on the side, and the language you always dreamed of speaking is closer to being mastered than ever before.
This obviously inherits a big professional relevance.
Being able to speak multiple languages makes you not only more interesting and attractive for the other gender. It also allows you to communicate with business partners from all over the world.
In an increasingly internationalized society and business world, this can turn out to be of great value.
After reading this article, I hope it becomes apparent, that traveling is not just wasting time in a streamlined life.
It is something that should be actively pursued.
Something that you yourself can determine the value of.
It benefits you in all aspects of life.
- Making you more open minded
- Improving your professional relevance
- Helping you to find happiness and joy
- Resparking your interests and curiosities
- Supporting you to learn new languages
Have you already traveled?
If yes, how much and where did you go?
What unique stories and experiences do you have to share?
If no, do you plan on traveling in the future?
Leave a comment below and engage in the conversation.
Thanks for reading!