Traveling is one of the most existing and enjoyable experiences we can have, but it’s much more than that at the same time. No matter where we choose to travel, we encounter new cultures and meet new people, all of which help us to grow and develop as human beings. In this article, we look at some of the excellent lessons we can learn from life on the road.
Studies show that experiences are more valuable for our long-term happiness than material possessions, which is why traveling is so beneficial for our wellbeing. Traveling opens up a world of new people, places, foods, and activities that we enjoy and then recall in our lives.
Positive experiences create a store of happiness in our minds that we can use to increase our happiness at any time. That’s not something you can say about possessions and devices, which are more likely to distract us from our wellbeing practice instead of engaging us with them more.
Leave Comfort Zone
We all like our comfort zones, they are familiar, predictable, and we spend much of our time trying to set things up, so they are as convenient as possible. But that’s only one way to live. Sooner or later, we become bored with our comfort zone or start to recognize its limitations.
Traveling is the perfect opportunity to leave our comfort zone and find inspiration in new experiences. This process will be easy or difficult depending on our personality type; either way, we can learn more about ourselves and our capabilities by stepping out of our familiar territory.
One of the reasons we step out of our comfort zone to go traveling is to experience the color and diversity of other cultures. Cultural experiences are enjoyable and offer a unique opportunity to learn about other people, customs, traditions, and lifestyles. We also learn about ourselves.
While traveling, we meet people who speak different languages and live in different cultures, but when we engage with them, we start to notice many similarities as well. This is a learning experience because it starts to dissolve the perception of difference between people and places.
Chances are you experience stress and frustration living in your local community in your daily life. Patience might be something you strive for, but it’s not always easy with arrogant drivers on the road and long lines in the supermarket. But traveling helps us to learn and practice patience.
When we travel, our expectations change. We expect there to be delays at the airport, difficulties communicating in the local language, and small frustrations on our journey here and there. Understanding that many of our frustrations are born from expectations helps us daily.
Meet New People
Whether you are going on a community holiday or you are traveling solo, chances are you will meet new people and connections. Traveling is one of the best learning experiences because it encourages us to step out of our conventional lifestyles, which also encourages communication.
When living in a different place or traveling on a train through Europe, you have the chance to strike up conversations with fellow travelers and find out more about where they come from and what their life goals are. Again, this gives you new experiences and perspectives for your life.
One of the reasons people travel is to explore the natural world. Some people want to hike up mountains and experience spectacular views, while others want to scuba dive in the ocean and discover some of the hidden wonders of sea life. But we also encounter the fragility of nature.
In reality, there are areas where clean drinking water is a luxury and natural disasters threaten local communities, not to mention the signs of environmental degradation such as pollution in the ocean or baking temperatures. This is a chance to reflect on the fragility of the natural world.
If you’re a natural planner, chances are you are pretty successful at traveling; you know when to book your flights so they aren’t too expensive, and how to pack your case with exactly what you need to reduce the weight and, ultimately, the cost. Traveling also requires some spontaneity.
In reality, you need a bit of both if you want to get the most out of your travel experiences, but this is something you can learn through trial and error. When you stick to a schedule too rigidly, you can miss out on some of the rewarding times you can have when you go with the flow.
Appreciate Small Things
Sometimes daily life is like going through life with blinkers on, we have our set routines and responsibilities, and we come to expect the daily stresses and look for the small pockets of comfort and enjoyment. Traveling breaks the normal cycle of things creating new possibilities.
When we leave our daily lives to go traveling, we step out of our conventional mindsets and see everyday life in a new way. This is a rewarding experience and helps us to learn appreciation. When we return to our daily lives, we discover that travel appreciation also exists in daily life.
Modern culture encourages certain values in us, one of them being confidence and the need to stand out (and above) the crowd. Modern culture teaches us that being valued for our achievements and material status is what counts and leads to a happy and successful life.
Traveling teaches us something different. When we travel, we discover that we are no different from people in other cultures and systems – political, religious, and cultural. Traveling gives us more perspective on the world and helps us to view ourselves as a small part of everything.
Smiling is a universal sign of happiness and friendliness, and when you don’t speak a foreign language, it is sometimes the best way to communicate. Learning how to smile more often develops a happier mindset by training your brain to release happy hormones through the day.
As well as smiling, traveling will teach you how to communicate in new ways. For instance, if you find yourself in a location where you don’t speak the language, and you don’t have a phrase book, you will have to communicate using a smile and body language that might be new to you.
When you think of creativity, you might think of drawing, writing, painting, or crafting something. In reality, creativity is ever present in our lives. Everyday we use our creativity to solve problems and find practical solutions to make lives more meaningful. It’s the same when we go traveling. It’s not possible to travel without being creative and solving routine problems with intelligence.
If you want to increase your self-awareness, independence, and problem-solving skills, then fill up your backpack and book a flight, or start planning your summer road trip. Traveling challenges us in new ways and tests our capacities. We have to step up to meet these challenges, which leads to more self-knowledge and self-belief when we return to our homes.
When we leave school or university, after learning with homophones powerpoints our education doesn’t stop; on the contrary, it’s only the beginning. Travel is an excellent way to continue learning, not only about the world and our place within it but about ourselves and our capacity for living the best life possible. So if you’re ready to continue your education, don’t forget to enjoy yourself at the same time by traveling.