Top 10 Benefits of Travelling
Travelling isn’t for everyone. Some people hate it, others fear it. The rest of us, we love it! But, what’s all the fuss about? Why is travelling so important and how could we benefit from it? Oh, there is plenty and below you’ll find my top 10 list of benefits of travelling.
I’m not sure how they measure it but scientists have proven that travelling is good for your body and mind. I’m not even sure you need a scientist to prove this. I think all you need to hear are people’s travel experiences to know this is true…or go experience it yourself.
If you are needing to combat some travel fears first, check out this post: https://nomadgirlfriend.com/face-your-fears-of-travel-head-on/
Here are some of the main benefits of travelling:
1. Travelling Disconnects You From Your Daily Life
We tend to be consumed in our daily lives, living day to day in our usual routine that we sometimes forget how to really live life and enjoy it to the fullest. We take advantage of our surroundings and forget about everything life has to offer. Work stresses you out, the children are driving you up the wall, your parents are trying to set you up on a date, you’re stuck in an arduous rut. How much longer can you endure it all before you go berzerk?
There is nothing wrong with taking a step back and taking a deep breath in. Escapism is a thing. I take part it in very often and travel is a wonderful form. A little bit of preparation and the purchasing of tickets early makes for something to look forward to.
The real trick, leave the laptop at home, the cell phone off (unless for emergencies) and disengage in social media. On vacation, thoughts should be on soaking up your surroundings, fully enjoying the adventure and immersing yourself in the culture. Being distracted/tempted/triggered by what we read and see on social media is not a way to enjoy your vacation!
2. Travelling Enhances Your Creativity
Not everyone may agree but one of the major benefits of travelling is that it forces you out of your comfort zone. This is especially true if you travel somewhere you’ve never gone before or trying something completely foreign. Everything is new and can be tantalizing!
When faced with new challenges, you are put to the test on figuring things out on finding a solution. Your senses are heightened in every way as you experience vivid colours, strong aromas, sights you only see in book. When you challenge yourself how to ride a camel, bargaining at a market, ordering off a menu that’s in a completely different language, or finding your way to your hotel you are building new skills.
Your enhanced creativity that you’ve learned on your journeys will help you generate new ideas and innovation in your daily life that may help you embrace getting out of your comfort zone.
3. Travelling Improves Your Ability to Understand Different Cultures and Broadens Your Horizons
You think you know, but do you really? Learning and understanding a culture different than yours can open your eyes to new meanings. We think we know things because we listen to the radio or read the newspaper, but media can be one sided and biased and may narrow your perspective. The authenticity of people in their own turn can be an eye opener.
The benefits of travelling the world, experiencing the different ways people live and interact with others can challenge your own opinions as you see the issues and challenges that others face as well as in your own life.
For example, in Japan there is a drinking culture which includes but not limited to: not pouring your own drink and not drinking until everyone has been served. Following these customs helps you fit in while you’re visiting shows respect.
Not only will you get to learn about different cultures and behaviours, you may also learn to pick up a few simple words, even sentences in a different language! Who doesn’t want to be multilingual?
4. Travelling Gives You Real Life Education
Reading books, watching television, using your imagination, can only go so far. When you get to see things with your own eyes, encounter people you can talk to, physically touch the ruins, taste exotic foods and smell new spices you are taken to another place. Textbooks and televisions can’t do this.
There are book smarts and there are street smarts. When you’re travelling, your sense of street smarts will be put to the test. You may be swindled, cheated, lied to. Don’t let this stop you from travelling though. With all the different interactions you have, you will likely learn how to improvise or learn a new skill set that you never knew you had.
In Bulgaria, the bus authority kicked us off the bus because we got on the wrong one and then fined us. I was pissed and sure this makes me never want to go back to Bulgaria but I still want to travel. What I learned from this experience is to make sure to get on the right bus. Also, nodding no means yes in Bulgaria. We learned this on our last day and boy, did things make more sense.
5. Travelling Makes You More Interesting and Makes You Feel Like an Adventurer
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who’s travelled the world and had amazing stories to tell of their adventures? How did that make me feel? Whenever I listen to someone’s epic experiences, I feel like I’ve been living like a hermit and want to go out and explore myself. When you associate explanations with experiences, people tend to be more drawn to you as you appear more relatable. You don’t need to be a showoff about it but you’re probably more open minded about things after travelling a bunch.
6. Travelling Allows You to Try Amazing Food
If you’ve never tried street food in Asia, you are in for a treat! You may thing you’re very cultural because you’ve tried different ethnic foods in your home town but it is so so so different in the actually country it comes from. Some of my favorite foods throughout my travels include Shopska salad from Plovdiv, the black noodles with prawns from Seville, roti canai from Malaysia and pretty much all street food from Hong Kong.
Seriously though, one of the best things about travelling is trying all the tasty food that you wouldn’t be able to find at home. If you don’t care for the sights, DO go on a couple of food tours and taste anything and everything!
7. Travelling Expands Your Social Network and Improves your Communication Skills
Sure you can go on vacation and pretty much keep to yourself but what fun would that be. At one point or another, you’ll find yourself talking to locals asking for directions, running into other travellers who will ask you about your own travels or you might find yourself talking to a store owner for restaurant recommendations. More often than not, strangers are pretty open and willing to help. Locals are proud of their city and want to share its charm. Don’t be afraid to talk to people. Better to ask for directions then get lost.
Even if you think you’re shy, you may surprise yourself and make several travel friends along the way. If you’re a solo traveller, opening up to people and sharing your stories may help you find another fellow solo traveller that you may eventually travel to another city with.
Travelling also bonds you to people when you find out they’ve been to the same places or ate at the same restaurants. Finding that common bond can be a great conversation starter that can also lead to a friendship!
8. Travelling Boosts Your Confidence and You Learn More About Yourself
Another benefit of travelling is that it boosts your confidence. If you have difficulty striking up a conversation with strangers, travelling will make it so much easier because you’ll find yourself forced to talk to others.
The more people you come in contact with, the more confidence you’ll have in talking with strangers. As you begin to take chances while challenging yourself to try something new, you start to gain indepence . You may be scared but chances are you’ll be surrounded by others who are trying something new for the first time as well.
New surroundings forces you to adapt to change. Some countries don’t have the comforts of our own home and as you find ways to overcome obstacles, you learn you are more resilient than you originally thought. Travelling also help you find new strengths in yourself as well as figure out things you actually like when you thought you didn’t.
9. Travelling Creates Lifetime Memories
Making memories is a given benefit of travelling. Good or bad memories. Usually, you look back at the bad memories and have a laugh about it. If you can’t laugh back at them, at least you’re alive to tell the story.
Personally, I love looking back at some of my travel photos. Each picture brings me back to a particular day and sometimes I can smell fragrance of the dinner I had in Thailand or feel the warm sun on my face in Cuba. Other times I can remember feeling so triumphant finishing a climb like the Koko Head Crater in Oahu.
10. Travelling Improves Your Health and You Have Fun Doing So
Everyday of vacation is like a weekend. You wake up whenever you want, you can do absolutely nothing all day and not feel guilty about it, you don’t have to follow a schedule, you can escape the miserable wintry cold, and you can get away from toxic people in your life! If this doesn’t sound like a stress reduction, I don’t know what is.
Another travel related health improvement you may be making is increased exercise. Many of you may be stuck at a desk all day long and barely getting in 10,000 steps a day. But, when you’re travelling you are bound to walk to the markets, take a hike, walk around museums, etc. Exercise is great for you heart, your muscles, you mind and will increase your energy levels!
Travelling takes us outdoors. As mentioned before, not only does the sun give us a great tan, it also gives us vitamin D. The benefits of vitamin D include: skin protection and rejuvenation, maintains the health of teeth and bones, helps regulate insulin levels, supports lung function and cardiovascular health, and so forth.
For some, a major benefit of travelling is that is decreases depression and anxiety. Although not a cure, travelling can help you feel better overall physically and mentally!
Last Words About All the Benefits of Travel
So there you have it, my top 10 benefits of travelling. There are much more out there and there’s a few that I’ve grouped together. Would you agree with them? If leaving your home town to explore is something you’ve been wanting to do, you can and should. Don’t let excuses stop you from travelling.
Take every chance you get in life, because somethings only happen once.