Whether you’re born with wanderlust or you’re scared of leaving your comfort zone, travelling will change you for the better. Going on adventures, breathtaking hikes, or tree-planting trips in other countries will expand your mind, make you more independent and strong, and give you the chance to meet incredibly inspiring people from all over.
1) You learn a ton about yourself, and how to be alone
You’ve discovered you have great navigation skills, and now you trust yourself to find your way through any city. You’ve learned to face your fears and travel solo, and discovered that it’s not so bad after all — in fact, hanging out by yourself is pretty cool. Travelling teaches you a lot about what you’re capable of, and it makes you way more independent than people who’ve never stepped foot outside their comfort zone.
2) You rely on the kindness of others
Travelling is often an exercise in hope. Relying on the kindness of strangers on your journey — whether they become your drinking buds for a night, they give you some extra food on a hike, or they simply make your hostel stay more comfortable — helps you see the good in people all over the world. This shatters stereotypes about different people and cultures, and makes you a more accepting and kind person yourself.
3) You learn to be spontaneous and adapt to new situations
When you’re travelling, nothing is set in stone, and plans often give way to spontaneous adventures (which are the best!) Often, we’re too scared to face change, but travelling reminds us there’s nothing to fear in unexpected situations. There are always surprises around the corner, and it’s up to you to make the best out of them!
4) You get to meet interesting people
Perhaps THE best thing about travelling is the people you meet along the way. Learn from, be inspired by, and be guided by smart, cultured, worldly people who will likely remain your friends and potential hosts for the rest of your life. People in other countries are surprisingly hospitable, and it’ll make you a more hospitable person.
5) Travelling expands your mind and makes you smarter
Come home after a tree-planting trip to Nepal with a new perspective on life, a new appreciation for all the things you have, and an even greater desire to change the world for the better. Travelling is challenging both physically and mentally, but you’ll return home feeling wiser.
6) You become more minimalistic
Material possessions become less important the more you travel. As long as you have your essentials for survival, you’re set. You’ll find that the less you carry, the less worries you’re burdened with; leaving behind materialistic things is incredibly liberating and helps keep your life organized, focused, and refreshed.
7) It increases your confidence
Navigate all of Berlin on your own in 24 hours, in below zero weather, with nothing but a map and a backpack? Travel solo to Hungary, find a great hostel, then make some cool friends along the way? Learn how to say “Where is the bathroom?” in Chinese? Manage to have a 3-hour conversation in Ukrainian even after you haven’t practised it in forever, and then get complimented on your accent? Yes, travelling fosters your independence and ability to take care of yourself, and also to socialize. That’s something to be confident about.
8) You become less stressed out
Here’s the cool thing about other countries, especially in Europe: people in general are way more laid back. Plus, travelling allows you to slow down and enjoy the view, which is often easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of daily life.
9) You learn to appreciate home and the good things in your life
There’s nothing like waiting for your flight from Zurich back home while journalling and reflecting on all the great things you’ve learned abroad — but also all the wonderful things you have to look forward to coming home. Sometimes, a good trip can leave you feeling incredibly grateful for your friends, family, home town, and the beauty of the world.
10) Living in the moment
Perhaps the most important lesson you learn from travel is the ability to put aside your cares and simply live in the moment. Whether you’re gazing out the window of a moving train or planting a tree in a place that will help people (like tentree), living in the moment is the essence of life. Open your mind and heart to the world, take a step out your door, and only good things will follow!