Anyone who has traveled has been changed by it. Some may not be aware of it, but setting out to unfamiliar places shakes you up in subtle and not-so subtle ways. Every trip for me triggers a mix of emotions. Anticipation, excitement, fear, and worry are just some of the feelings I get before, during, and sometimes after my travels. If you ask me why I subject myself to such emotions, I’d say it’s for the experiences that traveling brings. There are always takeaways. And I feel that I’m also leaving parts of myself in places I go. It makes me understand myself and the outside world more.
I couldn’t agree more with what this infographic that I found says. There are many ways travel is good for you. For me, it’s also a way for me grow – to test myself in the midst of the unknown and the unfamiliar. Here’s how traveling has pushed me farther than what I believed to be my limits:
Learning to be more self-reliant
I have traveled solo in the past. And it’s been among the scariest things I’ve done. There’s nothing like knowing that I’m on my own to bring out a lot of anxieties and fears. I had to rely on myself while on the road. But it was also the most liberating experience I’ve had. It gave me the freedom to do what I want and take responsibility for the bad choices I made.
Seeing strangers in a new light
I used to take the “don’t talk to strangers” advice much too seriously. I’m the type who’d rather suffer than ask for help from anyone I don’t know. But traveling changed that. I had many unforgettable interactions with kind strangers who’ve helped in different ways. I discovered how sincere people can be even to people they’ve only met for the first time. This helped me grow as a person. It allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and take the time to talk with people I meet in my travels.
Nothing beats first-hand experience in broadening perspectives. It’s easy to find information online. But no matter how much I research about a place, there’s always something I discover that challenges old beliefs I had. Traveling has changed the way I see things. It made me appreciate culture and the value of respecting differences. It made me more compassionate and more conscious about keeping an open mind.