In the last couple of years travel has become an essential part of my life. Exploring new places is my favourite thing to do and there are many reasons for that. It has enriched my life a lot and it has definitely made me a better person.
1. You learn to focus on the positive things in life
Positivity is the key to a happy life. When you’re traveling not everyday is as picture-perfect as it seems on Instagram. You’re out of your comfort zone in a foreign country where you might not even speak the language. Obviously you have some bad days or bad experiences but usually they’re not as bad as they seem in the beginning.
In Morocco I was robbed 100€, I had food poisoning on 7 out of 14 days and I got lost in a town I didn’t know with a temperature of 40°C. But whenever someone asks me about my Morocco trip I mention all the great people I’ve met, the beautiful places I’ve seen and the amazing experiences I’ve made. For a while I was mad about the stolen 100€ but then I realised that the person who stole them probably needs them more than I do. The food poisoning taught me not to consume drinks with ice in Africa (because they use tap water) and getting lost taught me to properly research the directions next time.
So whenever something bad happens to you, think about what you can learn from it and how this lesson can keep you from making that mistake again. The positive part of every obstacle is that you can learn from it. When I once took out my frustration about something on my friend I remember him replying “Todo es parte del aprendizaje”; engl.: It’s all part of the learning process. Since then I always have this phrase in my head when I encounter a difficult situation.
2. You learn to be independent
You’re on your own without anyone’s guidance. If you struggle with something you can’t always ask your family, colleagues or friends. Now that might not sound very positive but you’ll find a solution for every problem. It’s a great feeling to know that you don’t need anyone else and that you’re fine on your own. You’ll also stop searching the fault for your problems in someone else because you’re the person responsible for them. So you’re the one who has to look ahead and find a solution. With the realisation that you’re fine on your own you lose the fear of certain situations. Things that I would have never imagined myself doing years ago – e.g. book a one-way flight ticket, sleep at a stranger’s place, travel alone in Africa – have now become normal. Step by step you realise that there’s nothing to be afraid of.
3. You’ll be able to adapt to situations
Travelling to different destinations shows you the different ways of life of people and their culture. My experiences range from not having heating when it had 2°C outside to living with a family of seven Indians and some rats in a dirty apartment for two months – it has all taught me to adapt. Those situations are not always pleasant, but you learn to live with them. Something that would have extremely annoyed me a few years ago is now something that I don’t even mind anymore. Even if you truly struggle in that situation you can probably laugh about it a while later.
4. You meet amazing people
People you meet while travelling are often interesting persons with an open mindset and a positive attitude towards life. I believe that we can learn something from every person we meet. Thinking back about fellow travellers I’ve met I’m sure that some have influenced me in a way that has partly made me the person I am today. The more people you meet on your journey the more you can inspire and teach each other. I’ve always encountered kindness in people when I needed help. Returning the wallet I lost in a public restroom in Bolivia or sharing their home when I needed a place to sleep. Those actions have saved me so many times and I’m thankful for that kindness. Meeting so many amazing and inspiring people makes you want to be one of them.
What are your thoughts on travelling? Do you agree with me?
Let me know in the comments!