Travelling has a huge effect on me. Even the idea of planning my next trip (hopefully Thailand…) gets me excited for all the new experiences I’m going to have. I have been extremely lucky to have even gotten to travel at all during my studies and I appreciate every trip I’ve been on. Both times have taught me something new and I strongly believe travelling provides some of the greatest opportunities to grow as a person. But it also:
- Helps change your attitude. While travelling you really need to go with the flow. Luggage get’s lost, trains are late, flights are cancelled… things never goes as planned and if you get hung up on the details, your trip/experience will suffer. Travelling definitely helps re-adjust your attitude towards disappointments and promotes a more carefree and positive outlook.
- Forces you to make friends. While travelling alone or even with a smaller group of friends, it’s vital to reach out to the locals and/or other travelers. There’s no way (even if you read 100 travel blogs) you’re going to know all the in’s and out’s of every country you visit and therefore it’s essential to get to know some people who can offer their own advice/opinions/experiences. Especially if you’re alone, it can be hard to be outgoing and talk to strangers but travelling offers the perfect opportunity to get past that. You’re in a foreign place and if you embarrass yourself or say the wrong thing – it really doesn’t matter because you will probably never see that person again!
- Puts you out of your comfort zone. Similar to point 2, travelling puts you in uncomfortable situations all the time: Trying to communicate to people who don’t speak the language, trying to find your way “home” (back to your hostel) after a night out, even trying the local food and not squirming about it. This is actually a good thing because your comfort zone gets bigger the more things you try and you start to realize how much travelling has to offer you.
- Helps you become more resourceful. I cannot tell you how many times we were “lost” on our trip. We would literally get on a bus, arrive in a new city, no map, just the address of our hostel. We couldn’t use our phones to find anything because we had no data (not necessarily a good thing) so we needed to rely on ourselves to find out where were staying. In each city we took all the public transits (some were easier than others, i.e. London tube vs. Cork public buses) and had to figure all of those out while trying to make it to our destinations. Travelling puts you on edge but as long as you keep your wits and aren’t afraid to ask for help, you’ll be fine.
- Makes you appreciate home. Ha, didn’t think this would be on here did you? Travelling really does show you where you feel most at home. Some people can just pick up and make any place their home, and others need their hometown at least within an hour’s drive to feel safe. It’s different for everyone but I think we can all agree that wherever you feel at home, is where you feel the most comfortable. So when I’m travelling and every day is exciting and there’s something new to experience, I do tend to appreciate my home and all its qualities as well.
Thanks for reading!