Updated: Jul 1, 2019
Everyone has their own reasons for travelling but sometimes you may need inspiration from others. From my experience, I can tell you that travelling the world will be the best thing you could ever do. Some of the reasons on this list you won’t actually realise until you travel, some you will think are obvious, and some you would never have thought of. The most important thing to remember is that you don’t need to relate to any of these reasons to travel if you have your own reason to travel, do it.
I started travelling at the age of 20, and I was a shy, nervous guy that didn’t understand anything about the world. 9 years later, I have travelled to multiple countries, made friends all over the world, learned about the different cultures, and more importantly, I have launched this travel blog to inspire you to travel!
Why Should You Travel the World?
Whether you think so or not, travel can be affordable to anyone, just make sure you follow our tips! In recent years budget airlines have become more popular because they offer budget prices (hence the name). I once picked up a flight from Europe to America for $287 return. However, it’s not just affordable flights that make travel more budget-friendly, the introduction of Airbnb has seen cheaper accommodation come to light, not to mention hostels which are even cheaper. These are your main expenses and they are becoming more affordable as time goes on. Just make sure you book everything the right way, and travel can be affordable.
It Will Improve Your Social Skills
At some point when you travel, you will end up in a location where there are thousands of other travellers. Therefore it’s inevitable that you will end up talking to someone, if not everyone. If you travel solo, you will also realise that unless you want to spend your whole trip ignoring everyone, you will have to approach someone and talk to them, if they don’t approach you first. By doing this, you discover new ways of introducing yourself, ways of making conversation, and different ways to continue a conversation. Even if you are an overconfident person, every new and different person you talk to will develop your social skills in some way.
You Learn to Relax
After travelling for a while your mindset will begin to change. I used to panic about being late for a flight even when I was 5 hours early but after travelling for 5 years, I casually stroll through security with 20 minutes to spare. You will learn to relax about things like flights, plans, work, and stress in general. I think the original decision you make to pack up and travel is worrying and stressful, but once you embark on that journey, you learn to be loose and relax. I know there are articles out there that suggest travel is stressful and for people that take vacations or short trips, it probably is. With long term travel, you get used to living with minimal income, not having a job, cancelled flights, changing plans, laying on the beach all day, so there’s a big difference when it’s long term travel.
This actually benefits you when you stop travelling too. I used to get stressed about the smallest things when I worked, went to places, had to book travel, and anything really. After returning from my first 2 years travelling, I was the calmest person I could possibly be. I didn’t even notice until people used to approach me at work and ask why I am so calm in the most stressful situations.
You Learn a Lot About the World
For someone that doesn’t travel, firstly why not? Secondly, they will only hear about other countries and cultures the way the media portrays them. This is why there are some people in the world that I have met that will say negative comments about travel and how dangerous it is, even though they have never travelled. That’s the power of media. There is so much to learn about the world, you will never learn everything, but it starts when you travel. You learn about other cultures, customs, currencies, politics, food, drinks, nature, pretty much anything you see and want to learn about you will. This knowledge might not be useful to you but it can be great to use as conversational topics, and if you ever get a job in the travel industry, you will be top of the list above other candidates.
No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” — Lin Yutang
Increase Your Confidence
If you aren’t confident already, a month after travelling, you will be so confident you won’t even realise who you are anymore. You have no choice but to communicate with other people when you travel unless you purposely ignore everyone and spend time by yourself that is. Once you make that scary step to talk to the first person you meet, you will realise other travellers are in exactly the same boat and will be some of the friendliest people you can meet, regardless of race, religion, sex, or hair colour. This also goes for locals depending on which country you’re in. Once you have broken the ice for the first time, you will find yourself becoming less afraid to talk to people and will come out of your shell more. This doesn’t go away, you will continue with this confidence for the rest of your life and it will improve the more you push yourself outside that comfort zone, so don’t be afraid to try new things!
Create Memories You Will Never Forget
Imagine your most loved destination vanished in 30 years due to a natural disaster, war, or even over-tourism. Wouldn’t you love to be able to tell the story about how you got to visit that location and how amazing it was? It’s not just about the places you see and the things you do though, it’s also about the people you meet. I made friends for life when I travelled and even with the friends I no longer speak to, I have fantastic memories that will stay with me forever. You can’t pre-plan the memories that you will make, they will just happen from the minute you start your journey.
Discover Who You Are
There’s that cliche statement again…
Seriously though, it’s true. I never really understood the person I was until I had travelled for 6 months. You will find that because you are pushed out of your comfort zone, developing your confidence, doing things you never thought you would, that you will emerge out of your shell and realise the true person that you are.
I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to realise who they truly are when they grow up and live in the same town their whole lives with the same friends from the beginning. You need to venture out on your own and move away from the influences and culture that you are brought up in. It helps you to realise what things you like about living in your home country and also what things you dislike. You will also learn a lot about living with nothing, your strengths, your weaknesses, essential life skills, and the list could go on. What you should also realise is that you have the chance to reinvent yourself. You can start fresh and be whoever you want to be when you travel.
“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves - in finding themselves - Andre Gide.
It Develops Your Personality/Character
This also links in with discovering who you are as a person. You will be surrounded by new people, making new friends, and trying new experiences, all of these factors will contribute towards the way you think and act in life. For example, if you weren’t outgoing before, you potentially will be after travelling for a year. One of the main personality traits that will develop from the moment you decide to travel is “openness” which means that you will become more adventurous, will try new things, and be open to new experiences. There is no set list of traits that you will develop as it depends on what you do, where you go, who you meet and other various factors. Some traits you could develop include becoming more sociable, more cultured, and more confident.
Make New Friends
This one seems kind of obvious but so many people out there worry about travelling solo and meeting new people. I will tell you now that no matter where you go in the world when you are travelling, you will make a friend. Making friends when you travel is nothing like back at home, the atmosphere is relaxed, people are open to talking, and everyone is in the same position. You only have to be in the presence of other travellers to make friends, so if you stay in a hostel, you’re fine. If you stay in a hotel, look up locations where other travellers go and go there. If you stay at a resort, just go sit by the bar or pool, people will talk to you.
Or you can take a more direct approach and just talk to people. Either way, you will end up making friends that you will travel with within that location, you will change your plans and travel the world with, or best friends that you will visit in the future and talk to regularly. I still have friends that I met travelling from 10 years ago.
Learn Valuable Life Skills
Most people travel before they leave home which means they don’t really understand budgeting, responsibilities, and being self-sustainable. Travel will teach you much more than you think. As soon as you leave, you are responsible for your own money, your laundry, health, employment, cooking, and anything else that comes with being alone. You learn these valuable skills because if you don’t, your trip will be over before you know it. The main things you can learn that will help you in life are:
Budgeting — You live on minimal money when you travel so it’s essential to budget so you can travel for longer.
Navigation — You constantly look at maps, plan new locations, and navigate cities, this develops your navigational skills for future travels.
Cooking — Whether you had experience cooking before or not when you travel you HAVE to cook for yourself. If you don’t want to eat toast every day, you will soon learn how to cook interesting meals.
Organisation — You will learn to be organised because you have to plan multiple trips, with different flights, accommodation, have visas, bank accounts, and much more. This will help you with jobs and life when you stop travelling.
Responsibility — You are responsible for everything when you travel, if something goes wrong, you have to take ownership and deal with it.
Time Keeping — You will need to be on time for flights, trips, transport, and accommodation. If you miss any, you lose money, so it teaches you the importance of being on time.
Cleanliness — You no longer have Mum there to clean up after you, you can either lay in a pit of your own filth for months (some people do) or clean and take responsibility for your accommodation.
You Learn to Appreciate
Not that you would dislike travel, but whether you love it or hate it, travel teaches you to appreciate what you have. You will either learn to appreciate your lifestyle back home and realise that you couldn’t want anything more in life or you will appreciate that other cultures have so much more offer and teach you.
Also, living a minimalist lifestyle without the latest video games, make-up, hair appointments, fancy clothes, makes you realise how lucky you are to have those things in the first place, but also how lucky you are to have food and accommodation every night.
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” -Aldous Huxley
To Have Fun!
Of course one of the main reasons people should travel is to have fun. It doesn’t matter whether your idea of fun is hitting every bar in the city or visiting every museum, there are always ways to have fun when you travel. You will become more open-minded to new things and experience things you never thought you would enjoy too. I suggest that if you meet a group/person travelling and they invite you to do something you never have before, DO IT. You might not like the sound of it, but when you do it, it might become your new favourite thing to do.
To See The World & Experience Culture
I personally believe that everyone should see the world, not only does it contribute to half of the points made in this blog, but just to experience the beauty that is out there. I can’t even begin to explain my experiences of hiking mountains in Switzerland, driving the outback in Australia, and walking the Grand Canyon in the US. You will experience different temperatures, different foods, different people/languages, different animals, and so much more. You might fall in love with a new location and decide you want to live there, you never know what you will think/feel until you do it.
“A great way to learn about your country is to leave it.” -Henry Rollins
To Help Others
You will more than likely end up visiting a country that has a poorer economy than yours and as a part of travelling to experience the culture, you can often help people. There are many different conservation projects and volunteering missions where you can help communities, people, animals, and nature. I understand that it’s not for everyone but you will get a cultural experience like no other when help with different projects.
You Can Find the Love of Your Life
This isn’t something you should look for as a reason for why you should travel but it’s still fitting to add to the list.
There are many people out there that met travelling and then tied the knot. Travel connects people that have things in common, opens up the opportunity to meet hundreds or thousands of people you wouldn’t normally meet, and most importantly makes it easy to approach people. Some people meet travelling then stay in touch and eventually meet again, some meet travelling and then travel together. This isn’t just from my experience either, I know many people that have fallen in love through the love of travel.
Become a Better Person
With all of these factors pointed out in the blog, you will become a better version of yourself when you travel. Even if you don’t realise it now, trust me, you will. Whether it’s an increase in confidence, learning how to cook, or making a friend for life, there are endless ways you can become a better person when travelling.