With social media, anyone can document their adventures through YouTube videos and Instagram photos. I've probably "liked" enough photographs of journeys I would have liked to take myself. How tempting it is to be an armchair world traveler!
Don't get me wrong, it's definitely inspiring and I thank those who've posted their adventures so I could live vicariously through them. But how does that make me grow and develop as a person? Am I missing out myself? If anything, I think they should inspire me to explore more places.
There's nothing like getting out there and experiencing something new for yourself. Whether it means trying out a new cuisine in another part of town, seeing the other side of your state or booking that flight around the world - as long as you get out of your ordinary routine and experience something new, you'll be able to grow.
Here are five ways travel can make you a better person:
1. You'll gain a different perspective.
I see travel as a way to see things from a different point of view. We may think we're objective but most of the time, our own perception is our reality. I think it's Anais Nin who said, "We don't see things as they are, we see things as WE are," which is so true. We each have a different belief system, upbringing, cultural background, education and sets of experiences. Being in a different situation can certainly open your mind to something new.
2. You'll feel a sense of awe.
Do you ever feel a sense of awe and wonder when you sit in a car and look at the mountains surrounding you? Or the view from the airplane thousands of feet above the ground where the buildings and patches of land are so small? Whatever you believe in, there's a sense of feeling humbled by all the greatness of nature surrounding you which can make it a kind of spiritual experience.
3. Travel can spark creativity.
If you write, create or have a hobby you're passionate about, a different place can give ideas on how you can cook differently, take a photo with a new angle, give inspiration for stories or a screenplay. You'll definitely be out of your comfort zone whether at an airport, on the road or on a boat. On the downside, flights get delayed, cars break down and while those experiences may seem inconvenient at the time, they certainly make for interesting stories later on. You may choose to see these as "personal growth" challenges to test your patience and learn how you deal with adversity.
4. Travel nourishes the soul and cultivates a sense of gratitude.
It's a given that you'll have to expect the unexpected at times. You can also learn a new language, a new culture and a new layout of the land. And it allows you to appreciate some of the things you might have normally taken for granted in your own everyday life.
5. You'll be more present.
In your day-to-day routine, it's easy to just go on autopilot. When you're in a different place other than your normal routine, you're forced to take things in and adjust to the change of scenery.
We're so used to our routine obligations, such as work, play, and family. But we need to remember there's a big world out there, both nearby and beyond. Lots of experiences are waiting for you. You just have to decide where to go next.