Social media and the Internet make the world feel smaller. You can connect with friends from all over the world through these mediums and feel like you are there in the place where they live. When you travel, you realize the world is BIG, and there is a lot to explore.
For 12 years, I was a bread delivery driver. I hated my job. In 2011, I said "enough" and self-published my first book. Since that day, I have three traditionally published books and my books have sold over 100,000 copies. When the books started selling, conferences started reaching out asking me to come and speak about what I was doing.
Last year, I had the chance to fly over 100,000 miles to some amazing countries. Companies from all over the world hired me to come and train their employees. They paid me a fee and covered my travel costs. It allowed me to travel to 16 countries and enjoy some cool experiences. Seeing the world taught me these invaluable life lessons.
You Learn That Life Isn't Always Black or White
I just got back from a trip to France, Israel, Egypt, and Palestine (all on the same trip). The day I landed at the airport in Tel Aviv, we were held inside because they thought there was a bomb in a car outside of the airport. There were also repeated stabbings all over Israel. To say there was tension would be an understatement.
Crossing into Palestine, we had a Palestinian tour guide. He had a different perspective than what I heard in Israel. Without getting into the politics--and the drama that comes from those kinds of discussions--it was clear there are some deep and complicated issues happening in the Middle East. I learned that life isn't always simple or clear. Generalizations don't solve problems; they add to them. There are some complicated issues we face in the United States today, and we need to see behind sound bites and Facebook philosophers.
You Constantly Test Your Comfort Zone
It's fascinating and scary when you step off the plane into a country that doesn't primarily speak English. You have to figure out how to get around without getting ripped off, and there are several ways to lose money right in most airports.
You learn that if you don't step outside of your comfort zone, you will stay stuck. It works the same way in life. If you want to make big changes and chase big dreams, you will have to constantly test the limits of your comfort zone. I didn't touch computers before I self-published my first book. If I stayed in my comfort zone, I wouldn't be writing to you right now.
You Develop a Desire to Explore
When you get a taste of travel, you want more. Last year, I had the experience of First Class seats on international flights, and it was incredible. I also got to tour in a lot of the countries I visited and learned a lot. It's led to a desire to see as much of the world as possible. Travel does that to you.
Traveling today doesn't have nearly the cost it used to. There is also a whole new wave of travel hackers that can teach you how to travel cost-effectively. You can see more of the world and soak in new experiences that you'll take with you for the rest of your life.
The world is big--there's a lot to do and see. It can give you some invaluable life lessons. If you have the opportunity to travel, pack your bag and get ready to explore. See the world through another perspective and use the experience to grow as a person.
Do you have any travel plans?
Photo is author's own