Travel is not for everyone. It can cost you a pretty penny, force you to take time off work (and be separated, at least for a short period of time, from your family and friends), and take a toll on your body. That being said, there are still plenty of things that you can learn from traveling our beautiful world that can make you be a better person.
Here are some of them.
1. How to be alone
Alone does not mean lonely. Being alone can be a beautiful thing, as it allows you to focus on yourself and your thoughts. However, being alone at home, surrounded by your family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances can be difficult. Traveling can teach you how to be comfortable with yourself—eating alone, having coffee alone, experiencing landmark moments alone and sleeping alone. Solitude is a wonderful privilege that we do not always enjoy, and traveling can give that gift to us.
2. How to live with less
Sometimes, we are bogged down by our possessions and our desire for more. Traveling to places where you cannot take all your baubles and trinkets with you will teach you how to live more simply, and be more thankful about the things that you do have. Remember—less does not always equate to poverty. Living with less can help you live a more meaningful life dedicated to the accumulation of experiences, not material things.
3. How to be grateful for kindness
Travel will have you rely on the kindness of strangers. Whether it is directions to a specific site that you want to visit or a free drink of water from a small restaurant, these acts of kindness are precious. And they will teach you how to be grateful for the simple things that strangers are glad to do for you.
4. How to be spontaneous
Our lives are often too busy that we try to make plans and schedule everything. Travel teaches you spontaneity—plans can change and the best way to deal with these changes is to adapt. There is something beautiful about the unexpected, and travel helps you learn to love change.
5. How to enjoy the moment
There is no room for disappointment over unexpected changes in your plans whenever you are traveling. Enjoy the present, and worry less about the past or the future. Experiences are best savoured as they come.
6. How to get out of your comfort zone
Sometimes, immersing yourself in a place where no one can speak English is a wonderful—not frustrating—experience. You learn new words and new ways to communicate without the language you are used to. Try new kinds of food, even if they are made from things you would not normally meet. Try befriending the locals and the foreigners you meet on your journey.
7. How to be patient
Savoring the moment is not something that comes naturally to people who are used to a fast-paced lifestyle. When traveling, take the time to look around the museum or historical site, enjoy every bite of your meal, and do not feel frustrated about a slow-moving vehicle or your companion who has misread the map.