They say that travelling broadens a person’s horizons, and that is certainly true, but travelling also has other lessons to teach us. The mere fact that, when travelling, we are often pushed outside our comfort zone and our routines are broken; travelling around the world teaches us many other lessons too. Here are ten invaluable lessons, that only travelling can teach you:
1. Traveling around the world can teach you patience
Patience is a virtue that is in rapid decline these days. We expect things to be available instantly and we get annoyed when anything is late. The regular traveller learns that patience is still a virtue, especially when flights are delayed, taxis don’t turn up or service in another country is not as attentive as it is in your own.
When travelling, you can often be faced with problems that can only be solved by your own ingenuity, even if it is only how to keep the kids occupied for six hours in an airport terminal. When people travel, they leave behind them, their usual support network and that means that they learn to rely on their own inventiveness to solve problems.
3. Traveling around the world can also teach you tolerance
Another thing that travelling does, is it makes us mix with people that we would never usually mix with. The moment you enter an airport terminal, you can find yourself standing behind the person who can’t find their travel documents at the check in, then behind a person who thought it would be OK to take a Swiss Army knife through security and then, when you do finally get to your airplane seat, the kid behind wants to play football on the back of your seat. Yes, travelling certainly teaches you to be more tolerant!
4. Living without your phone and Facebook
What?! Eight hours with no cell phone?! Once you get over the initial withdrawal symptoms, you find that life can be quite pleasant without your electronic gadgets. You don’t need to be texting or posting every hour of the day, and a few long haul flights will soon teach you how nice it can be, to be ‘unattainable’ for a while.
5. You don’t know, until you try
Travelling also teaches you that you really should try more different things, because you never know if you will like something, until you do it. Food is the prime example of this and, when travelling, you get the opportunity to try many different kinds of food. In fact, even a burger can taste different in some countries, though it’s probably best not to ask why.
6. Not worrying what other people think
When you travel to foreign lands, it is you who are the strange one and it is you who people will be looking at. Travelling can be great for teaching you not to worry so much about being yourself and not to stress so much about what other people might be thinking about you.
7. Traveling around the world can teach you trust
When you travel, you have to put your trust in other people and you find that, perhaps to your surprise, 99% of people in the world are actually nice and trustworthy. Even though you do have to be careful, it can be a real eye opener to find that a taxi driver in a strange city does take you straight to your hotel, or a stranger who can’t speak your language tries their best to help you with directions.
The further afield that you travel, the more you begin to understand different opinions and different cultures. It can help you to take a less ‘black and white’ view of the world and to understand that there are always two sides to every story.
9. Traveling around the world can teach you that life’s all too short
Travelling can also make you realise that life is for living and that you need to cram all that you possibly can into a relatively short period of time. Experiencing new sights, sounds, tastes and smells of another country, usually, gives people the travel bug and they find that they want to experience more and more of what life has to offer.
And finally, travel teaches us gratitude. It’s not just the gratitude for the fact that some of us are a lot better off than others, though travelling to some countries certainly does teach you that. It’s also that traveling around the world teaches us to be grateful for this wonderful and diverse world that we live in.