Written By Yukti Lunawat.
Why is the word ‘wanderlust’ often broken up as ‘those who wander are lost? In my view, they are the ones who actually find meaning in life. They value experiences more than textbooks. And that is the right thing to do. Textbooks teach us what the world should be like; when you travel, you see for yourself what the world actually has to offer.
Why is it that some people want to spend their life travelling? It is because of their thirst for knowledge. They are on a quest to discover and explore more. There are a number of things that travelling has taught each one of us. Most of them are life lessons.
Few of the many things that travelling teaches you are-
1. How To Become Independent
When you are travelling alone, you learn to handle things on your own. You find your own ways to tackle situations that life throws at you. You become self-aware of all that you have and all that you might need in future for yourself. You learn to utilize your limited resources efficiently.
You learn life skills of budgeting, saving and earning as well. You are forced to take your own decisions and held fully responsible for them. Travelling will teach you to be proactive and control your own fate by yourself.
Ever since you are a school kid, you are told that one day you must be independent but they never give you the chance to experience that. Travelling helps us fulfil this goal. It teaches us what it means to be independent financially, intellectually as well as emotionally.
2. Learning New Languages
If you are going to a new place for the first time, it is best that you at least know the basics of their language. This helps you to settle well in the new environment. It can be really daunting when you know neither the people nor their language in a foreign land.
But a little prep before you go there will help ease the situation. And it’s a really great way to leave a lasting first impression if you are looking for a job. It gives you the upper hand over other candidates.
Learning a new language never has a disadvantage. Even if you don’t end up using it in its place of origin, you can always add it to your skillset and make it a valuable asset for your profile. It’s a win-win situation.
3. Knowing Different Aspects About Different Cultures
Every country has its own culture and needless to say, you can learn so much from it. It is an excellent way to know about the place and its people. This is relevant not only for foreign countries but also different states and cities in your own country. The culture of every city, state, nation varies from the other.
By exploring their culture, you get to identify the differences that lie between them and the similarities that they might possess. You gradually start to appreciate the differences. You will be fascinated to see what makes their cuisine different from ours, or why is it that their particular art form is appreciated around the globe.
Travelling enables you to value different cultures and take back what is best in them. When you try to share with others what a certain culture has taught you, you also come across as a more liberal and rounded person. This understanding of diverse cultures plays a vital role in education, too.
4. Delving Into The Art Of Socialising
Travelling alone is a great opportunity for interacting with unknown people in a new city. It’s a great way of making friends and networking. You can even take the help of a local to know more about the place. This way you get to live the experience like a true local.
You must have heard the saying ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’, and it is best to learn it from a Roman. You might be an introvert and find it really difficult to walk up to a stranger to befriend them or maybe just ask for directions.
But once you get over that coyness, you will realize that it was worth the try. More often than not, socializing with strangers is a necessity when travelling.
There are certain skills that require effort on our part and it only comes organically to us when we go out of our way to practice it. Socializing is one of them. Travelling gives us the perfect opportunity to brush up on this skill.
5. Acknowledging The Experiences More Than The Expenses
Materialistic things can give you momentary pleasure but experiences last a lifetime. Many people like spending money on clothes, shoes, cars and other things fancy. It is easy to find their worth in terms of money but the experiences you get from travel is invaluable.
When you have to put restrictions on your luggage, become more accommodating with available food options and other lifestyle choices, you learn to adapt to the prevailing environment. You rely on life adventures for joy.
You learn that happiness can be found in the smaller things of life and that it does not always come with a branded price tag.
6. Knowing The Value Of Me-Time
Travelling gives you the chance to know yourself better. When you are the captain of your own ship and there’s no one to command you, you realize what you are actually capable of. You come face-to-face with your fears and accept the challenge of overcoming them.
You begin to understand who you are, what you like and what you stand for. Travelling provides you with a space that is essential for your growth. It gives us time to reflect on our experiences.
7. Trying Out New Things
If we are asked to go for an adventure sport in our own country, we will probably find every chance to back out from it. But if we are given the same privilege abroad, we will be so excited that it might result in a sleepless night or two because of the excitement.
There is nothing wrong with this mindset. We do not realize when things are handed to us like a silver spoon. It takes an adventure trip to a different country to utilize the opportunity to the fullest. As Hellen Keller says, “life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”.
When we visit new places, we are offered participation in their traditions. The charm of a new place is such that we instantly overcome the resistance and reluctance. We are always thrilled to try out new things in a new place.
8. Indulging In Self Love
We must all learn to take time out for ourselves. Once in a while, we should go on an expedition just to give ourselves a break from the monotonous and tedious life.
It is important to pamper yourself with a spa day, adventure rides, cheat meal and much more. Nobody should feel guilty about taking a week off just to enjoy their own company. Travelling helps you free your mind of various tensions of everyday life. You come back refreshed and more energized.
9. Adding Value To Knowledge
There are various things that we hear from people about a certain place and its traditions but we can testify to them only when we see it for ourselves.
We learn about the history of the place when we travel. It gives depth to our preexisting knowledge about the city or country. Every city has its own story to tell. It is on us how we read it and spread it around the world.
10. Appreciating Nature
It’s not every day that we appreciate Mother Nature and all that she has given us. When we travel, we get the chance to be closer to her and feel her kindness even more. We often take natural beauty for granted. Only when we sit in the lap of nature, we witness her fragility.
When you travel, you learn to appreciate the wonders of nature around the world. It is for a reason that people from around the globe go to visit the Amazon, the Great barrier Reef, Yellowstone, Maldives, and many more such places of beauty. We should visit forests, glaciers, coral reefs, waterfalls before they become extinct and disappear from the earth.
The most powerful lesson that travelling teaches you is introspection. You discover your own qualities and inner peace. You emerge as a more confident and powerful human being. You might take a few boring trips in life but each one of them will offer something new.
Even an unplanned trip is worth the experience. If you are planning to make travel your life goal, don’t bother giving it a second thought because you are on the right track!
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” ~ Saint Augustine
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Yukti Lunawat is a contributor at The Strong Traveller. She is a 2nd year student and works tirelessly to succeed in all her endeavors. She relishes the opportunity to learn about new cultures through travel, food and art. Writing and painting allow her to express her creativity, while reading affords her the chance to explore a new adventure every time she picks up a book, especially handy in the context of a pandemic.