I’d like to pre-empt this article by saying that although this was very accurate of my first experiences, I’ve since found some travellers who are at odds to those experiences described below.

lease remember to be respectful of those you meet, and the environments you enter when you travel. This is our world, and we have to look after it – even if it’s not YOUR home, it is someone’s.


1. Opens Your Mind

Travelling teaches us about other cultures, about new cuisine and about other people. You become more understanding of foreign customs, more respectful of other ways of thinking and more tolerant about the things that annoy you. You learn new things every minute of travelling, and when you return home, you are a better person for it.


2. Changes Your Views

Your views on things change. I doubt there are many places you’ll see a Korean and an American playing a friendly contest of guitar hero, or see some of the poorest people give you the richest, warmest greeting in the world.

Running along the street, playing football with the local kids, seeing the devastation left behind after a hurricane tore down their family homes. Dancing in the rain, learning new languages, laughing in the face of tragedy – these are all part of the parcel that the gift of travelling gives you.


3. Break Down Barriers

Travelling breaks down the barriers that society and politics places on us. If the world was run by backpackers, it would be a much more peaceful place (although not much would get done as drinking would be high priority).

Backpackers and people taking gap years learn not to worry about material things – clothes are clothes, work is work; life is too short to worry about the mundane. They are peaceful, respectful and fun-loving and there should be more people like that in the world.


4. Experience New Destinations

Travelling doesn’t just change you as a person. You leave your home country and get to visit many new ones. You see pristine beaches, rambling hilltops, bustling cities, deserted deserts and snow-capped mountains.

Experiencing this natural environment – living it, breathing it, being it – brings us away from the complications of 21st Century life and restores the balance of wellbeing within.

There are so many different destinations and opportunities for all interestes, for example, you could book a tour of South America, take a gap year in Australia, vounteer with elephants in Thailand or work and travel in the USA which are some of the most popular options. 


5. Travelling Does Not Have to be Expensive

In fact, it is better the cheaper you do it. When you have little or no money, you rely on the generosity of strangers and get to truly experience a place for example Couchsurfing. I have heard it’s possible to travel around the world for free, and it is my goal to try!


6. Travelling Reduces Reliance on Technology 

Travellers don’t waste all day on Facebook, or texting. Instead they are out there, seeing the world, truly living life and interacting with others face to face.

One thing which makes travellers special is they know and use the art of communication. Two people who do not share a common language can effectively communicate together and become friends. They learn from each other.


7. Travellers Learn from Each Other

Be it languages, theology, simple travelling tips or life changing experiences, they help each other out. Travelling opens the mind and empowers the traveller. They contain the most powerful knowledge of all – happiness.


8. Gain a New Skill

Visiting a new country is your chance to learn about new places and also develop skills, both personal and professional. You could learn to scuba dive, study abroad or learn a new language, for example booking a Spanish language course in Spain or South America or going to live and study Portuguese in Brazil, just to name a few options. 


9. Stay Longer

Did you know there is the option to live abroad and get paid? You could take a TEFL certification course and apply to teach English abroad, or just search paid internships abroad or seasonal jobs which are available all around the world.


10. Do Something Rewarding

Rhino safari

Traveling can be far more than just sightseeing. Nowadays there are so many unique and incredible experiences available to book in most countries. One example is volunteering programs abroad which allow you immerse yourself in a new culture and so something beneficial.


By Francesca Wade


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