Full disclosure: I’m 28 at the time of writing this, and I’ve already backpacked around the world twice and done two tours of the USA.
When I meet new people and they ask me why I’ve travelled so much in my twenties, my answer is always: well, why not?
In truth, there are many benefits of travelling. However, nothing beats the opportunities that travelling gives us to grow, especially when we’re young and impressionable.
Intrigued? Read on for details.
Benefits of travelling 101: there’s a big wide world out there, which we often forget when we’re being consumed with the mundanity of our everyday lives. Travel is the perfect remedy for this.
Why? Well, nothing is going to make you realise the sheer vastness of the world like taking a plane journey from the UK to Australia, for example. (Especially because you can’t just take a single plane ride – it has to be at least two.)
Simply put: there’s something about visiting other countries that expands your horizons and builds more of an awareness of what’s around you. It also makes you feel super insignificant, which can be a good thing if you’ve lost sight of why we’re really here.
(Spoiler alert: to enjoy life while we can.)
Travel is also wonderful for helping us put things into perspective. What was once very important to you can seem totally irrelevant once you’ve had the most life-changing gap yah in Southeast Asia, for instance.
Personally, I had no idea who I was before my first travelling trip, what I was doing, or where I was going in life.
However, one of the main benefits of travelling is being able to come away from your current situation for a substantial period of time to be able to reflect on it.
You know what they say, hindsight is a beautiful thing – and it can certainly help you work out who and what truly matters in your life.
Similarly, travel teaches you the most incredible things. Things about yourself, about other people, about other cultures – the list is endless!
How, you ask? Well, you meet a ton of new people from all different countries who can speak various languages. And because of this, you get to experience the wonder that is human nature.
It’s amazing how much you can learn just by being in a place for the first time with new people who have a varied way of doing things. This can ultimately shape you into a completely different person than who you were before – and in the very best way.
One of the huge benefits of travelling is its ability to improve your fitness level.
I mean, rushing through the airport to make your flight connection that departs 20 minutes and hiking up mountains tends to give you one heck of a physical makeover, right?
Personally, I was struggling a lot with my physical health before my last travel trip and kept getting ill on a frequent basis. Then I went exploring.
I ended up losing weight and toning up from all the walking I did, my skin started to glow from all the fresh air I was getting, I slept like a baby and I stopped getting ill. Problem solved.
In addition to your physical health, travel also has a profound effect on your mental health.
If you didn’t already know, I often suffer with anxiety.
Having said that, my travels helped me to discover that being around scenic beauty can calm the mind like nothing else.
I also think physical and mental health can go hand in hand, and because my physical health was so good, my mental health was just as good. And vice versa.
I mean, how on earth can your mood be anything but sky high when you’re getting to see and do some remarkable things every day? It’s practically impossible.
Like I mentioned earlier, you get to meet people from all around the world which is one of the greatest benefits of travelling.
And you know what comes with this? Confidence. Confidence in yourself, confidence in your decisions and confidence that the world is nothing short of extraordinary.
As corny as it sounds, I feel like I went on my first travel trip a caterpillar and emerged as a butterfly.
All of my experiences have honestly made me a better person and I wouldn’t change them for a world.
Speaking of personality changes, travel has the ability to make you more laid-back as a person. Alongside your confidence, it increases your tolerance for uncertainty.
Why? Well, a lot of stuff goes wrong. Flights get delayed, hostels are unexpectedly booked up, and you often don’t know where you’re headed tomorrow – never mind next week.
You fastly learn that you’re not always going to have positive experiences.
However, it’s not what happens to you that matters – it’s about how you deal with it. And generally speaking, you learn to deal with things a lot better.
One of my favourite things about travelling is that it makes you realise how fortunate you are.
It gives you a new-found appreciation for your life, especially if you’re visiting countries that aren’t quite as wealthy as the country you live in.
It’s almost like you look at your home in a different light, even if you were desperate to get away in the first place. It gives you a sense of recognition that can’t be achieved in any other way, no matter how hard you try.
Personally, I found that I lacked appreciation in my life until that very first travel trip – now I’m all about presence and not presents. It completely changed my attitude and switched my focus from materialistic things to experiences with those whom I love.
And I’m forever thankful.
Another reason why I love to travel is that there’s a lot of world to explore! The opportunities to venture near and far are limitless.
I mean, even if you plan to visit a city that you’ve already been to, it’s likely that you will find a new place to explore within that city.
Some might say that it’s literally impossible to visit everywhere on earth, but I’m going to give it a darn good try. (Challenge accepted!)
Finally, another of the amazing benefits of travelling is that it keeps life entertaining. They say that variety is the spice of life, and you get this in abundance when you’re venturing around the world.
Travelling also gets you to step outside of your comfort zone and stops you from living a sheltered life. And life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
I mean, do you really want to live the same year over and over again and call that a life? Life’s for living, people.
I know it’s easier said than done but try not to get into a rut because you’ll only regret it later on down the line.
The benefits of travelling while we’re young are endless.
Don’t get me wrong though, my previous trips weren’t all rainbows and smiles. That said, you have to go through the downs in order to genuinely appreciate the ups – and the ups trump the downs any day of the week.
I look forward to future trips that will shape my future self.
And I urge you all to travel now while you’re physically able – not in two years, five years, or ten years’ time, but now. As tempting as it might be, don’t put it off.
After all, you have to embrace today, because you never know where tomorrow might lead you.
What do you think the benefits of travelling are? Let me know in the comments!