5 Ways Travel is great for Personal Growth

Travel and Personal Growth

I’ve got those butterflies again!  It’s that time of year.  Christmas holidays, road trips, new horizons and new adventures!  But, besides just having a good time, do you believe that travel is important for personal growth?

Many of us do a stint overseas after school.  We head off to experience how the ‘rest of the world’ lives.  As we soak up the differences in language and culture  we learn that there are different ways to see the world.  We open our minds, and our hearts, by diving headfirst into these experiences.  They make us richer, more well-rounded, and happier!  We feel more connected to this life experience because we have found a commonality!  And, we also learn to understand our differences better because we have exposed ourselves to the way others live.

We enjoy all these experiences, but I don’t think we often realize that travel is actually important for our personal development.  Instead we’re kind of just going along for the ride.

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For me travel has always been a symbol of growth

Travels means expanded horizons and learning about the rest of the world.  Travel enriches us like almost nothing else can.  And, with our family road trip to Wellington in just 2 days, let’s just say I’m excited!  But, let’s actually look at what connects personal growth and travel.  What do we learn and how do we grow through our experiences?  Well, here’s my list:

1) Getting outside of your comfort zone

As with any situation in life where you are faced with something new that you have never had to handle before, new destinations (or countries) provide new situations.  You have to talk to people you don’t know, maybe even in a language you don’t know.  You might have to ask for directions or find yourself trying a new activity that scares you a little.  These are all situations that provide room for growth.  Getting outside of your comfort zone helps you push back fear and makes you a stronger person.

2) Experiencing new cultures/a different cross section of society

One of the things I loved about travelling was meeting people from different part of the world.  If you stay in your old familiar surroundings you’ll never have the opportunity to experience the cultural dance or music of different countries.  I come from South Africa and have Irish ancestors, they could not be more different and I find that fascinating!  Exposing yourself to other cultures helps you peel back those blinkers you’ve been wearing.  You realize that there are many ways to view the world.  It helps build compassion and empathy, which in turn can help you to become a kinder, more patient person.

3) Learning Compromise/Juggling family personalities

Going on holiday involves spending lots of time with people!  Whether these are people you live with every day, or people you don’t usually share a living space with, there WILL be friction, compromise, raised voices and arguing over which room is theirs for the night.  This one is like going back to your childhood, it’s a basic lesson of learning to get along with our fellow man.  Once we become adults we are used to being the ones that lay down the law, so these situations are a reminder that there’s always a new opportunity for growth.

4) Teaches you to be prepared for anything

Nobody likes to be the one that showed up at the beach without a towel.  It’s taken me years to finally get to the point where I would consider myself organized.  That comes from having 2 kids and living in more than one city that has 4 seasons in one day!  Plus, a campervan holiday cemented the ‘pack EVERYTHING, but nothing you don’t NEED’ way of thinking.  If you stayed at home every holiday how would you ever figure out how painful it is to leave something behind!  Being organized doesn’t come naturally to all of us but travel can definitely teach us a little bit about it!

5) The more you experience the more you know what brings you joy

This is the cherry on the cake for me.  Life is about experiences!  That’s what it’s all about!  We learn what we love, we learn what we’re good at, and we learn what just doesn’t do it for us.  If you’ve ever climbed a mountain you know if it’s something you’re going to do again or not!  Same with frozen margaritas, you know!  How do you know if you like the chocolate cake if you don’t try it?

Pack your bags and go exploring, there’s nothing quite like it.  Whether you venture an hour away from your home town or book a flight to Fiji, it doesn’t matter!  What this is all about is taking the lessons that travel has to offer.  Lessons on yourself, ie. where do I draw the line with personal space, what is my ideal daytrip or how do I handle this uncomfortable conversation about dirty cutlery?  We learn through our experience and setting off on a holiday means you can tick off some of those bucket list items.  Live this life while you can, and pay attention to where the lessons are showing themselves.

Planning a trip?  Get some inspiration on Booking.com

If you enjoyed this blog you might enjoy Thrive by Arianna Huffington: The Power of a Book to help us Thrive

Disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  Thank you for your support.

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