If you’re like me, you travel for personal growth as much as fun. More than a respite from the everyday, these trips offer opportunities to change and grow.
Now that the world is opening up again, I’ve made travel plans for the first time in ages. I can’t wait to get back on a plane and explore some faraway lands.
Each time I’ve traveled, I’ve come back a little different than when I left. Here are 5 ways travel expands the mind and promotes personal development.
1. Travel for personal growth builds confidence
When you travel for personal growth, especially solo, you overcome fears and step outside your comfort zone. When you do things that scare you, your confidence naturally grows.
You may have to navigate your way through language barriers. Or run into other challenges like missed trains (happened to me) that give you opportunities to solve problems.
Knowing you can rely on yourself when things go imperfectly improves your self-perception. Stepping outside your comfort zone shows you what you’re capable of.
2. Expands your worldview
When you travel for personal growth, you immerse yourself in cultures different than your own. You get to consider ways of doing things that may have never occurred to you.
In Ireland you see how strangers engage with one another so they never feel alone. In Europe you’ll enjoy dinners that last hours instead of eating and running to the next thing.
You might look at what you value and see how much it’s been shaped by the culture you grew up in. And question whether those beliefs need a review.
3. Enhances social skills
When you’re at home, it’s easy to get by without asking for help. When you travel for personal growth, however, you’re forced to ask for directions and recommendations from locals.
It’s hard to stay inside your bubble while navigating a foreign destination and that’s a good thing. All of a sudden, chatting with a stranger doesn’t seem so hard.
You never know what you’ll learn or where it will take you when you have the courage to mix with the people around you.
4. Travel for personal growth inspires gratitude
Travel makes you realize the low importance of material things in your life. While at home, you may feel pressured to buy things other people have. Or you shop out of boredom or a lack of fulfillment.
Travel, however, makes you appreciate experiences over material things. You see that you need very little to feel satisfied. Those sought-after possessions that defined you back home lose their luster on vacation.
5. Improves self-connection
Getting away from the distractions of everyday life gives you a chance to pause and reflect. As you evaluate where you are and where you’ve been, you learn about yourself.
As your connection to yourself grows, you come home with a renewed sense of purpose. You begin to think things don’t have to continue the way they’ve been. You may even envision a new trajectory for your life.