February 25, 2016 3 min read
If you have some vacation time coming up, consider traveling to a new place. Of course, it’s good to use at least some of that time to just relax and de-stress. Still, traveling can give you experiences that foster your happiness and personal growth in the long run. When you travel, you can:
Make New Friends
Visit local restaurants, bars, and cafes; book an Airbnb or stay in a hostel — there are many ways to meet people. And when you take the chance to talk to people about their lives, you’ll often find they’re friendly, engaging, and interested in your own experiences. Connecting with people can give you a sense of belonging in the wider world, and it will give you memories to make you smile.
Learn New Things About Yourself
Traveling breaks you out of your routines and comfort zones. New foods, new activities, new people, new challenges. All of these give you a chance to discover strengths and interests you may never have known you had. These discoveries can help you change your life back home when you’re able to add more of what makes you happy.
Detox from Social Media
Social media can be incredibly discouraging, from politics to people posting about their problems. Even if your feeds are positive, it can feel like you’re spending so much time keeping up with everyone else that you’re not achieving your own goals. Traveling will force you to take a break, and with some time away, you’ll end up feeling much less of a need to go back. You’ll have less negativity in your life and more time to spend on your growth.
Develop New Skills
With new challenges comes the opportunity to gain or sharpen your skill sets. You can learn how to organize better by making travel arrangements and packing light. You can learn how to navigate new streets and public transportation systems. You can learn to cook new foods and play new sports. You may even pick up parts of a new language and increase your social skills. Whether or not you apply these to your future, our brains feel rewarded when we learn new things.
Everything above will help you build confidence. You’ll realize that you can do a lot more than you thought you could. No matter how stressful the challenge, you’ll find you can overcome it, and that lets you know you can overcome challenges in the future. With new skills, new friends, and a newfound understanding of yourself, you’ll feel more prepared to succeed at all the possibilities in your future.
Finally, seeing new places, meeting new people, and understanding yourself better will change the way you look at your own life and the people in it. It can help you sort out which problems aren’t really problems and which ones are significant — and give you new ideas for solutions. With a broader sense of yourself and the world, you’ll feel more expansive and self-assured. With that, you’ll be ready to embrace whatever comes next.
Christy Woodrow is a travel photographer and professional blogger based in San Diego, California. She has been traveling around the world with her partner in crime, Scott, since 2006. Join them on their quest to find off-the-beaten-path destinations by following their adventure travel blog.
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