Two amazing ways travel will help you grow

I think if everyone travelled, the world would be a different place. I’m pretty sure racism and bigotry would disappear, and there’d be a lot more tolerance of other peoples’ customs and beliefs.

I also think people would have a greater understanding of themselves and how or why they do things, and not just the superficial “oh I just don’t like that because I never have”, or “yeah I’ve always been like that”. People would be in more situations to ask themselves bigger questions, such as “is what I have right now what I really want?”, or “am I doing this because I don’t know any different and I’m just used to it?”.

Vietnam biking

travel only has benefits

Travel will change you, even if you don’t want to change

If you don’t want to change you won’t, if you’re happy with how everything is in your life then that’s a great accomplishment. But I guarantee that if you travel those things you’re happy and comfortable about will be tested, which is a great thing. If you travel you will be challenged at least once, and it’ll usually be a challenge from within.

The challenge might be as simple as “I wish I did this more” or “why aren’t I excited about being in a place I was really excited about visiting?” Or the challenge might be a bit more of a struggle, such as “I want to go outside and wander around, but I’m too afraid to right now and I hate that I’m so afraid”, or “oh my god I made the biggest mistake coming here!”

Vietnamese beach

Now why are these challenges good? Great even? Well it means you’re living life and learning! It means you’re shaking up the repetitiveness of your daily life. It means your brain is literally (yes it’s actually physically doing this) it’s literally creating new pathways within itself to process the new information. Isn’t that amazing? That’s why you always feel so alive and fresh when you come back, it’s because there are literally new and fresh pathways in your brain working. This is why you feel so alive and motivated and want to do more travelling, because bits of your brain are new. I’m not saying your brain is adding more grey stuff, but the neurones are firing in places they haven’t fired in a while, or ever even.

Vietnam Fairy River

Travel is life, it’s rarely just a picture perfect postcard

Some people often think of the romantic ideals of travelling, like a beautiful sunset dinner near the Eiffel Tower, or seeing the first rays of sun on the Pyramids of Giza, or walking atop the canopy of the Amazon Rainforest. Those things sound amazing right? They sure do to me. 

Ok now what if I tell you about the incredible humid heat of the Amazon, the numerous stumbles and trips you might make along the way to the canopy walk. The millions of mosquitoes buzzing around your head, the fact you’re still tired since you had to get up at 4am for the one hour bus ride before the three hour walk.

the experience in the canopy will be amazing, but it’s only part of the story

How about if I told you about the immense poverty and slums at the Pyramids? The awful smell and hideously long lines, the fact that if you look at the Pyramids then turn around the view is anything but picture perfect. How about the homeless you had to drive past on your way there?

Vietnamese work site

Or at the Eiffel Tower where you’ll be literally menaced by people trying to sell you tacky trinkets and over priced keep sakes. Or the 20 million other couples that decided to have a romantic dinner there too that evening. Not to mention the expensive cab ride back because you missed the last bus because you forgot about it.

Travel is the tourist stuff, and some of it is picture perfect, but most of the time it’s real life in another country, and that’s amazing in my opinion. Think about it for a second, you’re in another frickin country! You’re seeing normal life in another country. You’re in a country that has new places and food and other things, it has new people and customs and holidays. 

In my experiences it’s usually all the stuff that happens in between the tourist spots that makes it memorable. It’s the life in the country that makes it memorable. That’s why you need to travel, to see new life. And that’s another reason why travel will help you grow – it will probably put your own life into perspective.

Vietnamese boy and mum

you can’t see how far you’ve come, or how far you need to go, until there is perspective, and travel gives you that

See how you feel after your next holiday, even if it’s a day out or a mammoth year long journey. You’ll feel different and you should embrace those feelings, because that’ll give you more perspective about where next to head with your own personal life journey.

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