June 23, 2016

10 benefits of traveling

Traveling is my favorite thing to do and I've been doing it ever since I can remember. My earliest memories are not from my home in Finland, they're spread out from all around the world. There are so many perks of traveling, and while some of you might already be able to relate to some of these things, i hope that by making this list I will be able to inspire others to travel more as well. Once the travel bug bites you, you will be consumed by wanderlust and you will always be longing for more adventures.

1. You are forced to step out of your comfort zone.
Getting out of your daily routine for a little while opens so many doors and you more often than not receive many different opportunities you wouldn't get in your home country. You will learn how spontaneity can lead to many wonderful things and learn to be more spontaneous back home as well. You get a chance to try and do things you never even thought about before, and the only thing you will regret is not trying them sooner. And if you've always been the type of person to stick to the things and places that are familiar to you, you will also learn to embrace change better in the future.

2. You learn new things.
Traveling expands your knowledge more than just sitting in school and listening to lectures. Getting immersed in different cultures around the world gives you an amazing opportunity to learn about other people's lifestyles, traditions, and mannerisms. Going to a different country where a language you want to learn is spoken natively and talking to locals is a more efficient way to actually learn to speak the language than learning to conjugate verbs in Spanish class. Not only will you be learning new things, you will be able to share your knowledge with other people as well. You will also realize how little you've known before. You will discover the beauty in learning, the kind of beauty you never experienced in math class.

3. You start to see the world differently.
After traveling around for a bit and experiencing different cultures and lifestyles, you start to realize how small your "huge" problems actually are in the world. You start thinking more broadly and seeing the world and your life in a whole new way, and you realize that a bad grade in school, a fight with a friend, or a breakup really aren't the end of the world. You become more open-minded and start to think more about other people, and you also learn how to see various situations from different people's perspectives.

4. You get to know yourself better.
Focusing on yourself and really discovering who you are is hard to do with your busy routine and lifestyle back home. When you get out of your regular environment, you get to express yourself in a whole new way without any pressure or expectations. You might realize what it is you actually love doing and what you want to do with your life in the future. When you travel you automatically learn new things about yourself without even trying, and you become stronger and more confident after the possible challenges you might face abroad. You also become more independent and the best version of yourself that you can be.

5. You make connections and meet people.
Even though everyone has been taught not to talk to strangers when they're young, that is exactly what you'll be forced to do when you travel. It is so much easier to start a conversation with the person sitting next to you on an airplane or bus in a different country than back home. Every person has their own story, and everyone is a stranger to you before you start getting to know them, even your best friends at home used to be strangers to you. You never know who you will meet and you might create lifelong friendships all around the world, which also has many benefits for someone who has been bitten by the travel bug.

6. You get to relax.
The stress and pressure you're faced with in your everyday life in your home country doesn't exist when you travel. You get to escape reality for a while, and even if you're just going on a business trip, getting out of your familiar surroundings makes you feel like you're on vacation and is an easy way to relieve stress.

7. You feel free.
If you've been feeling stuck with your life and feeling like your life has no direction, traveling is a great fix for that. Once you take that leap out of your comfort zone, you realize there is so much to see and do in the world and it really expands your perspective. Packing your bags and heading to a place you've never been to before gives you a sense of freedom that only comes from traveling. There is so much exploring and adventuring to do and you feel like you have no limits. You get to do whatever you want, whenever you want, with whomever you want. You don't need to have a schedule or a plan, you get a chance to do pretty much whatever YOU feel like doing.

8. You learn to appreciate your home more.
Visiting countries that are less wealthy makes you appreciate the luxuries you take for granted back home like electricity and clean water. You start realizing the differences in your homeland compared to other countries, and usually they are the things that you never even thought about before. You realize how lucky you are to have the chance to see the world and still have a home to go back to. Even though the world is full of incredible places, you will find that the saying "there's no place like home" is true to some extent, especially that first night back in your own bed.

9. You make memories.
Whether you're traveling alone or with friends/family, when you travel you pay more attention to your surroundings than in the places you see everyday and you are more likely to take photos and do something besides watch tv at home. I'm pretty sure that if you asked people about their favorite memories, most of them are from different vacations and trips. You get to experience things that the people back home only dream about, and then you get the chance to inspire others to travel more with your stories.

10. You learn that money can buy happiness.
In most cases that isn't true, but traveling is the one thing you pay for that actually makes you richer. You get to experience and see so many amazing things you had only dreamed about after reading about them in school books. You will have so many stories to share with people and memories to look back on, and by the time you return home you will realize how much you have gained by taking the risk and getting that plane ticket. You will never regret traveling or spending money on it, and once you're home again you will quickly realize that you've already started saving up money for your next adventure.

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