Traveling has been a tool for my development; it has allowed me to flourish both mentally and spiritually. I can’t even begin to express how very thankful I am for having been given this opportunity to explore the world and learn.
For those who are still on the fence about wanting to travel, let me give you five reasons why you should pack your bags and set off on an adventure out of your comfort zone.
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1. Traveling gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself within a different culture.
But let me tell you, you can’t just expect to go to a country and feel immersed in the culture the moment you step off of the plane. It’s not that simple. You need to try to immerse yourself within that culture. Go out of your way to try to speak the language of the country you are visiting, try experiencing what the people do, go to the places the people go to, try things that you may not have the chance to do within your country. And always remember not to judge another culture based on your own. Every culture is different, and that is what makes the world so beautiful.
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2. Traveling allows you to begin getting rid of stereotypes that may have become ingrained within you due to societal forces.
I think it may not just be me that finds it hard to admit that “yes, I do have stereotypes that are within me.” I think that even though society pushes these stereotypes on us, it is still a taboo topic to admit that you have them. In my opinion, I think we need to admit to ourselves that we do have stereotypes, because that is how we can overcome them. BUT, just admitting that we have stereotypes is not enough. The second step is to go out and prove to ourselves that those stereotypes are wrong, and traveling has been one way for me to do just that. It allows me to encounter situations and people that help me open my mind, gain new perspectives, and realize that not all that society throws at me is the truth.
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3. Traveling opens a door for you to get to know yourself better.
Traveling has not only allowed me to get to know myself better, but it has also taught me how to be at peace with myself. Traveling has given me the opportunity to try new things and figure out the things that make me very happy. Just recently, I realized just how much I love trying to learn new languages. I would not have realized this if it were not for my last trip to South Korea, where I attempted to try speaking Korean when I tried to order food or buy things at a store.
Traveling has also given me the realization that I am happy with who I am and that I am okay with the person that I have become. “I could live with this person [myself] in peace.” After spending so much time traveling by yourself, I find that you have to (at some point) make peace with yourself and enjoy your own company.
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4. Traveling makes you realize that it is okay to forget about work and just focus on taking in the moment.
Traveling has taught me that sometimes it is okay to forget about all of the deadlines that are off in the distance. Take in the moment and take time to smell the roses. Enjoy that scenery, bask in that sunset, take delight in that first sip of your hot drink, and smile, smile, smile.
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5. Traveling lets you encounter situations that will help you grow.
I would be lying if I didn’t admit to you all that, for me, traveling does have some stressful aspects. Sometimes you almost miss your flight so you have to run through an entire airport at the speed of light, sometimes the airline loses your suitcase and you have absolutely no idea whether they will find it, sometimes you get lost and start panicking, and sometimes you feel so alone in a place you know barely anything about.
BUT I would also be lying if I didn’t admit that all of these things help you grow as a human being. The first time these things happened to me I had absolutely no idea what to do and was seconds away from a panic attack. But the next time something similar happened to me, I knew that I had the capacity to deal with it. Not only that, but I learned how to better myself in those situations.
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So, all in all, I personally think that traveling is very rewarding. If you are thinking of setting out on an adventure, there is no doubt in my mind that you will have a memorable experience~
What has traveling taught you?