10 (very broad) benefits of travelling
Updated: Apr 16
Motivation. Inspiration. Socialisation. In a time where the importance of mental health is becoming more apparent, there are lots of advantages that come from taking some time out of your usual schedule and exploring a new place.
I dreamt of going travelling for over ten years before I finally committed to that trip, and now travelling is pretty much all I want to do. If that doesn’t sound like you, then don’t worry about. Travelling can provide the same benefits, whether you go away for a weekend, a decade, or somewhere in between.
Rather than write a lengthy essay on the different ways travelling can benefit you, I’ve provided a list below.
Following the same schedule week-in week-out can be mind-numbing. Taking a break from your day-to-day gives your mind the chance to snap out of it and get some much-needed stimulation. New sights, sounds and smells can provide extra motivation and inspiration.
Travelling requires organisation by the bucket load. By going on that trip you’ve been planning for however long, you’re fine-tuning those skills that you rely on so much in your day-to-day life.
If you’re travelling on your own or staying in a hostel, you’re going to have to learn to communicate with people from all over the world. Before you know it, you’ll have a friendship network that spans across the globe. The benefits of this are two-fold. 1) Time differences mean that you’ll probably always have someone you can shoot a quick message to. 2) When you’re trying to figure out where you can go next, you’ll have so many more resources to draw inspiration from.
Travelling involves a lot of financial planning. You’ll need to calculate how much your trip is going to cost, how long you’ll have to save for it, and what you need to have saved up for a) when you get there and b) when you get back. You’ll soon learn where you can save those extra few bits of cash and be able to apply it to all aspects of life.
Chances are that at some point you’ll be visiting a place that speaks a different language and/or has a culture that varies significantly from your own. It’s trips like these where you’ll learn a lot of things that you otherwise wouldn’t. It could be as small as coming home being able to ask how to get to the toilet in Spanish, or as extensive as being fluent in Japanese language and history. Either way, you’ll have something new and interesting you can talk to people about afterwards.
For whatever reason, we’re more willing to try new things when we’re visiting a different place. You may discover an obscure sport like kabaddi (if you don’t know what this is, it’s worth a search) or come across a creative pastime such as fork-bending (Japan). Whatever it may be, a new hobby is never a bad thing.
When we follow the same daily schedule, we can fall into the habit of becoming desensitised, or over sensitised, to our situation. Travelling enables us to take a step back and look at things a little differently. It can help us to come up with a solution that we weren’t able to see before.
We all know at least one person who always has a really cool story about this thing they did when they were in that place. Whilst you don’t need to become that person, travelling will provide memories that you will be able to cherish and share for years to come. And you never know when that day you spent playing with calves in the middle of nowhere whilst extremely hungover might provide some much-needed happiness on an otherwise terrible day.
This might seem obvious, or it might not, but travelling can help you in your professional life as well as personally. You could learn a new skill, or meet a new friend, that could lead to more job opportunities in the future. For example, when I was in Canada, I found myself with a lot of spare time on my hands. Bored, and wanting to expand my opportunities to travel, I decided to complete a TEFL certificate. The result? I’m currently in the process of moving abroad to teach, most likely in South Korea.
Arguably the most important benefit of travelling. You get to have fun! No work, new friends and experiences, plus the excitement of being in a totally different environment? Sounds like the recipe for a good time to me.
So, there we go. Ten rather broad reasons how travelling can benefit you, both personally and beyond. The opportunities that travelling afford us are endless, and so varied that no matter where you end up or whatever you end up doing, your experience will be unique. Other people may do the same things or take photos in the same places, but only you will have that exact memory. Only you will profit in that exact way, and that will never be taken away from you.