Many of us get caught up in our daily routines.We're hopping off to school, work, exercising, and making sure the little ones get to bed on time. We tend to find comfort in our daily routines; however, this doesn’t leave much opportunity for self-discovery because we rarely take the opportunity to step outside of our comfort zones. I have found that one of the greatest ways we can experience self-discovery and find out more about ourselves and our identity is by traveling. In fact, there are a few ways that traveling can help you find out more about yourself.
Traveling teaches patience
In the age of instant gratification and advanced technology, we often expect everything to happen for us instantly. We complain about delays at the airport, hate waiting for food in the cafeteria, and even get upset about commercials (I can relate to this one!). When we travel we quickly learn how to be more patient as we may experience delays in our travel and issues with the weather that disrupt our plans (typhoons?). Traveling also teaches us not to get upset at things that are out of our control. By discovering patience, we bring this skill to our everyday lives. Yipppeee!
Traveling increases confidence
and traveling certainly teaches this. Many of us are scared when we leave our homes for the first time, especially if we are headed to another country where English isn’t the primary language. Travelers often find gratification as we look at our passports and see all of the stamps, think about the important challenges we’ve overcome to get to this point, and reflect on how much we have learned about the world. When we bring these experiences back home, we understand that we have become better prepared for the challenges of everyday life (psychotic Boston Terriers not included…). This kind of confidence encourages us all to be more courageous in the future.
Travelers often find gratification as we look at our passports and see all of the stamps, think about the important challenges we’ve overcome to get to this point, and reflect on how much we have learned about the world.
Traveling forces people to reflect on their identity
Those of you who have traveled before will undoubtedly support the belief that traveling forces us to reflect on what’s important in life. What’s really important. Traveling encourages us to find fulfillment in things that are typically outside of our worldview. We experience new cultures, view wonders of the world, and learn to appreciate what we have. In turn, this forces us to understand that material possessions do not hold the same importance as the values that these experiences teach. In this manner, we will find out more about ourselves than we ever thought possible.
Traveling forces improved independence
One of the characteristics that many people try to find on their voyage of self-discovery is the ability to be more independent. It is comfortable for us to rely on others to help us through our daily routine; however, many of us would ultimately like to be more independent because this independence comes with improved freedom. And freedom is awesome!
When we travel, we learn to fend for ourselves because we often don’t know any of the people around us. This allows us to develop improved problem-solving skills and step outside of our comfort zone. Invariably we come back home with improved life skills that we can then apply to our everyday routine.
Traveling teaches compassion
When we travel, we are often astounded by how welcoming others are. While other people might not know an unfamiliar face (that would be us!), they are often willing to give visitors the benefit of the doubt because they are eager to teach others about their culture and lend a helping hand to those unfamiliar with the territory. This is a truly valuable lesson in compassion that we can all learn. Finding that compassion inside of ourselves for others (your fellow human beings) is one of the greatest benefits of traveling.
This story originally appeared on Leon Logothetis' blog. It is republished here with his permission and kindness.
Leon Logothetis is a global adventurer, motivational speaker, and philanthropist. It wasn’t always that way. He used to be a broker in the city of London where he felt uninspired and chronically depressed. He gave it all up for a life on the road. This radical life change was inspired by the inspirational movie The Motorcycle Diaries.