How Travel Changes You by Sage Fitzpatrick

You hear people who have just returned from travelling discussing how much the experience has changed them. And you wonder, does a trip around the world really change you that much? But until it’s happened to you, you can’t relate. Travel can open up a lot of doors to those who embrace the adventure. And, speaking from experience, it really does change who you are as a person.

Whether you choose to travel with your family, a group of friends, or decide to go solo, travel has the tendency to mature people and to give people independence. You may have to book into a hostel by yourself, or take an airplane to a faraway destination for the first time in your life. But once you’ve done it, you will be so much better for it. You’ll learn so much about what you can do if pushed to the limit and sometimes you may even surprise yourself. Returning home to your normal routine may be difficult to come to terms with, but soon people will learn to appreciate that you aren’t as reliant as you once were and that you’ve grown so much in your time away.

Travel may also help you gain confidence in yourself and your convictions. You may have struggled to eat alone in a restaurant before you left or talking to strangers was something you tried to avoid at all costs. Travelling throws you into new situations, which, if you want to make the most of your experience, you need to embrace. And by tackling new languages, people and situations head on you’ll start to feel more confident within yourself that you can do a lot more than you once gave yourself credit for.

For me, the most important way that travel changed me is that it opened my eyes to the world. Actually experiencing a completely different culture, which maybe involved living and working among the locals of your chosen destination, can give you a completely new and fresh outlook to everyday things. No longer will you just think about the town you live in, or the country that you call home. Every country in the world now has the potential to be your new home. You’ll come back from travelling well and truly bitten by the travel bug, and to be honest it’s a pretty good way to be.

A really practical quality you will be gain by travelling is that you will become more employable. By travelling the world, or living in a completely different culture, country and sometimes speaking an entirely different language, you equip yourself with a brilliant set of skills which can be taken into the work place. You’ve dealt with a wide range of people, meticulously planned where you’re staying next, how you’re going to get there and when and you’ve also adapted to change. All are skills which potential employers will go crazy for.

So now you know. Yeah some people come back from a life changing experience having not altered at all, with a slightly better tan and a fantastic set of pictures. But some people do. They’ll embrace every quirky tradition, devour every delicacy and make lifelong friends around the world. That’s the kind of travel you should be doing. Something that does more than get you a couple of likes on Facebook.