I make it a point to travel often and far. Nothing breaks you out of your tired old thought processes and jump starts your creativity and like seeing the world from a different angle — literally. Traveling allows you to define yourself as a person, establish the difference between wants and needs in your life, and problem solve like you never have before. The places I’ve visited have been an education far beyond the one I received in school, and the people I’ve met around the world have taught me as much as I’ve ever learned in a classroom. Here’s why you should break out of your rut and jump on the next plane.

 

Understanding The World

Traveling to different places will allow you to understand what the world is made of. Before traveling, most people have one point of view, one frame of mind through which they view the world. We are all raised in a specific manner that may be different from the way our neighbors were raised. When we experience a new culture, it can jolt us out of the patterns of thought that we take for granted, and make us more able to understand other points of view. This, in turn, can be endlessly helpful in all areas of your life back home. After all, trying to understand a client’s needs or communicate a foreign concept isn’t all that different from creating understanding across cultural lines.

Many people don’t need much to live a happy, simple (or extraordinary) life. When traveling, you realize that there are no “third-world” issues, but only world issues. Every country has challenges. Traveling allows you to see these issues at first hand. You may even be inspired to find a new passion or solution.

You’ll meet people that can teach you valuable life lessons that you wouldn’t normally encounter. Sometimes the greatest lessons are taught through journeys and chance meetings. The people I have met in all corners of the world have shared their stories with me, the most incredible stories that I never would have imagined if I had stayed home. You will meet people who expand your understanding and your abilities. You may also befriend someone who has helped make a difference and improvement in their community, or is looking for the same travel experience you are. You may travel alone, but you’ll never be lonely. The point is, through these cultural experiences, you learn more about the cultures of the world and a broadened overview of how people live, and how the experiences of others vary from your own.

 

Communicating Like You’d Never Do At Home

One of the best things you learn from traveling is how to communicate. You may be a shy, quiet person at home, but traveling doesn’t give you that choice. Traveling allows you to boost your self confidence and learn how to network and create relationships with strangers. When you come back home, you have a different view on communicating in general. Different cultures communicate in different ways, whether that is verbal or nonverbal. You may reach out to shake someone’s hand, but that could be against their cultural rules. The thing is, these are things you’d never know unless you put yourself in a new situation, and the act of learning new communication styles and thinking critically about the set ways that you interact with others can be a hugely valuable exercise. Traveling is all about getting out of your comfort zone to learn and understand. You never know who you may meet!

 

Problem Solving & Decision Making

None of us can afford to stop expanding and stretching our problem solving and decision making skills, and traveling is the best exercise, allowing you endless opportunities to learn and grow. You are bound to run into difficulty and challenges far from home and your support net of well-worn understandings. It could be as simple as getting from point A to point B, or it could be something unexpected that forces you to take decisive action on the spot. Either way, you will find that the challenges you faced while abroad allow you to make decisions and solutions to problems at home.  You’ll preserve and find the right solutions because you have no other choice, and that experience will be one of the most valuable souvenirs you bring home with you.