The Link Between Travel and Personal Development

travel and personal development

Think of a reason to go travelling and you’ll probably focus on the fact that it’s an incredible experience. You get to try new dishes, meet new people, and see historical and cultural sights while taking a break from your career – what’s not to like? However, travelling doesn’t just have to be about partying and skiving work. The simple fact is travel and personal development often go hand in hand, either during or after the adventure.

You might not realise it straight away, but going abroad for an extended period impacts your personality. On reflection, you’ll find these changes to be positive rather than negative. Here are a few examples of how travel and personal development are connected.

Travelling Reduces Stress and Provides a Fresh Perspective on Life

A regular 9 to 5 life can be quite stressful at times. There is your boss to worry about, numerous deadlines, and possibly the inconvenient fact that you don’t want to be there in the first place. So, it’s not uncommon to slip into a funk and experience mood swings. At the very least, you might not like the person you’re turning into.

Travelling can reduce stress levels in the body by allowing you to live a slower pace of life, as well as give you a newfound perspective on life. The simple pleasures and joys of exploration and relaxation can encourage you to see the bigger picture. Suddenly, the things in life that fill you with tension don’t seem as important and you learn to let the small stuff go.

Travellers can continue this mental epiphany at home by reminiscing about the good times. And, the nostalgia gives you the kick that you need to plan your next trip, so it’s a win-win, really.

Travelling Can Help You Kick Bad Habits

Everyone has bad habits they want to kick yet we don’t get around to them in time. So, they continue to linger until they are a part of our personality. Some of us even become known for the pattern, such as drinking or smoking too much and too often. The worst part is they are dangerous and can result in serious health issues, both physical and psychological in nature.

Back home, you may smoke as a response to high levels of stress and you may get into a bad habit of heavy drinking because you feel bored with your regular routine. Sure, travelling is by no means a beer or cigarette-free zone, but the experience of travel may provide you with inspiration to change your habits. For instance, you may feel less need to smoke during your travels because you don’t feel so stressed. You may also be less inclined to drink so much caffeine, as you are not exhausted from work and dependent on the stimulating boost that coffee provides. In addition, if you feel content in your travels, you may find yourself drinking less since you understand you don’t need to always get drunk to have enjoyable experiences. Travel can, therefore, make you reassess what kind of lifestyle is most conducive to your overall well-being.

If you adopt healthier habits abroad, you may realise how much better you feel, and this can provide you with the motivation to maintain these habits when you get back home. What’s important is that you use your travel experiences as a tool for positive change.

Travelling Fleshes Out Your CV

The argument against travelling is that it stops you from developing a career. It should be no surprise that many travellers always respond with “I have loads of time to figure that out,” and we all know they’re right. But, let’s take the opposing point of view seriously for a moment – is travelling detrimental to your career?

The answer, a lot of the time, is no because travelling can be an excellent time to get some work experience under your belt. Work opportunities more abundant abroad, so there is a chance to gain experience in your field. It might be unpaid, yet it’s not a problem when you do something that deeply motivates you.

It’s not rare for travellers to come back with better qualifications and more experience than when they left. And, employers love it because it shows a willingness to leave your comfort zone.

Travel Increases Awareness

Travelling helps raise awareness of the problems of others because you see it with your own eyes. Whether it’s poverty, environmental issues, etc., you’ll know how it impacts people on a global scale. To know how other people around the world live is enough to treat them with more respect and dignity.

A Boost in Creativity

When you’re surrounded by new people and discussing a variety of topics, it’s bound to open your mind to new things and novel ideas. Drawing on what you have learned from other people while travelling lets you build on their ideas and innovate.

If you’d like to put the link between travel and personal development to the test, then you could try planning a solo trip to a destination that fascinates you. You may be surprised by the changes that may occur within yourself during your explorations and when you return home.

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