If you’re like me, then you absolutely love to travel. It’s a part of who you are. And when people ask you why you travel, you list a myriad of reasons: you love meeting new people, experiencing new things, seeing new places, trying new foods, going on adventures, and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. But there’s one reason that often goes unspoken, one that is perhaps the most important of all – the personal growth and transformation that happens within you.
As travelers, we have a unique opportunity to experience the world in a way that most people never will. We have the chance to broaden our perspectives, to challenge our assumptions, and to learn more about ourselves and the world around us. Through our travels, we develop a set of traits and characteristics that shape us into more compassionate, empathetic, and confident individuals. Here are 12 common characteristics of people who love to travel, and how they contribute to our personal growth and transformation.
1. We are adventurous
Traveling almost always involves venturing out into the unknown. We seek out new places, new people, and new experiences. As travelers, we naturally have an adventurous spirit – it’s part of who we are, and the more we travel, the more we feed this spirit. Adventure becomes our norm.
2. We are empathetic
Through our travels, we encounter a diverse range of people and cultures. We may encounter poverty, discrimination, or other forms of hardship. We share stories with strangers, work random jobs, and experience tough times like having our bags stolen. But through it all, we develop a strong sense of empathy. We learn to accept and appreciate differences among people, and we see the world through other people’s eyes.
3. We are willing to learn, and we are curious
As we move from place to place and meet new people, we continuously find ourselves learning new things, whether out of choice or not. We become intensely curious about everything – cultural customs, history, architecture, art, music, food, and more. We are always eager to learn new things and expand our knowledge of the world.
4. We welcome change; it’s a way of life
When we travel, change is the only constant. We find ourselves surrounded by new people and new places regularly. Over time, we learn to welcome those changes. We learn to expect them. When we meet a new person, we know that they may not be around forever, and we appreciate them for the time we have. Change becomes a way of life, and we embrace it.
5. We have higher self-awareness
Self-awareness refers to our knowledge and awareness of our own personality and character. It also allows us to understand ourselves better and how others perceive us. It’s the first step in developing emotional intelligence, and it’s shaped by our experiences. As travelers, we draw from a diverse spectrum of experiences related to people and cultures. Through reflection and observation, we develop higher self-awareness.
6. We have higher self-esteem
Traveling often pushes us out of our comfort zones. We talk to random strangers, meet new people, and create travel plans on the move. We overcome challenges, such as having to deal with having money stolen or getting lost in an unfamiliar place. All of this improves our confidence in our own abilities to overcome any challenges that are thrown our way. Traveling develops our self-esteem.
7. We know ourselves better
Through our travels, we learn about our strengths, our weaknesses, what we like and don’t like. We learn about our personality and our values. For example, during my travels, I spent time living and working on a dairy farm (very remote) and also time living and working in a city, where I lived with 16 people in a house. I enjoyed both experiences, but at some point, I either longed for more human interaction or more me-time. I learned that I am an introvert and an extrovert.
8. We are more observant
As travelers, we must take in a lot at once – sights, places, people, and more. Our brains become accustomed to taking in more and filtering out less. We have trained ourselves to observe more, and we have fewer distractions such as mobile phones and laptops.
9. We are more grateful
Gratitude is the foundation from which appreciation grows. When we travel, we are often exposed to people who live in poverty. We see how they live and how little they have. This makes us more grateful for what we have – for food on our plate, for being able to afford to travel, for our health and safety.
10. We are more appreciative
From our feelings of gratitude, we develop a greater appreciation for the things we previously took for granted. We find beauty in the simple things, and we no longer take things for granted. We appreciate what we have and recognize its value.
11. We are very independent
When we travel, we realize that it’s just us and the big wide world. We are responsible for every step and action we take. We learn to deal with any challenges that come our way, whether it’s having to sort out visas, book accommodation, or organize a job.
12. We adapt well
Traveling requires us to continuously adapt to new environments, experiences, and people. We learn to be flexible and resilient, and we develop a skill set that can be applied to all areas of our lives.
In summary, traveling goes beyond the thrill of adventure and the excitement of new experiences. It’s an opportunity for personal growth and transformation, one that shapes us into more compassionate, empathetic, and confident individuals. So if you’re an aspiring traveler, take the plunge – it will change you for the better, without a doubt.