I’ll be perfectly honest – one of the main reasons I’m writing this article is procrastination. What’s the horrible thing I’m trying to avoid, you ask? Planning my vacation.
That’s right! As I type this article, I’m drinking a glass of rosé to calm my nerves, because I’m so stressed out by the frightening prospect of finalising my travel plans for the summer. I don’t think I need to reiterate how much I love travel – this blog should be enough to prove my dedication to eating weird food, hanging out with donkeys and practically living outside of my comfort zone.
But sometimes planning a vacation can be an incredible hassle and in those moments it’s easy to forget how good travelling makes you feel. To inspire myself to finally book all those tickets, I’ve decided to put together a list of all the ways travel improves one’s life. So pack that bag, because your next trip is about to turn you into a sexy superhero!
A study from San Francisco State University found that investing in experiences rather than material goods makes you significantly happier. You don’t have to fly to the opposite end of the world to reap the benefits of travel – it’s enough to go on a day-long staycation or visit a neighbourhood you’ve never been to before.
One of the biggest problems people have with travelling is the cost. We always try to rationalise our spending on things we don’t seem to need, like holidays – there’s always that electricity bill waiting to be paid or that pair of shoes you really want need!
But if, like me, you live in an expensive city like London, going pretty much anywhere else can make you feel rich. In London, £5 can hardly buy me lunch – in Thailand, it can pay for a hotel room with free WiFi.
I’ve met some absolutely incredible friends on the road – from helpful locals to fellow globetrotters, the people you meet while travelling always seem cooler than the people you meet back home. There’s a possible explanation for this – those who travel are perceived as more charismatic and likable, according to a study by the University of Colorado.
That “Introduction to Macroeconomics” class you’re thinking of taking next semester will never teach you as much about exchange rates as trying to work out how much (or little) you’re paying for your tikka masala.
Travel puts a sexy twinkle in your eye and a seductive skip in your step. Sure, that twinkle is probably due to a bad case of conjunctivitis you’ve contracted in a filthy hostel and the skip in your step is a result of being hit by a tuk-tuk, but nobody needs to know that!
From communicating with people whose language you don’t speak to sharing a bunk bed with complete strangers, independent travel requires a lot of patience and openness. It also makes you realise how petty most your #firstworldproblems really are.
Flexibility, tolerance, openness, a fresh perspective… These are just a few keywords your potential employer will no doubt be impressed by – check out this Bootsnall article if you need more proof! And if it doesn’t work out for whatever reason that’s fine, because travel also makes you…
Unless you speak the language of the country you’re travelling in, nobody will understand you. Seriously. When you try to order lunch, they will look at you like you’re a mutant frog. In some countries, they will try to trick you into overpaying. At first you’ll be enraged, but after a while you will learn to just let it gooo. After a few trips to any visa office, you’ll find that nothing can break you anymore.
Travel opens up previously unbeknownst horizons and has been scientifically proven to make you more creative. Finally there’s an explanation for my unprecedented genius!
As I demonstrated with the previous sentence, travel also gives you lots of – potentially misplaced – confidence.
Even if you don’t travel by yourself, exploring new cultures makes you a lot more independent. With nobody to do your laundry or pity you when you can’t get 4G on your iPhone, you will learn to just deal with such things by yourself.
Add all those things together and what you get is an avalanche of awesome. Seriously. You go, Glen Coco!
What are some of the ways in which travel has improved your life? Do you feel like you’ve become a better or happier person than you were before?