It’s not a little known fact that travelling is one of the best classes you can take at ‘the university of life’. Not only does it give you priceless memories and experiences, but it can really help in skills such as making bookings, navigating strange airports and coach stations, your ability to cope with unexpected problems, and how to survive being cooped up with other people and still enjoy each others company.
But one other great reason to travel whenever you get the opportunity, is how it can benefit you in the everyday life- from mundane achievements to the bigger and more substantial. Any experience in life can be greatly influential, especially the experiences when we take ourselves off to see the world.
When you become used to living out of a suitcase/backpack, you learn what’s important to have at hand and whats unnecessary. It’s too easy to build up a clutter of stuff that gets lost in drawers or hides at the back of our wardrobe, things like clothes that you haven’t worn in ages, and probably never will wear again. Decluttering is always a great way to rid yourself of the unnecessary, and to feel a little refreshed in life. It’s liberating to not have to rely on so much stuff. I still have a few make up items that lie forgotten at the bottom of my make up back, a few too many t-shirts, and I could actually do with buying more shoes to suit more occasions (it’s no fun to go out on a winter night in sandals). However as I’m at the time in my life I’m not sure where I’ll be in a few months, a year or in two years, it’s a great thought to know things can be packed up easily if need be.
As someone who’s been shy all her life, I can tell since getting stranded/lost/drunk/befriended in all sorts of strange and wonderful places I have definitely come out of my shell a little bit. A little bit of confidence can go a long way in everyday life: helps you talk to anyone if in need of help, or just in general; makes you less afraid to take on challenges, and confidence in yourself allows you to be prouder of what you do achieve, even if its just something small.
By seeing the world and getting yourself into all sorts of mishaps and adventures, without even helping it you become more interesting to talk to, with some great stories to tell. Sure, if a friend is complaining about when her flight to Spain was delayed for four hours, and you mention how you were stuck in an Albanian airport for seven hours, you might come across a little snobby.. But who cares, everybody loves to hear about others struggles (it’s a little thing called schadenfreude), and if you can pass on tips to others about travelling, they can only benefit from your adventures.
Incredibly mundane, but with great adventures comes great photos, and your social media accounts can instantly improve aesthetically with an awesome profile pic or cover photo. In the grand scheme of things this can seem incredibly unimportant, but potential employers are now expected to look at your social media, and certain careers demand an active and interesting social media presence. This means that with travel photos which show you absorbing the culture rather than just on a party holiday, you can come across as responsible, mature, and a wonderful being to hire. Plus why not show off to friends, distant relatives, and high school classmates you haven’t seen in years.
Something that also seems unimportant, but when style tends to define who a person is, people love to pick up little keepsakes from their travels. I love to wear unusual jewellery, and I have owned some amazing and unique things (which I have also lost over time, sob). It also means you can pick up some great gifts for people, and people always appreciate knowing you thought of them when you were miles away. I love to see what trends other countries have, and it’s fun to bring it back to England to feel like you’re standing out a little from the crowd. Or when someone compliments what you’re wearing and you can casually say “Oh, I got it when I was in…”, and feel very cool.
Appreciate the Everyday
Perhaps most importantly (and shout out to the Brazilian in my life who gave me this tip) is how travelling helps you appreciate the mundane and the everyday. When bitten by the travel bug its easy to get restless and want to just take off somewhere, but it also allows you to realise how great it is to know there’s a place you call home, where you can clutter your room with stuff, and where you can snore and shower without fear of bothering strangers. Even if you’re bored at work, or with constantly saving money, you know it’s to pay for your next great adventure. But there’s no point sitting around waiting for things when there are good times and good people present in your everyday life, and being away from them helps you appreciate them all the more.