The Brandsmen are huge advocates of travel. The freedom of running an online business has allowed us to work and travel as digital nomads to many different places all over the world. There’s a laundry list of benefits that travel has, from personal, to professional, to social. It’s a great way to put things in perspective and to cure boredom if you find yourself stuck in a perpetual routine. Traveling is often seen as a privilege that’s too expensive or beyond our means, but we often overlook the personal benefits it provides. We look at traveling as a means to entertain ourselves, when instead we should consider how traveling can help us grow as individuals and as a community. Let’s look at some of the reasons why traveling is important for those that choose to take an adventure or two.
You’ll Appreciate Your Home a Bit More
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. While we use traveling as a means of vacation, and a way to get the daily grind of life out of sight and out of mind, being away from your home can remind you of the things you love that you may have taken for granted.
Visiting a country with a different water transportation structure might help you enjoy your “slightly too minerally” water back at home. Perhaps the overly-crowded streets of your travel destination will help you enjoy the one or two pedestrians who happen to cross you on your trip to the grocery.
Being in a culture different from your own will provide a perspective on your own will provide you with second thoughts on what’s good or bad with your community, and ways to interact with it to change it!
Your Perspective of Cultures Will Shift
Everyone has grown up in a different home than someone else and plenty of communities have been shaped by different countries with different rules and ideals. While it might be acceptable to say “what?” in response to someone you didn’t hear properly, other cultures could find this a rude response.
It’s a bit of a shock to be reprimanded for something you didn’t realize was “wrong,” but at the same time it helps shift your dialogue and thoughts. We could try saying “Pardon, I didn’t hear you” or even “Would you mind repeating that?” This is only a small example, but these shifts in thinking help us grow as individuals and become more personable.
You’ll Reconsider Stereotypes
Stereotypes have a horrible habit of being perpetuated by rumors and gossip, or one-off cases. If you’ve ever traveled, you’ll realize that some of these stereotypes aren’t instances of the culture, but rather exaggerations or even blatant misinformation. When you travel the world, you gain perspective of these peoples and understand that while we all have differences, people from everywhere in the world are more similar than you might think. From people to food there are so many stereotypes worth breaking out there. For example, Thailand is a lot more than just nice beaches, Latin America isn’t nearly as dangerous as people make it seem, and Mexican food is more than just tacos.
You Will Realize How Easy it is to Make Friends
Traveling is scary, no matter who you are. We all have fears of being in a foreign country, unable to speak the language, and without knowledge of what is acceptable. But stepping outside of those fears for a moment, you’ll realize these people are just like you: they’re people living their lives and if you find a way to communicate, they’ll be more than happy to help in one way or another.
The people you meet abroad people may not speak the same language as you, but they have the same heart as you.
Google Translate is a fantastic tool to use, as you can take pictures and translate text directly from images as well as verbal communication. You can ask for directions with your phone, or even a pencil and paper if you know how to draw or gesture well enough!
You Will See Outside of your Scope
There is nothing more amazing than the feeling of being “in another world.” If you ever travel to a place with a vastly different biome than your own, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another planet.
Witnessing geographical changes will help you understand history, social norms and change your perspective of how the world works. You’ll begin to understand why the monsoons in India shape their agricultural seasons, or why people living in the middle east would be wearing long clothing in the middle of summer.
Traveling might not be a foolproof cure to ignorance, but it’s definitely a step everyone should try to take in their lives. The small changes you’ll see in yourself as well as the world around you are reward alone for the trip it took and sometimes you don’t even need to travel very far to experience another culture!