Forget milling around in your finest evening wear, Singapore Sling in hand: You’ll be lucky to get peanuts. Flying isn’t quite the party it was in Sinatra’s days, and lots of time, energy, and money are expended to leave home, so why travel? How long do the personal benefits of travel last?
Getting away from home and stepping outside of your usual routine is beneficial for both mind and body. The long-lasting personal benefits of visiting a foreign country far outweigh the costs and time to get there.
The great travel writer Pico Lyer said: “Travel is not really about leaving our homes, but leaving our habits.” Here are seven ways that travel, especially international travel, will enhance your life.
Travel Sharpens the Mind
You’ve done your old routine for so many years that you could run through it on autopilot. Being dropped into a new environment engages a dormant part of your mind and gets those synapses firing again.
Suddenly, you’ll be required to navigate unfamiliar places, read foreign languages, try new things, make quick decisions, and choose your new eating and sleeping schedule.
Unlike at home, all the new sights, sounds, and places will require mental processing and filing. Your brain will welcome the workout! Once you return home, you’ll be sharper than ever for better organizing and sprucing up your daily routine.
A Shift in Perspective
“Nobody comes back from a journey the way they started it.” — Unknown
Being exposed to new cultures and people will greatly shift your paradigm and create a healthier perspective once you return back home. Seeing different social classes creates compassion and really makes you feel more blessed and content. Large portions of the world’s population have to deal with daily threats such as hunger, disease, and landmines.
A hard day at work suddenly doesn’t seem so bad when you see people in developing countries toiling in sun-scorched fields from morning to dark, or begging for a drink of water.
A Chance to Try New Things
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
While you may branch out at home from time to time by trying new restaurants or splurging on expenditures, traveling kicks you out of the comfort zone and forces you, for better or worse, to try new things!
Even if you don’t enjoy your first attempt at scuba diving, at least you’ll be able to relate in a new way the next time you see it in a movie or hear someone talking about it.
Becoming a well-rounded individual enhances self-confidence and will help you find new material for conversation in social settings with a wider variety of people.
Who knows, you may accidentally discover your new favorite food or find out that you want to pursue a new career in karaoke!