When it comes to travelling, a lot of people gasp at the opportunity of enjoying a well-deserved rest, but there are several benefits related to travel that go beyond simply relaxing. Moving beyond the resort type of travel experience, whereas visitors seldomly enter in contact with the local culture, or if they do, it is a highly filtered version provided by the resort, travelling can have a business flair or allow you to discover new perspectives, experience new cultures, and meet new people. This article will look at the benefits that are not so obvious when travelling.
Throughout the hurdles of everyday life, a person’s time and energy can be too focused in the moment, potentially diminishing their ability to zoom out of their day-to-day activities and appreciate the people and experiences that make life fulfilling. A benefit of travelling is that it gives you an opportunity to appreciate life’s experiences and to realize how fortunate a person is to go through them. According to German research, even a short vacation has led to lower stress and improved well-being (Int. J.Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 130). It gives time, something that nowadays seems scarce, to reflect upon life, accomplishments, experiences, friends, and family, among many other things.
We are just a grain of sand in the vast ocean that is the universe, sometimes the daily hustle can limit a person’s ability to put things into perspective. Another benefit of travelling is that it gives you a chance to analyze whether a previous test, an e-mail or an interaction really is a big deal or whether it is just a small piece of the whole picture. According to published work at the Academy of Management, professional travelling can be a key driver to increase innovation and creativity at the company. Travelling can take us out of our daily routine providing the opportunity to have a better insight about the self and the world around.
Communication is an essential part of life, it allows you to get your point across, even if a person does not speak the same language or is at the same level of proficiency. While travelling, these new interactions will usually happen around strangers with different background and experiences a person would not encounter in their day-to-day.
Research published at the Tourism Management has shown that individuals who have traveled over four times internationally tend to see an improvement in their skills associated with open-mindedness, independence, communication and comfortableness around others. These new acquaintances and potential friends can provide invaluable insight into different cultures, languages, way of living, and politics among many other things It is important to understand that you should not take everything people say at face value, nor that this person defines everyone in a country/region, but simply that it is a new way of interpreting different events.
Different countries may speak different languages and dialects, the language barrier will force you to find different ways to communicate your point across, and this is a great opportunity to hone your communication skills. For the most part, communication is tied to simple acts such as “Where is X road?” and can quickly move to deeper conversations if you give yourself the opportunity to.
It is hard to always be in control of all situations in life, this difficulty related to control is amplified when travelling. The chances that something unexpected will happen while travelling are greatly increased given all the unknowns we are exposed to while such as new people, different regulations, new food, new culture, and just in general, a new way of life. There will always be uncertainties when travelling, that is especially the case when you travel to secluded regions of the world. However, a person can learn to balance the risks and rewards of certain choices, work towards preventing some risks (e.g. vaccine and bug spray to limit mosquito-borne diseases) and embrace the uncertainties that come with the experience.
Travel allows you to pick-up or enhances skills such as budgeting, communication, and even networking. You never know when the one person you are talking to is a grad student, a vice-president of a Fortune 100 company, the owner of a bar, a senior government advisor or a bartender. Each shared experience allows for new opportunities to bond with individuals in all walks of life. Research at the Psychological Science has shown that shared experience has an amplifier effect even in settings without direct communication.
While travelling, we have more downtime, which can translate into opportunity. Opportunity to learn a new skill such as coding or give back to society by volunteering at a local school or providing pro-bono consulting services to a restaurant. There are plenty of opportunities out there, waiting for someone to come and pick them up.
At the end of the day, travelling is what you make of it. The points above are just a few of the things to consider and strive for when travelling.