The Benefits of Travel - Lessons from the Road
Too often when traveling we focus on buying the next item on our list, getting the reservation at the right restaurants, or finding the perfect selfie locations. Vacation can definitely be a great way to treat yourself and there’s nothing wrong with that. But traveling is also an opportunity for more than relaxation and indulgence.
We at Conquest Maps believe that travel can be one of the greatest sources of fulfillment in life. With the right mindset, it encourages us to become the best versions of ourselves - and that flows over into all aspects of our lives.
Not only do we get to experience new things when traveling, we also immerse ourselves in different cultures, push past our comfort zones and learn lessons which we will carry throughout life.
As travelers, it can be easy to overlook the benefits of travel and take our ability to explore for granted. It helps us grow into the people we want to be and cultivates gratitude in so many different ways.
But, when we really take the time to reflect on all the positive traits and experiences we get while on our adventures, it’s amazing to see how much we can truly gain from exploring the world around us.
Here are some of our favorite ways that travel has helped us grow!
1. Traveling teaches us adaptability
When we travel, things change very quickly, for better and for worse. We have to deal with missed flights, wrong turns, rude people, the list goes on. But these experiences make for some of the best stories!
While on the road, we either learn to adapt to unexpected situations or we shut down and want to go home. We can only control our reactions to what the journey throws at us. The art of rolling with the punches is one of the first benefits of travel we can learn!
2. Traveling teaches us to be adventurous
This doesn’t necessarily mean thrill-seeking adventures such as skydiving or bungee jumping (although it can!) We are talking about stepping outside of our comfort zones into a world of endless possibilities.
Remember: “The more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more your comfort zone will expand.” - Robin Sharma
Travel challenges us to face the unknown, meet new people, go at it alone, try new foods and so much more! An adventurous mindset grows our self-confidence and cultivates gratitude for our experiences.
3. Traveling teaches us to be open-minded
As travelers, we become immersed in cultures with very different values and lifestyles to what we are used to. You can’t really understand the immense diversity of human life until you start to encounter those differences first hand.
Sometimes this cultural immersion can be uncomfortable. We are brought into contact with ways of life that we don’t initially understand. We’re forced to face economic disparity. We might misstep due to language barriers or different cultural norms. We might react by becoming defensive.
But, when we choose to try to understand rather than judge those differences, travel truly becomes life changing. Stretching your language skills, swapping stories with a stranger on a train, learning about the history and experiences which shape another culture, all lead to both a better understanding of other people and of ourselves. It might even cause us to rethink some of our preconceived beliefs.
The fact that people can (and should) have different opinions and perspectives is fascinating. Learning this firsthand is one of the greatest benefits of travel.
4. Traveling teaches us patience
We may have to wait hours in security lines and end up missing a flight or get frustrated when we can’t understand a foreign language being spoken.
It’s during the most trying of travel times when we are truly tested. Patience becomes vital for our success as travelers. A benefit of travel is that we train ourselves to remain calm and not lose our tempers in these situations!
5. Traveling teaches us gratitude
When we are out exploring the world, we find appreciation for the things that we otherwise might take for granted. This might be realizing our privilege in the face of economic disparity. Or it might be a renewed appreciation for our travel companions, or the natural beauty of the world. When we are away, we learn to appreciate our own lifestyles and loved ones back home.
It's so important for us to be grateful for what's going well - whether that's our health, career or family, and more. When we cultivate gratitude, we are bound to be happier and more content in our daily lives.
6. Traveling teaches us optimism
In travel, everything that can go wrong, will go wrong at some point. And we have to maintain a positive attitude about it. Learning to do this is another of the many benefits of travel!
Unexpected rainstorm? No problem. Take shelter in an amazing shop that you otherwise wouldn’t have stopped in! Sick or injured on the trip? See what daytime TV is like in a foreign language! Delayed flight freak out? Nah, it’s just bonus time to read.
Once we ask ourselves, “How can I make the most of this situation and focus on what I can control?” Everything becomes easier, both at home and abroad.
7. Traveling teaches us compassion
Odds are, at some point in our travels, we will visit people in parts of the world who aren’t as fortunate as we are. Learning about their lives broadens our perspectives and cultivates gratitude for the blessings in our own lives, and can even let us see our misfortunes in a more positive light.
Or maybe we encounter people on our trip who are rude to us for no apparent reason. An empathetic mindset can let us see past the initial hostility and understand where the other person is coming from. Practicing compassion and empathy while traveling makes us better able to interact with and appreciate the people in our everyday lives.
8. Travel teaches us mindfulness
In a world where smartphones are always a distraction, it can be difficult to be mindful. Sure, we may still use our phones to navigate or snap photos, but one of the benefits of travel is that it disrupts our daily routines and encourages us to disconnect.
Stunning architecture, breathtaking vistas, surprisingly delicious food, or toe-tapping music with a rhythm unlike anything we’re used to, any of these experiences can erase distractions and worries and put us back in the moment. When you start looking for opportunities to engage your senses and be present you will find them in your daily life too.
So did any of those lessons resonate with your own experiences traveling?
Or did we touch on a sore spot where you might need some improvement?
Traveling is a life changing experience, without a doubt. No matter your motivation for traveling, developing these traits within yourself takes time, but will inevitably happen with a growth mindset. It’s a journey - figuratively and literally.
The more you travel, the more ingrained these traits will become and the deeper your perspective of the world will be. This is why we believe it’s important to travel as much as possible!
How do you travel more? You stay inspired. You remember all the great experiences and benefits of travel you’ve gained from your past adventures. You plan out where you want to go next and take action to get there!
This is where we can help. A pinnable travel map is an essential tool for you to achieve your travel goals and is exactly our specialty.
Get started now and find the perfect map to help you along on your journey. Choose your region, style, color, size, and even your push pin colors. Plus, you can personalize your map legend so you can track your travels exactly as you’d like.