Here’s Why Travelling Brings Out the Best in People

Here’s Why Travelling Brings Out the Best in People

You learn as you go.

“Travel changes you.”

Three words made immortal by beloved chef, author, and travel journalist Anthony Bourdain, whose untimely death last June was deeply mourned by those he had touched through his work.

Also read: Remembering Anthony Bourdain – a True Food Lover and Traveller

The quote is from Bourdain’s book, The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones and the rest of it reads, “As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”

Clearly, Anthony was on to something. But then again, with a mind as brilliant and a soul as open as his, he was always on to something. I’d like to think that Mr. Bourdain was infinitely imbued with the spirit of adventure. So much so that he was able to bring us to places unknown even from the comfort of our own homes.

Also read: Real Travellers Share: Why You Should Travel At Least Once a Year

Today, we take a page from Bourdain’s book and count the ways travel changes us for the better. Maybe this time, it’ll urge us to take our eyes off the screen and see the world ourselves.

Patience is a virtue

And we mean patience in every sense of the word. From saving up to waiting at the terminal and staying in a queue, there’s a lot of waiting involved in every trip. You’ll also come across people you won’t get along with, but hey, that’s okay. It’s the same thing when little inconveniences make their way into your itinerary. Don’t sweat it. Focus on having a good time instead.

The gift of giving

More than being rewarding, travelling is such a giving experience. Think about it. When on the road, you share so much of yourself. You share stories, laughs, food, change, drinks, and time. You even share the burden of an unfortunate experience if one of your travel buddies has a stroke of bad luck. You also tip more and buy a little extra especially if the service is wonderful. Travel fosters this amazing culture of giving and receiving without anyone keeping tabs.

Arms wide open

Unless you’re terribly shy or have multiple phobias, travelling will help you loosen up and be open to new experiences. You’ll also find yourself meeting new people and making friends. You’ll take in the sights, breathe in strange smells, and be perplexed by new flavours. You don’t come out of travel brand spanking new. But you do embrace a version of yourself that acknowledges this: The world gives us plenty of room to grow. We’re often guilty of stunting that potential.

The grace of gratitude

Travelling is often a feast for the senses. Not everyone has the opportunity to visit other countries and meet the beautiful people who call it home. Some stay in one place for the entirety of their lives. Others even think of travel woes as #firstworldproblems. Travel isn’t always life-altering, but it leaves us feeling thankful every time.

Respect for the unfamiliar

When abroad or in a region in your own country with a culture that’s so different from what you’re accustomed to, you’re bound to find things a little odd. That’s normal. Sometimes there are traditions we don’t agree with. But the wonderful thing about travel is it also makes us more tolerant. It shows us that our truth may be different from others’.

The best education there is

Travelling is like an extended field trip, except you get to plot your course and curriculum. It’s the school of life, as they say. Learn as you go. There’s no other way. You may not notice it, but the people you’re travelling with also learn from you. And keep in mind, sometimes unlearning is also a crucial part of the process.

Ready, steady, and resilient

Being on foreign soil may make you wary, but it also makes you braver and more independent. You wouldn’t want to miss out when travelling, so suddenly, you’re up for any adventure. You accept that challenges are part of the journey. You also realise later on that panicking and nitpicking won’t help in any situation. Because at the end of a really bad day, you know things can only get better.

Small…in a good way

When you’re out there and you see the world’s wonders, you’ll feel like you’re just one of a billion tiny specks. Half of you will be in awe of the universe’s vast expanse, the other half will feel inconsequential. But this doesn’t mean that there isn’t any significance in your own smallness. Knowing this makes possibilities endless. It reminds you that you that there are still depths to dive deeper into and heights you have yet to climb. Can you imagine knowing all there is to know and having seen it all? It sounds pretty dull if you ask me.

Connecting the dots

Travelling connects — we’ve established that before. But more than helping you make new friends, travelling gives you a peek into others’ daily lives. Because of this, it helps you reach out more. You learn how they dress, eat, cook, commute, pray, interact. You begin to place yourself in others’ shoes, and just maybe, they think of life in your hometown, too.

Travel also makes you a team player. Sure it fortifies independence, but it encourages cooperation, too, especially when travelling with a pack.

Also read: Why Travel is a Good Investment

Discipline for dummies

Even the most stubborn people are disciplined by travel. Different countries have different rules, and other places aren’t as lenient. Time management is another aspect. Call times and reservations are sacred. You snooze, you lose, and sometimes you learn that the hard way.

Home sweet home

Being far away from home makes you miss home. It’s true, there’s no place like it. The longer you’re away, the more you’ll find yourself pining for the comfort of what’s familiar to you. Being far from loved ones makes you realise how much they mean to you, too.

Me, myself, and I

We’ve been going on and on about how travel makes you open to others, but it also helps you gain a better understanding of yourself. This is where a healthy dose of introspection comes in. Even when you travel with family or friends, quiet time with yourself can be very beneficial. It lifts your mood and allows you to interact better. Also, the more you know yourself, the more you’ll be able to plan trips that genuinely interest you.

The only Earth you’ll ever have

Seeing the world reminds you to take care of it. Our lifestyles shouldn’t get in the way of making sure that mother earth is happy and healthy. It’s the only planet we have, after all. It’s been sustaining us all this time, but what have we been doing to it? We shouldn’t even have to travel to realise this. Our entire planet is in the middle of an environmental crisis. Pollution levels are rising and animal species are becoming extinct. What kind of a world will future generations roam if we don’t clean up now?

Travelling brings memories we keep with us for the rest of our lives. That’s why most of us do everything to immortalise our travels through photo albums and journals. But don’t forget the values and life lessons that come with these adventures, too. While treasured memories make for good stories, lessons learned make us who we are.

Also read: Why it’s Important to Write About Your Travels

About Author

Alyosha Robillos
Alyosha Robillos

In Russia, Alyosha is a boy's name popularized by literary greats Dostoevsky and Tolstoy—but this particular Alyosha is neither Russian nor a boy. She is a writer from the Philippines who loves exploring the world as much as she likes staying at home. Her life's mission is to pet every friendly critter there is. When she isn't busy doing that, she sniffs out stories and scribbles away on the backs of old receipts. She is an advocate of many things: culture and heritage, the environment, skincare and snacking, to name a few. She will work for lifetime supplies of french fries and coffee. Or yogurt. Or cheese, preferably Brie.

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