Saying that travel helps you grow sounds like such a cliché. However, it happens to be the truth. Before re-settling in Canada with my family, I have spent over a decade living abroad.
During that period, I learned a lot of things about life that cannot be learned in a classroom. Lessons about appreciating others, being grateful for what you have, living in the moment, enjoying your own company, and getting to know yourself can only be learned by being out there and experiencing the world.
Traveling the World & Living Abroad
Depending on who you are and what you have experienced, the lessons learned from traveling can be very different. During every new trip, you will either learn something new or reinforce lessons learned from previous travels.
Each trip will have its own impact and will continue to shape your personality. Here are six valuable life lessons you can learn from traveling the world or living in a foreign country.
Related: 30 Best Inspirational Travel Quotes
1. How to Be Curious
As adults that worry about their career and reputation, we must stick to routines and cannot afford to make a mistake. Mistakes cost time and money, and we always have to stick to what we know works.
As adults, we often forget that it is important to aim for self-growth and always be open for learning and experiencing new things. Traveling remind us of the importance of curiosity, because being a tourist is like being a curious child.
When you visit a country you have never visited before, you are looking only at a corner of the world that you know nothing about. This gives you an amazing opportunity to be innocent, poke and explore.
Most people give up curiosity in adulthood, and that is something we mustn’t forget because we need in our life because it makes our mind active, opens up new worlds and possibilities, and brings excitement into your life.
2. How to Appreciate People
If you keep spending your time with the same people, always sticking to the same spots, you will forget how to appreciate others. You will see your friends and family as “them again,” and you’ll forget the things that make them so beautiful and great.
Traveling is always an excellent opportunity to make new contacts, and meet new friends. It doesn’t matter if you don’t form a lifelong relationship with someone you met. The value in talking with strangers is allowing you to see them at their best.
You will see how different people are and most of them will gladly help you with something if you are a complete stranger. Traveling will undoubtedly strengthen your faith in humanity, and remind you how good people can be.
3. How to Enjoy the Moment
When you’re always trying to meet deadlines, you often forget about enjoying the moment and just cherishing the present. Traveling remind you that you should sometimes take things slow.
A great meal takes hours to cook. A good book can take a whole day to read. And who even knows how much time you need to stand in front of a painting in a museum before you realize its true beauty?
When you are in a foreign country, and everything is new, you will observe carefully and cherish every moment. At that moment you will realize that are a lot of amazing things around us (even at home) just if you see them the right way.
Although you sometimes don’t see things the right way, the moment you do will help you realize it was worth the wait.
4. How to be Responsible
At home, you feel secure, and you often don’t have to make the hard decisions alone. As a traveler, you will put yourself in uncomfortable situations – you might get lost, struggle with a foreign language, and say “I don’t know”, and apologize more often than you’re used to.
You will make mistakes and wrong turns, but you will learn how to rely on yourself and be responsible for your acts.
5. How to Better Know Yourself
As a traveler, you open yourself up to a whole new world. Instead of sticking to your same old routine, you can ignore impositions and expectations, and start listening to your own thoughts and feelings.
Changing your environment will help learn how to understand yourself and discover what really matters to you.
6. How to Be Grateful
At home, you often take things for granted. When you stay long enough in a foreign country, you will start to miss things. You will yearn for your bed, the food you can buy just around the corner, or some music you can hear on every street.
You will suddenly start appreciating your home more and realize that you have been living a pretty good life.
Traveling the world opens your eyes, gives you a valuable frame of reference and provides you a way to see things from a different perspective. Eventually, you will discover that it’s really the small things that give us joy in life.
Brandon Miller is a registered immigration consultant and a Canadian who re-settled in Canada with his family after traveling the world and living abroad for over a decade. His traveling experience has given him a deeper understanding of the world and himself.