Before I started travelling, I was someone who would think twice before engaging in a conversation with a stranger. Now, after a few short trips that has completely changed. Travel is a wonderful teacher! It’s only when you get out of your comfort zone that you realize what you are capable of. For instance, during my travels in Sikkim, my friend and I gelled really well with our driver. We stayed the night at his friend’s house (a complete stranger!) after being caught up in a landslide. Travel makes everyone a more amazing person.
So what does travel bring out in you? Let me highlight a few qualities:
We’ve always been told as kids, “Don’t talk to strangers”. I would say, “Do the exact opposite! When on the road, talk to as many people as possible. Travel definitely breaks stereotypes. By talking to people you will make new friends, learn about different cultures and most importantly, realize that the world does not always judge you. You will stop being conscious of every move you make. You will empathize better. A friend for a lifetime might just be a “Hey” away.
When you travel you will realize how little you really need to survive. You will meet people who own much less than you but are very content and happy with their lives. Once you are back home you will start valuing the small things in life, the experiences. And of course you will spend most of your time trying to figure out a way to escape again!
Adapting to change
You will face landslides, floods, delays, unruly co-travelers – the list goes on. After a while, you get used to such situations and you deal with them like a champ. You become more patient and calm, qualities that will stand you in good stead all your life.
Better at socializing
When you travel alone or with friends to new destinations, meeting and interacting with people is a given. You talk to strangers for directions, for information, or just for the heck of it! Even if you are an introvert, over time, you start enjoying this. You also get adept at small talk and master the quickest way to get to know a person. You will find engaging in a conversation will be much easier than the time you felt nervous to say “Hi” to a mutual friend.
Following your heart
Often we think a hundred times before doing anything and later regret not doing it. I was at Khaosan Road in Bangkok, where I came across a street vendor selling fried scorpions. I was dithering with the usual ‘should-I-shouldn’t-I’, but I knew I might never get such an opportunity again, so I just went ahead and ate a SCORPION! When you travel, you will face many situations that will make you think twice. Do as your heart says as there might not be a next time.
You will speak to a myriad of people, experience different cultures, visit exotic places. You will know how different people are and the way people behave. This knowledge is hardly attained through books. Only travel will teach you this.
Travel simply makes you a happier person. You will be more confident, outgoing and witty. You can either sit at home and just think about going to your dream destination or you can just pack and leave. It’s all about being there. The choice is yours.
This blog was originally published on 'ANDREW THE EXPLORER'