Traveling is more than fun adventures, taking pictures on a beach and posting them on social media. And it’s more than business meetings for us small business owners and business professionals.
Traveling is the only way to experience certain truths about yourself and to experience life in a different way.
Exploring new places, cultures, and meeting new people broadens your horizons in a way that cannot happen from staying inside your shell and the comfort zone that you call home.
Travel is necessary for growth.
Here are just 6 of the reasons why travel is essential.
1. Traveling helps you to expand your horizons
“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
Do you know how many people in the U.S. have never been to another state other than their own?
As we grow, we are cocooned in our own little bubbles of “truth” about the world. But our thoughts and impressions of other cultures, peoples, and countries and conditioned by the things we hear in our social groups, what we see in the media or social media.
But seeing and experiencing the world are two very different things.
Even before venturing overseas, how well do you know your own country and what is offered there? Of the realities of the different people and places you’ve never met or seen? You can start your travel journey right here.
2. Traveling helps you develop cultural sensitivity
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”
Oliver W Holmes
As part of expanding your horizons, traveling helps you develop cultural sensitivity. You can replace those biases you never knew existed because you have first-hand knowledge of what those cultures are like.
Maybe you’ll enjoy the new culture. Maybe it’s way outside of your comfort zone. But at least you have the knowledge that’s based on having visited and not viewing it through the lens of news or social media.
So, the next time someone makes a totally inaccurate statement about another culture based on an assumption or limited knowledge? You just could have the education based on your first-hand experience as a traveler to enlighten them and change perceptions.
3. Traveling increases your knowledge
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
Augustine of Hippo
Whether you travel for business, pleasure, or necessity, it has the potential to increase our knowledge. We learn more about ourselves and who we are while traveling. You learn what your comfort zone is and how to stretch yourself. It gives you a better idea of how you can be resilient, resourceful, and well-rounded as an individual. You can improve the knowledge you’ve gain from books, television.
People who travel have a wider perspective and tend to do well in all spheres of life. It’s as if traveling has opened another page in their life book and started writing new ideas, thoughts, and memories. Things that can only come from a mind of experience. And experiences that can only come from having done it first-hand.
Traveling opens you up to knowledge and experiences you could never gain otherwise.
4. Traveling grows your social network
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Neale Donald Walsch
When you travel, you can meet new people and increase your social network. I say can because you have to make the choice to be sociable. You can travel the world and not make any meaningful connections with the people you meet.
But, if you actively try to make connections as you travel, then you could build lasting friendships and relationships with the people you meet abroad.
5. Traveling teaches you new things
“Adventure is worthwhile.” Aesop
Yes, English is widely recognized across the globe. But did you know that it’s third in terms of the number of native speakers? There are more native Mandarin Chines and Spanish speakers across the globe than English.
Traveling gives you an opportunity to learn new languages. Plus, it opens you up to finding beautiful dialects that you just may fall in love with.
Of course, you can download an app or converse online with other speakers. But being able to experience the language first-hand and even learning just enough for travel purposes teaches you and gives you a better appreciation for the language and culture.
And a new language – even basic skills – is only just one of the many things you can learn as you travel.
6. Traveling lets you build memories that last a lifetime
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” Ibn Battuta
Imagine the stories you can tell your kids or your grandkids? Or the memories you and your family can create traveling together?
Think of the interesting conversations you can have? The tidbits you can share with friends, families, and strangers because you’ve traveled. You instantly become a more interesting person because of your past traveling experiences.
No matter how small the experience, it can form cherished memories you will remember for years to come. Something to bond over at family reunions and get-togethers with friends.
Getting started on a life of growth and travel
Traveling is a lot easier than most people think. It doesn’t have to be any big vacation and splurging, or running off to a remote island as the first step to becoming a world traveler.
You can start this weekend right here in your backyard. Go somewhere you’ve never been before. If you’re in the U.S., for example, there are many budget airlines that you can fly for cheap throughout the country. So, you can easily visit another state and stay at a local Airbnb. Experience a new culture, new foods, a different way of life, and start enjoying the benefits of travel.
And do as the Dalai Lama once said, “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.”
And while you’re preparing for your first or next trip, subscribe to our newsletters where we’ll send you tips and news for small business owners traveling the world.
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