In this blog, I give you the incredible ways travel makes you a better person and improves your outlook on life. I demonstrate the benefits as I take you through my recent travel experience to Mauritius.
There are different ways through which a person can learn, grow, expand their horizon and become resilient. And these include reading good books, learning from our parents, teachers and other wise persons or through experiences, good and bad. In this blog, as I take you through the incredible ways travel makes you a better person, I talk about my experience in Mauritius and how I was transformed.
So, here are the incredible ways travel makes you a better person
1. You become more organised
I have covered this aspect in detail in my previous blog post, but I will say this: Before you can board your flight to your intended destination, preparation is required. This often includes researching your destination, assembling the necessary documents, booking your flight and hotel, planning your activities and more. These things require careful thought, forward-thinking, time management and good execution. One can utilise these transferable skills in other situations, including your workplace, home, etc.
2. Reduces Fear and Boosts Confidence
There was a time when I had a profound fear of travelling to an unfamiliar place. It didn't matter if I had company or was travelling solo. The thought of daring to venture into a foreign land, meeting new people, perhaps who do not speak the same language as me or whose way of life differs from mine, was crippling. What if they resent me? What if something awful happens to me? I would agonise.
And it wasn't until I challenged myself out of my cacoon and did the unthinkable that I discovered how empowering venturing into uncharted territory could be. As with anything new, the more you do, the better and more comfortable and confident you become. So, once I stepped out of my comfort zone a few times, my fear vanished.
As I go to these new places, I get an opportunity to confront some of my other fears. For example, I am acrophobic and squeamish when I'm out on a boat. But my cruises in the Bahamas and Mauritius changed that. Something about being in those places, perhaps the mood in the air, inspired me to confront this fear.
So, I have since climbed up a few cliffs and stood on the edge to feast my eyes on some panoramic views, trekked mountains and cruised oceans, and even sat on the top deck, staring into the turquoise waters.
As I reflect on how far I have come with facing my fears and tackling them head-on, I'm awash with a sense of satisfaction and confidence, knowing that had I not tried, I wouldn't have grown the way I have.
3. Broadens Your Horizon
Nowadays, it has become hard to separate fact from fiction. It is easy to formulate misconceptions about some places due to ever-increasing fake news and propaganda. Therefore, travelling to these places and seeing and experiencing life there will quickly dispel these myths. For example, I knew Mauritians were warm and welcoming people from the reliable information I'd obtained online, but it was more pleasing and satisfying to experience it first-hand.
Furthermore, travelling makes you more socially aware. As you mix and engage with people whose way of life differs from yours, you learn and deepen your understanding of those people's backgrounds, cultures and traditions, realising why they behave and act the way they do. Moreover, unfamiliarity helps cultivate self-awareness, improve your communication skills, and enhance your appreciation of diversity's advantages and richness. Instead of letting differences become a hindrance, you allow them to enrich you.
(In the video below, I watched the lovely Mauritian dance and then butchered it, lol)
I feel that visiting a new country and not taking the time to learn its history is a waste and a disservice to me. So, whenever I travel to a new place, I take the time to learn as much as I can about that country, including its history. Furthermore, I find it a great honour and privilege to be able to partake in some of that country's traditional activities if the opportunity allows. Educating myself in this way and engaging my senses amplifies my knowledge of that place and helps me understand myself, others and the world at large.
There are times when learning the history of other countries has dispelled my misconceptions and clarified why some things are the way they are. By doing this, I have gained perspective and developed compassion and patience when confronted with specific scenarios in my daily interactions with different people because of knowing where they are coming from and why.
I believe that it is our differences that make life worth living. Imagine a world where we all looked, spoke and behaved the same way. How boring would that world be? So, unless we travel, it is hard to grasp these things and understand what is beyond our sphere of influence, realising that what we know is not all there is to know. There is a whole other world out there - a world that is just as precious and beautiful as ours.
Sometimes when you're stuck in one place for too long, you get into a rut. Routine turns into boredom; before long, you lose perspective on who you are and where your life is headed. When I'm like this, I question life's meaning. And I've realised that this is due to a lack of motivation and something that inspires me.
There are times when the mind craves stimulation. One way to stimulate your mind and realign your goals and passions is to travel. As you meet new people and soak up new surroundings, your mind, body and spirit are jolted out of bored and into fresh ideas. As a creator, I have realised that travelling helps to jolt me out of the so-called writer's block. Through my interactions with new people and learning new things, and seeing things from a different perspective, my creative juices start to flow in a more positive direction.
Furthermore, travel offers time for reflection. You get to look at areas of your life with fresh eyes and a new perspective. There are times when you are in these foreign lands when you realise your passions and the direction you want to take your life. Because some experiences make you realise that something is missing and that you are not where you want to be, prompting you to move to a new location, change your career or start a new enterprise. All these are the gifts that travelling affords you.
In writing, it is often said that writing what you know is always a good place to start. But travelling provides more content because every new experience stretches your imagination if you let it and allows you to create content that not only covers your surroundings and what you already know but something fresh and authentic. Moreover, expanding your horizon gives you a greater chance to become more relatable and reach and inspire more souls.
In Mauritius, I watched the sunset by the beach, feasted my eyes on the majestic geological wonders of the seven coloured dunes, captured images of Le Morne Brabant Mountain and walked the stairs enslaved people walked as they arrived in chains from their homeland. All these experiences entertained me, opened my eyes, helped me reconnect with myself, humbled me and inspired me.
Lastly, to fully exploit the growth travelling gifts us, we must be present and live in the moment, immersing our body, mind, and soul in these new experiences with an open mind. One may not always like or agree with everything one sees or experiences, but being there and experiencing things first-hand gives one the authority to portray and interpret through one's creations.
Please leave your comments below.