7 Awesome Benefits of Travelling Internationally

I was never a big international traveler, and I never realized the benefits of travelling until much later in my life. When I was young, my mom and dad took my siblings and me all over the nation on road trips. After a while, I considered that a normal thing, but down the road realized not everyone does that. Not only did they not road trip, some people never even leave their stay and sometimes they won’t for their whole life.

I had a different plan in mind. See, even at my young age, I always wanted to travel, see great things and enjoy the experiences that travel brings you. It wasn’t until college that I could afford to do those things.

Who I Was Before Travel

Below is who I was before:

  • Impatient
  • Lazy
  • Hopeless
  • Lacked self-confidence
  • Stuck in my ways
  • Stubborn
  • Somewhat narrow-minded

I took my first trip abroad through EF Tours in 2012 to France and Spain. And the experience changed my life and became the catalyst for even bigger change and growth within myself.

After that trip, I came home expecting people (other than my parents) to be excited about my journey and I was met with eye rolls and people who just couldn’t relate. I never understood it. I felt that my mind open a little more to the world and I thought to myself, “There is so much more out there than we realize!”

From then on, I went on the search to find a career in this world that would fund my travels and take me to the places I always wanted to go. That’s when I joined Peace Corps, lived in China for two-full years, and started blogging.

7 Awesome Benefits of Traveling Internationally

China was a whole new test of my perspectives, belief systems, and of every single thing I disliked about myself. It’s funny how living somewhere else in the world could do that to you. So again, when I came home, I was even more different than the young lady who came home from France. But this time was a colossal difference that everyone noticed.

For some, the amount that I changed frustrated them. Others commented on my ability to listen more intently. Some were eager to learn about what I had done and where I had gone.

This time, I was a whole new person, with brand new knowledge, and an even sharper understanding of the world and people.

China tested my values, beliefs, and knowledge daily and there were some days where I know I wasn’t the greatest or most patient human since then. I learned, that I didn’t know everything nor would I ever know everything. I learned that people are never going to do things exactly the same as you. And I learned a greater lesson of love for all.

Who I Am After Travel

Travel transformed me into a better person.

  • Before, I used to judge people for how they lived.
  • Now, I understand that not everyone lives like me and no one way is the right way.
  • Before, I was in a hurry.
  • Now, I take my time to do things.
  • Before, I used to boast to get attention.
  • Now, I recognize the importance of being humble and listening.
  • Before, I was relatively compassionate of people.
  • Now, I have a complete love for anyone and the journeys they are going through.

Who I am and what I am doing now is all because of what I experienced in China. Not everyone understands it or relates to it. So, I am doing my very best to be an influencer and eye-opener to people who want to be better people.

Now that I have told you my story, below is my take on the 7 Awesome Benefits of Travelling Internationally.

Gets You Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Look, I know going anywhere is scary for a lot of people, which is exactly why I think you should do it. Leaving everything you know behind to see something new can afford you some pretty great things!

Things like:

  • Bravery
  • Courage
  • Self-Understanding
  • Self-love

You’ll get a chance to see what you’re made of in those departments.

Who knows, you may do an international trip and decide this isn’t for you. No worries! Something else out there will be. But for those who have dreamed of travel, but are too stuck in the present moment and all of the things you think you have to do in the wonderful world of adulting, maybe traveling is just the thing you need to step out of the norm and try something new.

At first, I wasn’t comfortable with China at all. In fact, I was terrified to go over there even after reading everything I could about China. Which brings to my next point below.

Makes You Appreciate What You Have

There have been multiple times where I have traveled and saw things that made me realize that I am a truly lucky human being.

There were a lot of things I realized that made me appreciate what I have, like:

  • Some people don’t have a lot
  • Some people don’t have the right to vote
  • Some people are stuck in the situations because of cultural norms
  • Some people are forced to get married when they don’t want to
  • Some people are forced to have kids when they don’t want to
  • Some people cant be openly LGBTQI

I am truly glad to know I have as many freedoms as I do to speak my mind, dress how I want, be who I want, act how I want, and create the future I desire. I think most people can do these things too, but there are a lot more hurdles involved.

I truly appreciated the family, the home, the upbringing, the education, and the experiences I had after seeing a lot of the world.

Helps You Realize There is More Than Just the USA

Don’t get me wrong, I love my country, I really do. But I love other countries I’ve visited too and can’t really say I like anyone more than the other. I think a lot of people are afraid to venture out for one reason – what the news is saying about the rest of the world.

Obviously, stereotypes come from somewhere so you’re bound to see those in the news, but I can’t tell you what a surprise it was to move to China and discover everything people say about the Chinese wasn’t true. I was expecting to get to the other side of the world and really get to know communism. But people were just like me, wanted the same things I did:

  • Love
  • Happiness
  • Security
  • Safety
  • Family
  • To be well fed

By traveling internationally, you run the risk of realizing a lot of what the news says about other countries is false and very political. We as people have a tendency to generalize, rather than appreciate each person, place, or thing individually.

Gives You the Opportunity to Learn a Language

Depending on how long you plan to live somewhere, whether you have a big corporate job around the world, are a flight attendant, teach English abroad, or are simply traveling, you have the potential tolearn a language.

Learning language plays a large role in understanding cultural, at least it is from what I have learned. I can’t tell you how many times learning Chinese helped me gain a better understanding of what my friends and students were experiencing in their lives.

Learning a language also gives you a great skill set which you can apply to your career, so definitely keep that in mind.

Allows You To Eat Tremendous Foods

This is one of my favorite benefits of travelling! I know this is a big shock to you, but Chinese food we eat in America is not like Chinese food we eat in China. It’s actually so much better! Noodles, rice dishes, and gourmet cuisines you can’t imagine, not to mention getting your grub on in China is super cheap. Some of my favorite Chinese cuisines came out of theChongqing Municipality.

And have you ever drank coffee in France? Sweet lord, it’s to die for and nothing beats a good tuna and cheese crepe.

Eating food from around the globe is a way into friendships and relationships with locals too. It’s a buffer between you and a new friend. It’s a way to understand the region you’re traveling in, and it’s something you can learn and bring home to share with people you love.

Eliminates Bigotry and Allows For Open-Mindedness

This is not to say you’re a bigot, by any means. Travel challenges you to think differently about others and their way of living. This is by far the biggest and most important of all benefits of travelling. I try like hell to advocate for this.

In many cases, people usually have racist, sexist, and highly opinionated and judgmental tendencies because they hold no personal relationship with people associated with whatever seems to cross them and their belief system. No judgments here, this happens to a lot of people. Hell, it stills happens to me, and I do whatever I can to fix it.

For example, making unkind jokes toward the Chinese population isn’t as funny if you learned to love and honor people within that population as your friends and family. If you and you’re Asian friends have a common ground for joking about your race, be all means, go for it. Not my place to judge, you have your boundaries.

But I’ve found that people who have spent a significant amount of time traveling, meeting people, understanding culture, learning a language, have a better chance of being more understanding of people, than those who have barely left their living room.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

– Mark Twain

Allows You To Love Yourself More

This isn’t the case for everybody, but it was for me. I spent a lot of time by myself travelling to new places and seeing things. And being alone causes you to look at yourself a lot more than you care to. But I don’t always see this as a bad thing.

Having the opportunity to be alone with yourself, be introspective, and recognize your own flaws and work to change them, is all a good step toward loving yourself. Not to mention, when you finally make the choice to travel after you’ve desired to for so long, you are doing something that feeds your soul. Your act of following a dream or desire is an act of self-love.

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