Travel changes you. There is no doubt about that.
I’ve personally found that I have a hard time making my own decisions, especially the final one. I’m constantly asking people around me for their opinions or to make my decisions for me. I find that when I travel, especially by myself, I have to make my own decisions. There’s no one else around me to make them for me, which leaves me forced to do it myself. This has really helped me to grow and learn a lot more about my likes and my dislikes.
Knowing how much travel has changed my life, I’m always curious to hear from others how it has changed theirs. So, I got together with 14 of my friends/fellow travel junkies to chat about the ways travel has changed their lives. Here’s what they had to say:
“Travel has made me a better communicator. Not just learning lingo and languages from all over the world, but it gives me more to talk about when I meet people. Everyone has a heritage. Everyone comes from somewhere. When I meet somebody from Spain, even if I am traveling in Germany, I can talk to them more about their country having been there myself.” – Siya Zarrabi of Good News & Hopscotch the Globe
“I think travel has changed me in a lot of ways. I’m definitely more independent and as funny as it might be to say, I think I’m a lot smarter. I know a lot more and maybe I care a lot more about the world and events that are happening because of travel. It’s increased my desire to meet new people and see all kinds of amazing, awesome things.” – Cailin O’Neil of Travel Yourself
“Travel is one of those things that transforms people. You become a more developed and well rounded person just by the experiences that you have. For me, I’ve realized that travel has changed me in the way that anything I’ve done has been a result of going out and making it happen. Nothing’s going to be given to me, but the more I put myself out there, the more uncomfortable I’m willing to be and the more amazing the experience is almost every single time.” – Gareth Leonard of Tourist2Townie
“I think travel has changed me in a variety of ways. I have a greater sense of empathy. When we travel to different places, we see how the culture is, how it’s different and how people interact with each other. For me, when I see people back home in the United States that have just immigrated, I have a greater appreciation for what they are going through.” – Tawny Clark of Captain and Clark
“Well, the first time that I really started a big trip, I went to Australia when I was 19-years old, and it was a world opening experience. I was with two friends, and we traveled around the whole continent. It was so amazing not having an end goal but just the experience of traveling, meeting new people and learning new languages. It was mind blowing, and it completely opened me up as a person.” – Caspar of StoryTravelers
“Travel has allowed me to be a lot more patient with life in general because you deal with a lot of situations where stuff goes wrong or things aren’t working out as planned. Having patience and learning that while time is valuable, you also need to just relax, let time go and not get so frustrated or stressed out about the little things. In reality, they are just little things.” – Nadine Sykora of Hey Nadine
“Sort of without even knowing it, travel has given me the most comprehensive education I could have ever received. It occurred to me recently as I was looking at a map of Leipzig and saw the highway around the old town. I was like, “Well obviously that is where the city wall used to be.” The fact that this kind of stuff has become common knowledge that pops into my head is amazing. I think that travel just starts to fill in the gaps of knowledge, and you start to see how everything is connected once you see all the differences and similarities of various cultures.” – Chris of Captain and Clark
“When you listen to me talk, I sound American or Canadian. I’m actually Czech. I happened to move abroad when I was 13-years old and went to an international school. I now speak four languages, have lived in five cities and I’m only 23-years old. Travel has been quite a game changer.” – Sabina Trojanova of Girls vs Globe
“I remember my first trip to Latin America. I had to catch a bus that was supposed to leave at 10:30am. So, I got there at 10:20, had my bags packed and my tickets printed. 10:30 rolled around and then 10:45. At this point, I thought I missed the bus. People weren’t around, and I was trying to find out what was going on. I found someone who spoke English and they were like, “Oh no, the bus leaves at 10:30… or 11:15. No one really knows. We are waiting for the cook. He was supposed to be here with his four chickens. He’s not here. We’re going to wait for him.” This situation shook up my world because I had been living in a world that is very highly organized, where we get thrown off by small little things like a late bus. What travel teaches you is that when things don’t work out as planned, it’s usually fine. You can apply that lesson to everyday life. Flexibility, tolerance, and patience are very underrated in this world and those are all skills that travel teaches you.” – Mike Corey of Kick the Grind
“Overall, I would say travel made me a happier person. I grew up in Germany where everything works pretty well. You can get a job really easy, but you can also get locked up into this everyday routine; you start worrying about small issues. But, if you go out and see how this world actually works in other societies, you start appreciating the little things and become a happier person.” – Steve Hänisch of Backpacker Steve
“Well I’m an introvert, so people scare me. When you go and travel, you’re forced into social situations leaving you to communicate with others in order to get around. You’re forced to actually acclimatize into societies, and I think that’s helped me a lot to become more adventurous and confident around people.” – Matty Brown
“When I first started to travel, I wasn’t afraid of the places I went, but rather of being all by myself. Travel made me feel more comfortable with myself.” – Carina of Travel, Run, Play
“Travel changes you. It changes your way of seeing the world. It gives you a perspective that you did not have before and allows you to connect with people that you never knew existed. When I traveled on a motorcycle around the world, I got to meet the local people that have never seen a tourist before. So, when I was able to see how people were living and surviving in different parts of the world, it was very uniquely enriching.” – Alex Chacon of The Modern Motorcycle Diaries
“They say travel makes you more of what you are, but I think travel makes you more of what you’re not. If you’re introverted, you’re going to have to get out of your shell. You’re going to have to expand your comfort zone and do things that you are not used to. If you’re really extroverted, you’re also going to have to get used to spending some time alone. Over the past 7 years, I’ve found as an extrovert, travel has made me a little more introverted. As a result, I’m more balanced and that’s a good thing.” – Rob of Stop Having a Boring Life
How has travel changed you? Leave your comments below!
Kristen Sarah is a full-time traveller, tiny home owner and adventure junkie. She has one of the leading YouTube travel channels and is the head honcha of award-winning travel and lifestyle website, Hopscotch the Globe.