How Travel Empowers You and Supports Personal Growth

Mariana Suchodolski

Published on
How Travel Empowers You and Supports Personal Growth

Travel is so much more than physically moving from one location to another. It is exploring your environment while simultaneously exploring yourself. It allows you to challenge your beliefs, see sights you could only imagine, and take a journey of self-improvement and discovery. 

While learning about the world and enjoying experiences bound to come your way, travel can also help empower you, support personal growth, and build empathy. According to the National Travel and Tourism Office, international travel by Americans was up 6% in 2018 from the year before. In fact, over the last 20 years, there has been a 170% increase. Why did the jump occur? Not only do younger generations often value travel over many material possessions, but it is also easier than ever to book travel thanks to the internet, travel apps, and programs such as rewards and gifting options through Skyhour. Here are a few of the benefits of travel and reasons why you should get a trip entered on the calendar immediately.

Develop New Perspectives

Traveling offers the chance to see the world from a new angle. While you can study other perspectives in a multitude of ways, physically immersing into a new culture allows you an up-close and personal view of how that outlook originates. The adage about walking a mile in another’s shoes is done much easier when you begin from the same place. Time spent in a new part of the world allows you to understand what people in the area go through day after day, what values they embrace, and the lifestyle, local needs, and reasons certain issues may be at the forefront. When traveling, you are constantly soaking up new information from the different places you visit and the residents you meet. Your experiences can help redefine who you are and how you see the world around you.

Monks Walking Across Tracks in Sri Lanka

Photo by @jordhammond

The adage about walking a mile in another’s shoes is done much easier when you begin from the same place.

Enhance Communication Skills

Traveling is the perfect time to work on your social and communication skills. When you are exploring the world, you are likely to meet individuals who speak and interact in ways that vary from what you experience in your life at home; communication becomes key. Even if you are one of those people who keep to themselves, there are plenty of times on the road when it becomes necessary to interact with others. Whether you are looking for directions, trying to identify a landmark, or simply wanting to order a meal, you will learn alternative ways to get your message across.

If you are in a country where you are faced with a new language, you will likely learn some of the basic phrases to help you get by. Even if you completely butcher what you are trying to say, locals often appreciate that you made an effort, which can lead them to teach you to communicate in a way more fitting to the region. You may have to be resourceful and use body language to communicate, which helps you become more aware of how you use your body when conveying messages in general. You will begin to take note of local customs and etiquette when you are immersed within a new culture, incorporating them into your future encounters with local residents and fellow travelers alike. 

Japanese Woman Standing

Photo by @jordhammond

Interact With Confidence

Communicating and engaging with others on a regular basis when you are already out of your comfort zone will become easier with each encounter. Over time, you won't think twice about striking up a conversation with a stranger, even if you don't need specific information or assistance. Travel can help you get used to uncertainty and face it with grace and confidence. These skills easily transfer to your professional life. Meeting new associates or trying to find middle ground will become second nature. You will be able to pick up on certain pieces of information that can help you understand what another is trying to convey and be more personable with those you are just meeting.

Nuwara Eliya Market

Photo by @jordhammond

Build Your Brain

Traveling is the best form of education, teaching you things in a way that cannot be taught in a classroom. You will learn about other cultures, landmarks, architecture, and history by being immersed in a new region. You may take that tour into the 500-year-old church because of its aesthetics, but you will come out knowing so much more. When you explore new areas and engage in activities simply because they appeal to you on some level, you are more likely to absorb the facts, culture, and history that go along with it.

Listening to and learning new languages and regional slang also does wonders for the brain. According to a study led by Dr. Thomas Bak and published in "Frontiers in Psychology," learning another language improves brain function and increases the ability to concentrate. Doctor Bak has also found a correlation between knowing multiple languages and increased cognitive function. Those who have learned more than one language have shown signs of dementia later in life with less cognitive decline than those who knew only one. Multilingual people have also been shown to perform better on intelligence tests at advanced ages than those who are monolingual.

Musicians at Petra, Jordan

Photo by @jordhammond

Improve Your Health

In addition to bettering cognitive skills, travel can have a fantastic impact on your overall health. According to Forbes Travel Guide, traveling for pleasure reduces stress and increases heart health in both men and women. It’s not surprising since traveling often includes a break from sitting at a desk for many hours, and movement is reported to be considerably higher on average during vacations, leading to better physical fitness.

Those who travel often are more likely to report that they are satisfied with their general health and well-being. Females have also been found to decrease their likelihood of depression, tension, and fatigue when they incorporate regular vacations into their lives.

Resting in El Paredon Hammock

Photo by @andynlilly

Increase Your Appreciation

Sometimes taking space from people or places can remind you just what you love about them. Travel allows you to take a break from your life and provides the opportunity to miss certain aspects. While your initial reaction might be an appreciation for the break, especially if you have been feeling burned out or overwhelmed, the respite can reinvigorate you and remind you what it is that you love and miss about pieces of your life back home.

Windy Uyuni Standing with Cactus

Photo by @mimischorer

Connect and Reconnect

If you are traveling with a companion, the time spent exploring the world together can help form a strong connection. After all, the two of you will be going through shared experiences that are unique to only those present. These types of memories can bond people for a lifetime.

If your relationship is of a romantic nature, there are few things more enchanting than seeing the world with one another and exploring new frontiers. For spouses or long-time partners, a trip means removing all the day-to-day chaos that can weigh on a relationship. It allows you to get out of your routines, dust off your spirits, and have fun. It also reminds each of you who the other person is when they are not bogged down with the responsibilities that come along with work, households, meetings, family obligations, and more. On the flip side, if the relationship is new, traveling is a great way to see how your other half handles unexpected twists, missed connections in air travel, potential adversity on the road, different cultures, and new experiences.

Tall Palm Trees in Salento

Photo by @mimischorer

Learn to Know Yourself Better

Traveling allows you to see yourself in a new light. It can bring a reminder of how much strength you carry and how you respond to varying environments and situations. It gives you a chance to reflect on what you enjoy and what you do and do not want in your life. It empowers you to make choices that fit who you really want to be. Self-reflection is a big part of personal growth and can also help release floodgates within the imagination. If you have felt stale in the creative realm, travel is a great way to be inspired and get artistic juices flowing.

Trips do not have to be rare occurrences. At Skyhour, we know the benefits of travel and are here to help you continue on your journey of self discovery, self empowerment, and self improvement. You can use skyhours that you receive as gifts, those that you purchase on your own, or even use rewards earned by booking eligible flights to keep traveling the world. Skyhours can be used immediately upon purchase and can be applied to cover part or all of the flight cost. Visit our site where you can set travel goals, and let us help you get started meeting them today.

Lake in New Zealand

Photo by @joaoraimundomonteiro

Mariana Suchodolski
Lisbon, Portugal
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