Several years ago, I had completed what would become one of the greatest experiences of my life – the journey around the world with my good friend. Even though we had not planned to embark on the tour we got together on one of February evenings in the local coffee house where we saw this video on CNN where an author called Andrew Solomon spoke about a wide range of benefits of traveling and why he believes it can make the world a better place. He even wrote a book called Far & Away to share the memories with everyone.
We hesitated for about a month before we made a firm decision to embark on our own unexpected journey (I regret every minute of that month by the way). Not only we decided to go traveling but we made plans to visit several countries, including India, Cambodia, China, and Australia. When I bought the ticket and still could not let go of my hesitations about long-term travel I did not know whether the journey would be worth the price.
When I arrived back home from the trip, I was this new person who was more positive than ever. The experience of connecting with various cultures and seeing the beauty of our world has been eye-opening to me and the first thing I wanted after a week of rest was to go somewhere else.
The reason why I wrote this article is that I wanted to share the benefits of long-term travel with you to show how great it can be for you. Let me outline them for you below.
It shapes your understanding of the world
The traveling experience puts the individual into a completely alien culture that really gets out of the comfort zone and challenges everything they knew. It therefore, shows you how different people are and how differently they can live when compared with the home culture. As the result, you will begin to understand how the cultures work and how they shape people. In the end, you will form your own understanding of the world because you will play a role of a scientist who was provided with different information and asked to compare them. The only
difference between you and that scientist is that your task will be much more fun.
It motivates to challenge the common norms
Prior to my journey, I have worked for ten years in IT industry. I have always thought that I will have the same life as most of my friends and relatives: study, work, retire. However, traveling around the world helped me to challenge this norm and demonstrate that people could be anything they want. I need to admit that long-term traveling is not for everyone because with time it feels like a lifestyle. This lifestyle is not promoted in our society the members of which are often more concerned with careers and wealth. Me and my friend, on the other hand, like challenges like these. Ask yourself if you like them as well, maybe it is time for your journey as well.
It challenges your stereotypes about the world
Your home country probably shaped your understanding about other ones but believe me, traveling will bust most of them right away. When I returned to the U.S., I realized that this country is highly sterile and controlled in terms of shaping perspective of the world and we should not follow the accepted stereotypes. The best way to discover a country and its own perspective is to go there and explore. For example, I was amazed by the level of ingenuity of people living in India. Did you know that they invested shampoo, cotton cultivation, and numerous number systems? I certainly did not until I got there.
A long-time traveler is a scientist, explorer, sociologist, and a human being who lives a full life. Only embarking on a journey around the world will help you to appreciate yourself and others, challenge the social norms, get out of the comfort zone, and bust the stereotypes. Eventually, it will help you to shape your own understanding of the world we live in. Happy traveling!
About the Author
Scott Ragin is a social media specialist and an experienced writer who draws the inspiration from something that really means the most to him: his readers. Scott Ragin is a writing expert at Aussiewriter. Feel free to contact him at Facebook.