At no other time in history has travel been more accessible and affordable.
Travel is a life experience that pays for itself through the things you’ll learn about who you are and the world at large.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of travel and find out how one trip is all it takes to change your life for the better.
1. Become Happier
Studies show that life experiences and the chance to build meaningful memories and connections with people are the key to long-lasting happiness.
In a research survey, terminally ill patients cited a lack of travel and not pursuing their travel goals as one of their biggest regrets.
Put simply: If you want to travel more, you should, and soon.
Tired of procrastinating on planning your next trip? Learn how to travel more.
When asked about my favorite cities in the world, I frequently talk about Ollantaytambo in Peru.
After spending several months in the chaotic city of Lima, I felt completely drained. For several days, I enjoyed hiking mountains, exploring ancient ruins, and discovering waterfalls without seeing another tourist.
This time spent traveling without the weight of city life completely restored my energy and made me feel happier than I had felt in months. It still brings a smile to my face whenever I think about it.
2. Experience Nature
It’s easy to forget how mesmerizing nature and the cosmos can be when you live in a city or suburb.
Travel allows you to get in touch with the marvels of nature: majestic peaks, glorious seas, and rare, UNESCO-certified landmarks.
There are many natural wonders of the world that we must travel to in order to experience.
For example, if you’re from Pennsylvania and you’re visiting Hawaii, the beaches, volcanoes, and skies will be vastly different from the rolling hills and farmland back home.
And if you’re from a tropical climate, you can visit a snow-covered landscape to experience a different side of nature.
Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, the Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan, Philippines was unlike anything I’d ever seen. Pristine blue-green waters carried our tiny boat through a pitch black, bat-infested cave packed with untouched rock formations that are still largely undiscovered today.
The cave’s ceiling was so high that you couldn’t see it despite pointing a flashlight at it. Hands down, it was one of the most intense environments I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience.
3. Discover a New Hobby
Traveling offers plenty of opportunities to try new things. One of these experiences may introduce you to a new lifelong hobby or completely alter your career and life choices. The catch is that you have to be brave enough to try something new.
While living in Ulsan, South Korea, I walked by a bar that was advertising salsa lessons. My Korean was (and still is) terrible, but I had never tried salsa dancing before, and what stranger place to learn than Korea? After a few classes, salsa dancing became my new favorite hobby. I’ve discovered that you can find salsa bars all over the world. Dancing, like language, can open doors to new opportunities and new friends.
Traveling to South Korea on a budget? Read about the best free things to do in South Korea.
4. Expand Your Career and Circle of Friends
Speaking of opening doors…depending on your profession or what you’re studying, traveling might provide you with valuable networking opportunities.
Travel offers you the chance to speak with dozens of new people every day.
This opens up a world of possibilities for promoting your business or getting connected with the right people to advance your career.
In addition to networking for career or business opportunities, travel can help you find like-minded individuals around the world who share your passions or hobbies.
Traveling the world has allowed me to cross paths with some fascinating and terrific people.
My circle of friends has expanded to dozens of cities. I’ve also had chance encounters with other bloggers, fitness enthusiasts, and full-time travelers, many of whom shared my quirky interests in literature, motorcycles, and coffee.
Want to make the road your home? Learn how I became a full-time traveler.
5. Appreciate History
The United States of America is a young country compared to Greece, Egypt, China, and Peru.
The U.S. has just a couple hundred years of history whereas Germany has over 2,000 years.
Travel to these places, and you will be amazed by old cities and ancient ruins, such as the Colosseum in Rome, the Egyptian pyramids, the Great Wall of China, and Machu Picchu in Peru.
Visiting the Dragon King’s Palace in Busan, South Korea was an aha moment when I realized how old the temple was and how it had been such an important part of daily life in the country since it was erected in the 1300s.
6. Practice Tolerance
Living in a bubble can distort your view of the world whereas travel can open up your mind to new cultures, lifestyles, and viewpoints.
Learning to be tolerant of others by interacting with them is one of the most important real-world skills you can gain through traveling.
You’ll discover that people around the world are more alike than different, but it is our differences that make us unique.
A full day of hiking the hills near Hong Kong had left me exhausted, thirsty, and hungry.
Stumbling upon a local temple, I had the chance to sit, eat, and pray with the monks. I didn’t speak Mandarin, and they didn’t speak English, but that didn’t matter.
We accepted one another despite our differences in lifestyle, dress, and appearance. For me, that is what travel is all about.
7. Appreciate Where You’re From
Most of us don’t appreciate where we’re from because it has always been there.
Many people are drawn toward the new, the strange, and the unknown.
Sometimes, you might hear about incredible things back home from the people you meet on your travels.
Once you finally return home, you might have developed a deeper connection to where you came from and a greater interest in exploring nearby locations.
I grew up right outside of Philadelphia, and yet I didn’t bother exploring the city until after I had lived abroad for more than a year.
I was able to see my own city with a fresh and curious outlook for everything it had to offer. Philadelphia is now one of my favorite cities, and I make it a point to do something new each time I’m back home.
What Are Some Benefits of Travel That You’ve Experienced?
Have you experienced any of the benefits of travel mentioned above? Are you happier after a long trip? Have you made close friends while visiting other countries? Tell me about it in the comments below.