With two backpacking-around-the-world trips and two travelling-around-the-US trips already under my belt at the grand ol’ age of 28, it’s safe to say that I was bitten by the travel bug from a young age. I also have a one-year working holiday adventure in New Zealand to look forward to in the foreseeable future, so I obviously think that the benefits of travelling far outweigh the negatives.
I mean, are there even any negatives? I’m not so sure.
When I meet new people and they ask me why I’ve travelled so much in my twenties, my answer is always: well, why not? You see, there are many reasons why I love travel.
In fact, I could probably sit here and write a whole essay on why travel is good for you and why travel is important for anyone at any age, but we haven’t got all day now, have we?
Let me just say this in summary: I like travelling because of the opportunities it gives us to grow, especially when we’re young and impressionable. There, I said it.
There are other benefits of travelling at a young age too—10 of them, to be precise.
Benefits of travelling 101: there’s a big wide world out there, which we often forget when we’re being consumed with the mundanity of our everyday lives. Travel is the perfect remedy for this.
Why? Well, nothing is going to make you realise the sheer vastness of the world like taking a plane journey from the UK to Australia, for example (especially because you can’t just take a single plane ride—it has to be at least two).
Simply put: there’s something about visiting other countries that expands your horizons and builds more of an awareness of what’s around you. It also makes you feel super insignificant, which can be a good thing if you’ve lost sight of who you are or why we’re really here. (Spoiler: to enjoy life while we can.)
Travel is also wonderful for helping us put things into perspective. What was once very important to you can seem totally irrelevant once you’ve had the most life-changing gap yah in South East Asia, for instance.
Me? I had no idea who I was before my first travelling trip, what I was doing, or where I was going in life—but one of the main benefits of travelling is being able to come away from your current situation for a substantial period of time in order to be able to reflect on it.
You know what they say—hindsight is a beautiful thing, and it can certainly help you work out who and what truly matters in your life.
Similarly, travel teaches you the most incredible things. Things about yourself, about other people, about other cultures—the list is endless!
How I hear you ask? Well, you meet a ton of new people from all different countries who can speak various languages. And because of this, you get to experience the wonder that is human nature.
It’s amazing how much you can learn just by being in a new place with new people who have a new way of doing things. It goes without saying that it can shape you into a completely different person than who you were before—and it’s unbelievably awe-inspiring.
One of the huge benefits of travelling is its ability to improve your fitness level.
I mean, rushing through the airport to make your flight connection that departs 20 minutes and hiking up mountains will give you one heck of a physical makeover—am I right?
Me? I was struggling a lot with my physical health before my last travel trip and kept getting viruses and bugs on a frequent basis. Then I went exploring. I ended up losing weight and toning up from all the walking around I did, my skin started to glow from all the fresh air I was getting on a daily basis, I slept like a baby, and I stopped getting ill. Problem solved.
Having said that, travel also has a profound effect on your mental health too.
It’s no secret that I suffer from anxiety. My travels helped me to discover that being around scenic beauty can calm the mind like nothing else. I also think physical and mental health can go hand in hand, and because my physical health was so good, my mental health was just as good—and vice versa.
I mean, how on earth can your mood be anything but sky high when you’re getting to see and do some remarkable things every day? It’s kind of impossible.
Like I mentioned earlier, you get to meet people from all around the world which is one of the greatest benefits of travelling.
And you know what comes with this? Confidence. Confidence in yourself, confidence in your decisions, and confidence that the world is nothing short of extraordinary.
Me? It sounds corny but I went on my first travel trip a caterpillar, and I emerged as a butterfly. The experience honestly made me a better person.
Speaking of personality changes, travel also has the ability to make you more laid-back as a person. It undoubtedly increases your tolerance for uncertainty.
Why? Well, a lot of stuff goes wrong. Flights get delayed, hostels are unexpectedly booked up, and you often don’t know where you’re headed tomorrow—never mind next week.
You fastly learn that you’re not always going to have positive experiences. However, it’s not about what happens to you—it’s about how you deal with it that matters. And you generally learn to deal with things a lot better.
One of my favourite benefits of travelling? It makes you realize how fortunate you are and how much you appreciate your life, especially if you’re visiting countries that aren’t quite as wealthy as the country you live in.
It’s almost like you look at your home in a different light—even if you were desperate to get away in the first place. It gives you a sense of gratitude that can’t be achieved in any other way, no matter how hard you try.
Me? I found that I lacked gratitude in my life until that very first travel trip—now I’m all about presence and not presents. It completely changed my attitude and switched my focus from materialistic things to experiences with those whom I love—and I’m forever grateful.
Another reason why I love travel is that there’s a lot of world to explore! The opportunities to venture near and far are limitless.
I mean, even if you plan to visit a city that you’ve already been to, it’s likely that you will find a new place to explore within that city.
Some might say that it’s literally impossible to visit everywhere on Earth, but I’m going to give it a darn good try.
Finally, another of the amazing benefits of travelling is that it keeps life entertaining. They say that variety is the spice of life, and you get this in abundance when you’re venturing around the world.
Travelling also gets you to step outside of your comfort zone and stops you from living a sheltered life. And you know what they say: life begins at the end of your comfort zone—am I right?
I mean, do you really want to live the same year over and over again and call that a life? Life’s for living, people. I know it’s easier said than done but try not to get into a rut because you’ll only regret it later on down the line.
The benefits of travelling while we’re young are endless. I know I’ve covered a fair few here; however, the best one is undeniably this: travel not only changes your life, but changes it for the better.
I’ll always be thankful for my travel trips because they made me the person I am today. In fact, I wouldn’t be half the lady I am without those incredible experiences. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t all rainbows and smiles, but you have to go through the downs in order to genuinely appreciate the ups—and the ups trump the downs any day of the week.
I look forward to future trips shaping my life just as much as past trips already have. And I urge you all to travel now while you’re physically able—not in two years, five years, or ten years’ time… Now. As tempting as it might be, don’t put it off.
After all, you have to embrace today, because you never know where tomorrow might lead you.
What do you think the benefits of travelling are? Let me know in the comments!