Travel as the Perfect Tool for Self-Development
If a recipe for self-development existed, travel would be the magic ingredient. Whether you feel the need to develop in some way or not, there can be few better ways go about it than to explore the world for a period of time.
Here’s what self-development might look like:
- Increased resilience
- Greater self-awareness
- Greater perspective on life
- Enhanced self-knowledge and life-experience
- Enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem,
- Greater comfort in social situations,
- Improved capacity to live in the present moment
...the list goes on.
People often talk about how travel changed them, or how they returned home a completely different person to the one who left- a felt change that highlights the process of self-development.
This is no fluke. In a hugely positive way, you will literally develop to the point where you feel fundamentally different.
In some ways, I actually think it would be harder not to develop through travel- it just seems like a natural reaction to the experience.
Nearly every aspect of it creates conditions ripe for change and self-betterment- usually through some sort of challenge.
Each of the following things are intrinsic components of travel and every single one is difficult:
- Leaving home and loved ones behind
- Battling fears and phobias
- Facing danger
- Living with very little money
- Stepping out of your comfort zone
- Meeting new people
- Being entirely self-reliant
- Facing loneliness
- Fending for yourself
- Being truly independent for the first time
...again, the list goes on!
Talk about trial by fire.
It is empowering and emboldening to learn what you’re capable of when you test yourself in the above ways, outside the safety net of home life.
Confront such hardships though and self-development is almost guaranteed.
Personally, travel has helped me increase my understanding of the person I am and the way I want to live my life. This was something I struggled with a lot through my teens, when I was constantly battling with questions of self and identity.
To come back from travel slightly less neurotic, happier to live day by day, and with a set of values I felt comfortable with as my own, was a massive deal.
Ultimately, everyone will develop in their own individual way as a result of travel and it will vary depending on how open you are to the experience.
Allow yourself to explore and be challenged, to be vulnerable and to suffer; to learn and to grow- to develop.