The People You Meet While Travelling: The Ultimate Travel Reward

 The people you meet are the proverbial cherry on top of the cake that is travel.

The People You Meet While Travelling: The Ultimate Travel Reward

Your travels will be filled with incredible adventures, packed to the rafters with life-changing experiences, awe-inspiring sights and amazing discoveries about yourself and the world.

Of all these incredible features and fruits of travel though, it will often be the people you meet that define the experience and leave an indelible mark on you and the memories you carry forwards in life.

I’m always astounded by the people I meet while I’m away.

I don’t know how, but aside from the occasional bad egg, the people that feature in any trip tend to reignite my faith in humanity; kindness and goodness meet intellect and courage; open-mindedness and acceptance meet care-free and fun loving.

I find people endlessly fascinating and travel has to be unique in how it exposes you to so many different kinds of human, from all different walks of life, with their own stories, backgrounds and tales.

Where at home we are often fixed in an unhelpful bubble, being surrounded by such diversity will test and topple any prevailing assumptions and prejudices you might have about others.

Travel provides this common ground between you; where despite your apparent differences there is the constant thread of travel, which is naturally binding.

Different as you may be, at the end of the day you are doing the same thing, probably for similar reasons.

You’ll notice this when you eventually get home and you discuss what you’ve done with those who have and haven’t done it themselves- people who’ve travelled just get it in a way that the rest tend not to.

 Travelling will introduce you to amazing people from all walks of life.

Travelling will introduce you to amazing people from all walks of life.

As well as meeting a whole variety of people, you will form friendships far quicker too.

I guarantee that you will feel like you’ve known these guys your entire life after a matter of days- something about travel acts like steroids for the relationship-forming process and before you know it you’re best friends with a complete stranger.

The general atmosphere of travel helps in this respect. 

It is one of excitement, novelty, acceptance, vulnerability, commonality, free-spiritedness, openness and, fundamentally, one of friendliness.

It is also one of intense emotions (up and downs) and new, genuinely life-changing events.

This combination of the atmosphere of travel and the intense nature of what you’re doing is perfectly suited to forming close relationship in minimal time.

The friends you will make and the relationships that form are intensified by the experience of travel, but no less genuine- no less real; with some nurturing they will likely exist far longer than the travels themselves. 

 Travelling forces you to rely on others and in doing so, enables friendships to form.

Travelling forces you to rely on others and in doing so, enables friendships to form.

Equally, on the other side of the world, out of your comfort zone, you’re forced to ask for help, to seek support and counsel from strangers- there is a very basic need to reach out to others.

When you’re feeling lonely and isolated too, there’s even more incentive to do so.

Remember, humans are social creatures and the vast majority of us are driven by a fundamental need to belong. When you don’t feel it, you find it.

Ironically, before I went away I was pretty set on doing the whole solo-travel gig and thought I’d be fine- I genuinely enjoy/need my own company and was determined to do things under my own steam; to have this powerful, enlightening journey of self-discovery.

However, I very quickly realised two things:

  1. That I need people around me far more than I think and
  2. How significant it is to share a life-changing experience with others.

I can say with absolute certainty that my travels would not have been the same without the people I met along the way.

They helped me form the memories I will never forget, joined me in incredible moments, supported me through difficult times, enabled me to learn things about myself and taught me huge amounts about life and the world.

Naturally, alone or with others, travel will leave its mark on you.

However, there is nothing like having someone who was actually there, doing it with you, to help keep those memories alive.

Over time, memories and the attached feelings begin to fade- people tend not to.

Revelling in sweet nostalgia and reliving an incredible experience is immeasurably more gratifying when you have someone there to do it with you.

When you travel I encourage you to be brave and spend time by yourself, but more importantly, let others join in too.