blog image

What you learn from long term travel

6 June 2017

What you learn from long term travel

Today is the golden era of travel there is no question about that. Being able to travel for leisure is available to most of us nowadays, yet we still find ourselves wondering what travel means to everyone.

According to the Oxford Dictionary the word ‘travel’ is described as the following: ‘make a journey, typically of some length’. To some, travel is for work - to others travel can be quick trips at the weekend. To be able to say “I travel” really depends on what you feel travel is. To many however, the word travel is often associated with long-term travel.

Now it is argued that long-term travel makes you learn a lot more than studying or even work experience. Why?

Ability To Get Along With Other Cultures

Travel pushes you farther, wider than you’ve ever been before and in doing this, you’ll be meeting the locals and other foreign travellers along the way. The language, the words, the pronunciation, the body language and one another’s expectation will be different, but you deal with it, you learn from it and find something in common. You might be sharing a bus ride sat next to a local in Cambodia, or scuba diving in Central America with a fellow traveller from Chile, what you learn is to enjoy, embrace and interact.

You Learn What Makes You Happy

Essentially long-term travel makes you realise that there is so much happiness that can be found in life, you want more of it and realise what actually makes you happy. In comparing yourself with some other unfortunate 3rd world country citizens, you realise life isn’t all about the rat race but about being happy.

The Truth That All Cultures Are Essentially Similar

The media can perceive other foreign cultures to be alien in comparison to western expectations. Travel allows you to see other cultures first hand without the journalist report or cover story. You can relate to other culture, and discover that we’re all quite similar really as human beings. Travel allows you to seek the truth.

You Learn To Focus On You

A big positive long-term travel provides is the ability to focus on yourself, your dreams and your goals. Sometimes, living at home too long we get sucked into the thoughts and opinions of others. It’s important to care for others, but long-term travel allows a big focus on what you want to do in life.

That Friendships Don’t Have To Be Only Built At Home

Friends come from many places, home, school, work or online nowadays. Especially if you’ve lived somewhere your whole life, you’ll no doubt have your own inner circle. However, breaking away from that and going travelling long-term makes you realise you can make amazing, worldly friendships too. They may not be as regular or local to your friends back home, but with social media power you can always keep a connection and contact.

Everyone In The World Is Different

No one in the world is 100% bound to someone else, everyone has their own differences and believes. When you travel long term, the realisation that people are different is staggering. ‘Each to their own’ is often thrown about when you travel, meaning that no matter what you think, most cases people just are different and they are content with that.

To Try The Unknown

Hitting the road long-term will definitely see you try some unknown experiences. Whether it’s exotic food in South America or a sporting activity in Southeast Asia, the more you travel long-term, the more comfortable you become with the notion that travel is about new, unknown experiences.

Experience What Tourists Don’t See

It’s easy to discover the #1 tourist attractions nowadays, just Google or visit Trip Advisor. If you travel long-term however, you’ll find the best experiences are the ones with no expectation, often recommended by the locals and the everyday tourists don’t get to see.

We All Have Patience, Finding It Is Key

With all this new culture, new surroundings, language and everything else going on around you, what travelling long-term enables you to find is patience. Learning patience from travelling essentially comes from the back of being experienced at communicating with a variety of different people. This goes along way in life and in work too.

Travel Is A Privilege

One of the biggest points you can take from this article is that travel is an absolute privilege. Long-term travel illuminates that more than any other form of travel. Why? Having the chance, resources, currency and language to be able to travel to destinations afar isn’t there for everyone. Typically, travellers are from western countries with strong currencies that help a lot. One thing travelling long term is an absolute dream; you’re basically subtracting the everyday life to seek pastures new. It really is the best life travelling long-term.

You'll Want To Give Back More

Especially if you visit poorer countries one thing you’ll learn is that life isn’t all a dream for some. In fact, many places in the world have problems with poverty, basic food and water shortages, disease, corruption and war. Many people who long-term travel either want to volunteer, or give back to a cause they feel connected too.

Difference Between 1st World Problems And Just 'Problems'

Being frustrated that a train is 3 minutes late or maybe dropping your smartphone and cracking the screen are problems that occur everyday in western countries. Of course, they are frustrating, but when you travel long-term you’ll learn that they aren’t life threatening, nor in comparison to 3rd world problems don’t really meaning anything.

That Life Really Is Too Short

Travelling long-term will give you the travel bug no doubt. It doesn’t matter how much you see, how many places you visit, there is always somewhere else to go. You’ll want to see everything, and everywhere and that life really is too short.

Don’t waste a minute of it.