10 Ways Traveling To Another Country Changes You for the Better

April 24, 2014
traveling to another country

10 Ways Traveling To Another Country Changes You for the Better

1. You will find that you become significantly more relatable.

When traveling to another country, not only will you get to see another place, but you will also learn a lot about another culture. You will interact with locals as well as with other travelers. For this reason, you will get a sense of what it is like to live somewhere different and will learn about the different types of people who come from various countries.

Every time you go somewhere new, you will acquire skills that will make you much more relatable to the people that you meet. You will gain the trust and admiration of people who realize you took the time to see their home country. About a year ago I went to Macedonia, a small country in Eastern Europe that most people do not typically visit. Before I went on my trip, I randomly met a man from that country. Not only was he extremely impressed that I even knew where his country was, but he also appreciated the fact that I wanted to see what Macedonia was all about. I ended up spending hours talking to this man about where to go and what to do. We talked about the meaning of life and he gave me wise advice on how to live and what really makes someone happy. I felt as if I became immediately close with this man, simply because I was visiting his country. And this was not the first or last time I instantly connected with someone because of traveling. I can go on and on, giving accounts of how I related to people based on traveling.

You will also make friends who live all over the world when traveling. Whether you realize it at the time or not, this means you are instantly connected to tons of other people living around the world. The more countries you see, and the more people you meet, means that you have one more thing to talk about and connect with someone on. And that’s what life’s about, right? Forming connections with people brings a sort of mutual understanding and acceptance to the world.

2. You will find out how to improvise and be adaptable.

Being adaptable is one of the greatest characteristics you can possess. When traveling to another country, you will be forced to become adaptable outside of the comforts of your home. You will also learn how to improvise. You will not always have access to what you typically have access to. Sometimes you won’t even have access to some of the basics, such as toilet paper or clean water. As you realize that not everyone lives as comfortably as you are used to, you will learn to “figure things out” and appreciate what you have.

You cannot be closed-minded when traveling because you are thrown into different situations on a daily basis that will push you toward becoming an adaptable person. Trust me, you will learn from these situations and become a better person because of them.

3. You will find first-hand that money doesn’t buy happiness

You hear it all the time: “Money doesn’t buy happiness.” However, many people don’t realize how true this statement actually is. When you travel, you may be around people who live with much less than you are used to. You will see that these people tend to be just as happy, if not happier than those people at home who are caught up in their materialistic lifestyles.

If you have all the basic necessities, are surrounded by people who love and care about you, and you find meaning in your life, you will be satisfied. It is always refreshing to find that although many people in the world would not be able to afford a new flatscreen TV or an iPad, they are no less happy than the person who has all these things. Once you are enlightened with this reality, you will find happiness in less rather than more.

4. You will find out how powerful nature really is.

Nature is almighty. Although people know that nature is powerful, traveling really makes the power of nature much clearer. Travelers spend a good amount of time outside and many of the destinations travelers seek are nature-related. You will find inspiration in watching the sun set on a secluded beach.  You will feel fear and wander out in the middle of a jungle with nothing but trees all around you and the stars in the sky.  You will realize how small you are compared to the rush of water pouring down the mountains. Yes, you can have all these same revelations while in your own town, but often, it takes traveling to really get out in the middle of nowhere as you are trying to explore the unknown.

When you take the time to live day by day outside, you will feel as if you are a part of something amazing. The diversity of nature around the world will inspire you in so many ways.

5. You will find that the majority of people will help you if they can.

Many people are stuck in their thoughts that people who are “different” from them are bad or untrustworthy. It can be scary going to a new location where you may not speak the language or know about the way of life there, but it is important to remember that the general public anywhere is good. Most people just want to live as peacefully as possible. While there are those who will try to cheat, steal, or cause you harm, they do not represent the masses.

Although I have gotten items stolen while backpacking, both now and in the past, the people willing to help you out during those situations are far plentier than the ones who steals from you. I got my phone stolen during my current backpacking adventure in Nicaragua. While it was frustrating at the time, there were so many people who went out of their way to help me out. It might take one bad instance to bring out the good in all of the other people around you. It is not hard to realize that most people will do whatever they can to help you out, no matter where you are.

6. You will find you have to be accepting.

People live their lives in different ways, have different beliefs, and enjoy different things. This is what makes the world go ’round. If everyone was the same, life would be boring. As you travel, you realize that there are many ways of doing the same thing and you learn to be accepting of people. Your mind will be open to ways of life you probably would never have imagined and as you see that not everything is done in one way, you will become more accepting.

7. You will find happiness in simplicity.

Life is full of nonsense that will break you down. It is so easy to get caught up in a stressful, negative, uninspiring lifestyle. Traveling, however, breaks your normal routine. You will suddenly be forced to sit and think during your long periods of travel time. You will find that life is made up of small beautiful moments that carry so much meaning to you and only you, and you will realize that simplicity is key.

Whether you are sitting in a cafe drinking coffee and discussing the meaning of life with a friend, lying outside under the sun in a green park, or reading a book, you will come to realize that these few moments are so special. No one can take away those moments of joy you have throughout your life. Travel experiences are irreplaceable and the simple meaning you find in travel will help you to live happily ever after, or as close as it gets.

8. You will find there are truly inspiring people out there.

People are amazing. People will never cease to impress you if you let them. As you travel around and meet all different kinds of people, you will feel truly inspired by so many of them. Everyone has a history and you will be surprised by just how many people have interesting stories to tell. Many people have lived through a lot just to get to where they are today.

Traveling forces you to interact with so many different types of people on a daily basis. As your eyes open to various cultures and histories, you will find that so many people are simply great.

9. You will find out just how independent you can be.

Traveling forces you to make decisions you would not normally have to make. It puts you in all kinds of situations in which you will be forced to think on your feet. As you will not be able to rely on the people you would typically call to help you out, you will gain a sense of independence. This especially rings true for people who travel solo. Don’t think this means you will have to do everything on your own, but you may have to ask a stranger for help rather than just rely on someone you already know.

This newfound independence will make you feel much more empowered and you will gain a sense of confidence in yourself you didn’t even know you had.

10. You will find yourself.

Traveling is a learning experience. Everyday you spend away will teach you something new, not only about the world, but also about yourself. You will find out things about yourself you would have never known if you hadn’t taken a chance and traveled.

As you are thrown into a whirlwind of meeting people, seeing so many amazing sites (and sometimes not so amazing sites), and making decisions, you will realize that you are so small and seemingly so insignificant but that you also have the power to really make changes in the world. You will find that the “you only live once” philosophy couldn’t be more true and now is the time to live. You will realize that nothing means anything but everything means something.

You will be confused but much wiser. You will have more opinions but will also be more open-minded to other people’s opinions. You will catch the travel bug and won’t ever want to stop, but you will also get homesick. You will love so many people and so many things. You will find yourself and you will be better for it.


Photo for 10 Ways Traveling To Another Country Changes You for the Better by Alanna Murphy.

About Alanna Murphy

Alana Murphy is a curious person who takes an interest in many things. For her, traveling is one of the best ways to learn not only about yourself, but also about others and this amazing world we live in. The excitement of meeting new people, exploring an unknown area, and the challenge of being out of your comfort zone are all part of the appeal of traveling.

One thought on “10 Ways Traveling To Another Country Changes You for the Better

  1. Wendy
    October 12, 2014

    Love what you’ve written.
    I totally relate to your point #1. I was chatting with a Polish guy the other day when travellin in Caucasus Georgia & we talked about the Nazi war. When I mentioned Katyn being one of places affectedm he was so impressed.
    He keeps asking me to visit him in Poland 🙂

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