How Does Travelling Make You a Better Person? What You Need to Know

We’ve all heard it said that travel broadens the mind, and it’s an extremely accurate and descriptive cliché – mainly because it’s true. You can gain far more knowledge from one year travelling the planet than you can in ten years looking at a textbook, which is probably why more and more parents are “home” schooling their children while on a trip around the world. But perhaps the most useful knowledge you will gain when you’re on the road will be about yourself. In this day and age, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and feelings coupled with an over-reliance on western medical principles, has managed to suck the life out of many people – and many of those people don’t honestly see a way out of it. But the answer is as plain as the nose on your face – go travelling.

You can gain far more knowledge from one year travelling the planet than you can in ten years looking at a textbook.

In today’s blog post, we, as long-term globetrotters and travel buddies, are going to give you our thoughts on how travelling will make you a better person, and why you need it – even if you think you don’t.

Feeding elephants Agness and Cez of Etramping
Go explore the world, meet people, feed elephants and be happy!

Why we should all travel

Mark Twain said “…travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness…” and he was not wrong! We live in a world that is blighted by racism, hatred and xenophobia – but these negativities are born from misunderstanding and fear – which can be fought with education and courage. Stepping out your front door to travel the big wide world might be utterly terrifying, but it will ultimately lead you on a path of acceptance, serenity and mindfulness. And not only is travelling fatal to the hatred of other cultures, it’s also fatal to your own insecurities, depression, low self-esteem and anxieties. In short, there is basically no disadvantages to travelling – so you’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain. We’ve provided a handy guide below to assist you.

Agness of Etramping in Zurich
Stepping out your front door to travel the big wide world will ultimately lead you on a path of acceptance, serenity and mindfulness.

Who would benefit from travelling? Everyone.

Who wouldn’t benefit from travelling? No one.

It’s literally that simple. So, what exactly will you gain?

Life Skills

Travelling, especially travelling solo, is a sure-fire way to improve your life skills. You’ll develop more than just an acute sense of direction when you’re on the road. Everything from timekeeping to understanding currencies, to knowing how to negotiate packed train stations carrying everything you own on your back. You’ll learn how to solve problems, how to think critically and quickly, how to adapt to any situation and how to communicate effectively. You’ll also learn the vital skill of empathy – which is much needed in today’s society. And by the end of this strip, you’ll know how to peel a potato properly – a significantly underrated skill to possess!

cooking, scrambled egg, forest
Travelling can teach you how to cook and survive in the wild.

Instant Stress Buster

Sure, travelling can provide you with its own kind of stress, but with a bit of practice and advice (stick with us) you’ll be hopping around the globe like a pro in no time. And travelling is an amazing stress buster – especially if you learn to let go, clear your mind and enjoy the sights and surroundings you find yourself in. Stepping out of a frantic office and onto a beach somewhere does wonders for your blood pressure, and for your zest and energy for life.

Agness of Etramping is eating a waffle in Brussels
Travelling makes me happy or … just a waffle with whipped cream on top :)

Endorphin Release

Travel, much like exercise, is the best way to combat anxiety, depression and other negative thoughts that might plague you in your life. Getting out into the big wide world and seeing new things, making new memories and having new experiences will release those all-important endorphins into your brain – which help to beat the black dog and his friends. Keeping on the move keeps the negativities occupied, and you’ll be amazed at how such simple distraction can make you feel. Travel makes you happy.

Education, Education, Education

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer, someone once said. There are also books – but the idea is there. You’ll learn so much more from experiencing a country first hand than you will reading a book about it. Learning about new peoples, countries and cultures by actually visiting them is the number one way to destroy xenophobia and bigotry. And you’re likely to be a smarter, funnier, more entertaining dinner guest in the process. Maybe.

Learning about new peoples, countries and cultures by actually visiting them is the number one way to destroy xenophobia and bigotry.

Friend Magnet

Arguably one of the best things about travelling is all the friends you make along the way. You might think that you have friends now, and some of them might very well be with you for the long haul. But there’s no accounting for the characters you meet when you’re moving from place to place, and you’ll discover genuine, life-long friendships from people that you might only get to know for a few days! Such is the power of travelling and the shared experience – you all have something in common, and that’s something you will cherish for the rest of your lives.

Happy people during the elephant tour
You can meet awesome people on the road, create unique bonds and even find your second half :)

It’s All About the Confidence!

There’s nothing quite like the sense of achievement when you return home from a long period of travel or accomplish something marvellous while you’re still on the road. And with that feeling comes a renewed sense of confidence. Whether you were busting with it in the first place or a timid little wallflower, travelling will breed a confidence that will encourage you to achieve anything in your life – and not let anyone bring you down along the way. Go get ‘em, tiger!

Agness cruising
Take a control of your life and be more confident – that’s what travelling taught me.

The Truth and Nothing but the Truth

Governments and the media spoon feed us all with a skewed sense of reality regarding other countries, attempting to instil fear, control populations and divide nations. The best way to beat them at this game? Travelling! A journey to a country that has a bad reputation at home will often surprise you with just how beautiful it is and how hospitable the people are. Especially the likes of North Korea or Iran. Wherever you go, you’ll be able to return with the truth – and with the ability to speak out against lies and propaganda when you hear it.

Tour guides in North Korea
Memorable moment from North Korea.

A Polished Resume

An often-overlooked advantage of travelling is how much more employable it makes you. We’re not just talking jobs in the industry – although seeing 65 countries plus is a big advantage there – but in all walks of life and in all occupations. Employers will be impressed by all those aforementioned life skills you’ve picked up along the way, and communication is an essential skill for most companies these days. A boss won’t see a gap year student as a bum, rather someone with a thirst for knowledge about the world – and the skills to go in search of it. That’ll certainly give you an advantage over someone who has never left their hometown!

It Doesn’t Stop!

This is literally all we have time for, but the list is not exhaustive. Travelling benefits you in so many more ways, and sometimes the fun part is discovering just how much you can learn and develop as a person when you’re out there experiencing it. You’ll return a bigger, brighter, stronger, more confident, knowledgeable and understanding version of the person who set foot out into the unknown all those days, weeks, months or years before. And that is absolutely priceless.

What have you learned while travelling? Let us know your best stories!

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About Agness

Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"


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10 Comments

  • Amen Agness. Travel! Experience the world. Release prejudice. Observe how most of the news is fear-based, and also, pure lies, painting an entire nation or region as dangerous. Be someone who becomes worldly, to inspire other folks to do the same.

  • Great post! Travel for sure makes you more open for different ways of life and more adaptable to situations. I can only agree with you that traveling has made me a better person in many aspects. You’re more understanding of other points of views and more tolerate. I’d say to travel is one of the most enriching experiences on earth :)

  • That was so well written. Thanks for sharing your travel story. It will really help me plan my trip. This is the first time I am visiting your blog and I am highly inspired and motivated. Wish you a Happy New Year and Happy Traveling.

    • Thanks a lot, Jacky. We’re super happy to hear that. Please let us know if we can further help with your travel plans this year. Wishing you a great year as well! Kiss from Hualien, Taiwan :)

  • Thank you for this post Agness! I started travelling not so long ago. In 2014 was my first international trip and since then I could not stop myself. Travelling has given me motivation to learn more languages and try new cuisines and wines. This cannot be experienced at home. One thing I can say that really changed in my life is healthy eating after visiting different countries. As someone who is living in the USA, I would say knowing what is healthy is very important.

    • I’m so happy to hear that, Sanskar. I’m a real holistic princess and I love eating healthy. You will always find my plate filled up with veggies and I support local markets whenever I travel to. Keep up the good work with eating clean and never stop exploring the world :) I’m so proud of you!

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