How Travelling Encourages Self-Development

How Travelling Encourages Self-Development

Home means being surrounded by the people who know you best. These family members, colleagues and friends have been around for ages and you can rely on their care and/or support in whatever the circumstances.  Do you remember your first day at school? All of a sudden you were in unfamiliar surroundings in the midst of strange faces and unrecognisable sounds. There was no chance of going back home as your parents had already driven off to their places of work and apparently you were obligated to stay there and learn.  And learn you would – all those facts, figures, field trips and classroom experiments ensured that you had a good education. But perhaps the most important lessons were those that came from interacting with other people - learning how to deal with different people in a variety of different circumstances. Those were the lessons that really served you later on in life.

Self-development through travel

Travelling to new places, especially on your own, is much like those first experiences at school. In the beginning, you do not know anyone and you also do not know much about where you are. You have to strike a balance between adapting to your new surroundings and staying true to yourself as an individual. You have to make new friends and find new support networks, however temporary.  This requires a lot of courage and determination because the people you meet are not like those familiar faces from back home. When you travel, you are constantly meeting new people and you are constantly being challenged to see the world from different perspectives This teaches you so much, not only about others, but about yourself too. This is perhaps travel’s greatest gift. And this is a gift that keeps on giving, because the knowledge and skills you acquire as a traveller will stand you in good stead for the future. Travel is widely recognised as an enriching experience that equips people with a host of transferable skills - it is something you should not hesitate to include on your resume . Some of those valuable skills are self-knowledge and open-mindedness. Part of knowing yourself is knowing where you come from. And you can only truly know where you come from if you have left that place behind at some point and seen it from another perspective. When you travel, you do not just find out more about other cultures, but you also learn a lot about your own. By coming into contact with different ways of life and other ways of looking at the world, you develop the ability to view your country and culture more objectively.  When you combine this with an increased knowledge of other societies, the result is a more well-rounded perspective of the world. In fact, these days even science agrees that travelling is one of the best ways to encourage self-development. The best way to really get to know a city, country or region is, of course, to stay there for a long period of time. But when you travel long-term you will probably have to pay more attention to your budget and you may want to find ways of making money along the way (by being a digital nomad , for example), or at least find ways to save money. 


This is where Worldpackers can help. Worldpackers is an online platform and community whose aim is to facilitate meaningful travel experiences by connecting travellers with hosts all around the world where you can exchange your skills for accommodation. If you are looking for a profound cultural experience, this is the way to travel!  By doing a work exchange with Worldpackers, you will learn a lot about the local community and forge relationships with local people rather than just fellow travellers. You’ll save on costs like accommodation and food while learning a great deal more about a place than you would if you were just passing through. By taking the time to get to know places and people, you’ll make even deeper connections and acquire even more priceless memories. Part of the Worldpackers ethos is the belief that experience is the greatest teacher. And what better way to gain a lot of experience than to leave your comfort zone and travel in order to find out more about the world as well as about yourself?

Get out there!

Self-development is a human need; we all want to make something of ourselves and discover who we are and where we come from. Travel, without a doubt, is one of the best ways to realise these goals.  Travelling the world enables us to learn more about other people, cultures and, in turn, ourselves. Staying in a place for a while, working, volunteering or doing a work exchange all lead to a deeper experience after which you will have almost certainly have evolved in a positive way.  There is so much to learn out there, beyond those familiar places where we feel safe and stable, so do not hesitate to go for it and let experience be your teacher. Written by Helen Talbot

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