Today I was sat in my living room having a conversation with my flatmates about the benefits of traveling. The topic is a common one in my house, as the girls I live with are all keen travelers who all have holidays planned for this year, and I’m an international student who spends my spare time exploring Europe. And as the conversation developed, a few key things started to become clear about the benefits of traveling while you’re young.
- It’s cheaper. I know that sounds a little counter-intuitive given that traveling is generally considered to be an expensive endeavor, but when you’re young and willing to crash on someone’s couch or in a cheap hostel, and fly on the cheapest airline, your trip will be a lot cheaper than if you had kids involved, expectations of a fancy hotel, etc.
- It’s a learning experience. This one is key. Traveling abroad alone, or with friends or a partner, is a fantastic way to learn a whole lot in a small amount of time. For example, compare what you remember about your Year 10 science class with the amount of stuff you remember about a trip you took as a teenager. Chances are, you remember a whole lot of little details and interesting info from your trip, and very little from Year 10 math. That’s because traveling is eye-opening and enriching in ways that school or regular learning environments can’t compare to.
- It breaks up the mundane routines in life. Sometimes, it’s good to just get away from your comfort zone and stretch your horizons a little.
- It’s a great way to get to know someone. There was a book published recently called 30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans in which the author interviews 1000 elderly people about advice they’d like to give to young people, things they regret in life, etc. And the number on regret that people had about their relationships was not having traveled with their partner. It’s a great way to see how a person reacts to being outside their comfort zone and making the most of (sometimes) bad situations. It’s also a fairly clear indicator of compatibility if you can sit in a car or next to someone on a plane for hours on end, sleep in strange places, eat food you can’t pronounce the name of, and find ways to spend your days that both people find fulfilling. One interviewee in the book talks about his experience travelling with his wife-to-be in Germany when he finished college: “That period when you are meeting people from all over the world and thrown onto your own resources, detached from family and other pressures — it’s a truly life-changing experience,” he said, referencing his own travel in Germany after college with his spouse-to-be. “To go through that with someone, where you’re dealing with those kinds of challenges together, it’s sort of a signature way to start a relationship and really be reliant on one another.”
I’m sure there are tons more reasons why travelling is beneficial, but there’s a few to get you started on planning up your next adventure. Enjoy!
Categories: Student Relish