I truly believe that nothing opens your mind as much as travelling does. Having the ability and freedom to travel is something I surely haven’t taken for granted and it really has shaped me as an individual. I’ve been very lucky that my family have been able to afford to take me to Thailand every year, as I know for some they can only dream of going to a far away country. However, I would definitely recommend to anyone to save up and just go, whether it be with a close friend, a partner, a sibling or even by yourself, go and experience another part of the world and get out of your comfort zone. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune and you’ll find that particularly in Asian countries or third world countries that the cost of living is peanuts to us and the experience is worth so much more than money sat in your bank account.
So, why do I think travelling makes you richer? I guess I can only speak from experience so I’m going to let you know some of the life skills I have picked up from travelling.
I think I come across as a very shy, reserved sort of person and often people seem to think I am a bit of a snob but I assure you, I am not. I find socialising with people I don’t know very difficult and I sometimes feel as though I suffer with anxiety when being introduced to strangers. Although I still suffer with meeting strangers, when I am abroad and faced with people who can’t speak my language I seem to become a totally different person. I can’t be nervous because I don’t want people to think I am weak and/or an easy target for anything such as theft or whatever.
I guess this point follows on well from self confidence, as I mentioned above about my ability to communicate better with others. I love that the world is a mix of wonderful different languages and beliefs. That’s what makes this world so magnificent and although we may struggle communicating, it makes it all that more fun and using gestures or drawing pictures to try and explain yourself is all part of the experience. These awkward conversations of repeating yourself several times has the ability to create great friendships. I’ve met some truly lovely people, even though I can’t understand them, I know that they will be life long friends.
Restoring Faith in Humanity
I don’t know about you but whenever I watch the news I feel as though we forget about all the good in the world. We are so blinded by all this terrorist crap that we ultimately believe that there are no good people left. We are scared to venture to other countries in case of being attacked, kidnapped or murdered. When you eventually take the plunge and travel you actually forget about all the bad in the world. People are so kind, they are willing to give you everything even though they have nothing and it’s so heartwarming to experience. I know this isn’t necessarily every single country in the world and I can only speak of my time in south east Asia but on a whole, you will find that most are willing to make your stay in their country a pleasurable one.
Not only do you come back with a set of valuable life skills but also a diary full of memories. Wonderful, exciting memories you can share with you friends and family that will be repeated over and over again that some might get sick of hearing but you won’t tire repeating those memories because will take you back to that trip of a lifetime. So take opportunities, book that last minute holiday, do something a little out of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to see the world because it’s a beautiful world we live in and we need to stay connected.
Value of Money
You may think you need money to live a happy life which we do because we need to eat and live comfortably but I don’t think it is the root of our happiness. I know we have a very different lifestyle to those living in Asian countries but I’m not sure I would call it a better lifestyle. I’ve visited very rural parts of Thailand, where families have nothing. Their homes are literally a floor, a bed, toilet and bucket of water to clean themselves with and what surprises me most is that they are the happiest most content people I have ever come across.
Something that stuck in my mind that I will never forget was a few years ago when I visited my Gran in the North of Thailand and we had bought some luxury items for the children of the village (and by luxury, I mean crisps). Their faces lit up and they savoured every single crisp they put in their mouths. It actually took one boy all evening to even get to the bottom of his bag and when his mum said it was time for home, he thought he had to leave the rest of the crips and he folded it up and left it on the side. When my dad said he could take it, he was so excited it was like he had just won the lottery. I’m rambling now but you get the point of the story right? Sometimes it isn’t the value of a gift, it’s just the thought that counts.
Do you have any travelling stories you would like to share? Perhaps you’ve gone travelling and you’ve come back a totally different person after experiencing another part of the world. Let me know in the comment box below, I’d love to hear your stories. xo