Why travel could change you forever

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Holidaying is very different to ‘travelling’. The aim of a holiday is probably to reconnect with friends and loved ones, have some fun and return home fully refreshed and ready to face the daily grind again. Holidays might place in villas and resorts, and we often return to our favourite holiday destinations time and again. We all need a holiday sometimes!

Travel on the other hand, is about taking yourself away from what you know and the spaces you feel safe in, and throwing yourself, sometimes gently, into a whole new place. Travelling isn’t necessarily where you go, it’s more about how you go, and the experiences you gain along the way. Find out why travel could change you, and how to make the most of your experiences.

What is a ‘traveller’?

The idea of a ‘traveller’ is no longer confined to stereotypes of young hippies with flowing hair, or middle-aged single men with backpacks and hiking boots. To travel today, you don’t need to embark on an overland journey across half the world, as Lonely Planet’s founders once admirably did. You don’t even need to leave your own country to discover how much there is to gain from travel.

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In a recent survey of over 7500 Lonely Planet fans, 92% said that they see travel as an opportunity for positive change. Whether that’s change within yourself, or change you can help influence, there’s no denying that travel and the experiences it delivers can change you forever.

Why should we travel?

 

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In a world that sometimes feels divided and divisive, travel can remind us that we’re all living on the same planet, albeit in many different ways. In the words of our readers, ‘Travelling is an opportunity to shift your perspectives and learn from other cultures.’ It ‘connects us with different cultures and exposes us to international concerns and issues’, and it allows us ‘to let go of generalisations and stereotypes put forth by media and experience first-hand a new culture and experience’.

60% of the survey participants across all age groups said they view travel as an opportunity for personal growth more than they used to – which suggests people nowadays care more than they used to about self-improvement through travel. One of the main ways our readers saw self-improvement from their travel experiences was in their confidence. Every time you push yourself outside of your comfort zone, even just a little, you’re increasing your self-reliance. As one reader said, ‘I have grown as a person simply by learning to deal with uncomfortable situations.’ Being lost in Peru and your only bank card having been sucked into the ATM seems horrendous at the time, but how you fix the situation and the confidence you gain from this will last you a lifetime.

This article was first published on www.lonelyplanet.com.