How Travel Helps You Redefine Yourself

Ah, travel. It’s that magical, all-encompassing word that can make you feel both exhilarated and a little nervous all at once.

We’ve all seen the glossy Instagram shots of pristine beaches, busy markets, and awe-inspiring landmarks.

But beyond the photos and the “likes,” travel holds a profound power to transform everyone. It’s not just about ticking off destinations on your bucket list.

No, it goes deeper than that.

Travel helps you redefine yourself in ways you never imagined.

It makes you want to eat more and eat healthier, it makes you less afraid, it makes you more comfortable, and this is just the tip of the iceberg!

So, with that said, let’s dive into how hitting the road (or the skies or the seas) can completely change your life.

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In What Ways Can This Help You Redefine Who You Are?

So, here are some things that you can expect! 

A person in a black jacket sits on a rock, overlooking a mountain landscape with a golden sunrise in the background.
Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

First things first, travel yanks you right out of your comfort zone.

You’re in a new place, possibly with a different language, unfamiliar customs, and foods that might make you raise an eyebrow. It’s like being a kid again, trying to make sense of a world that’s suddenly very different. 

This isn’t just challenging; it’s exhilarating. You learn to adapt, to be flexible, and to handle the unexpected with a smile (or at least, without a meltdown).

Each little victory, like navigating a foreign subway system or haggling at a local market, boosts your confidence. You’re constantly proving to yourself that you can handle whatever life throws your way.

Meeting New People

One of the best parts of traveling is the people you meet.

Just think about it: from fellow travellers in a hostel or on a tour to locals who give you directions, every interaction is a chance to learn something new. These connections can be brief but impactful. 

You might swap stories with a backpacker from Australia or share a meal with a family in Italy.

Besides, each person you meet has their own story, their own perspective, and these encounters can profoundly change how you see the world and your place in it.

You begin to realise that, despite cultural differences, there’s a shared humanity that connects us all.

Broadening Your Perspective

Now, you have to keep in mind that travelling to new places exposes you to different ways of living, thinking, and being.

You see firsthand that there’s not just one way to live a life. Maybe you’ll discover a slower pace in a small village in Thailand or the hustle of a big city like Tokyo.

You’ll see how people find joy, build communities, and solve problems in diverse ways. This exposure challenges your assumptions and broadens your worldview.

But overall, you start to see your own life and culture in a new light, recognising the strengths and flaws you never noticed before. It’s like cleaning a dusty window – suddenly, everything looks clearer.

A serene beach scene at sunset with gentle waves lapping the shore, a colorful sky with scattered clouds, and distant palm trees.
LPhoto by Sean Oulashin on Unsplash

Learning About Yourself

Another funny thing about travelling: the further you go, the closer you get to yourself.

Without the distractions of your daily routine, you have the space to reflect on your life, your goals, and your values.

Maybe while hiking through the Andes, you realise how much you value simplicity and nature.

Or, while navigating the crowded streets of Mumbai, you discover a new appreciation for patience and adaptability.

You’ll Figure Out What You Want in a Career

But it’s not even just that specifically, you learn about what you want in life, maybe this involves a career too? Who knows!

For example, maybe during your travels itself you discovered things you loved, or something that you want to be. Honestly, it’s not really impossible! 

Technically, some people combine their careers with travel, such as special schools (like a baking school in France) or a job that requires travel (like a hairdresser on a cruise ship).

Speaking of cruise ships, a lot of people love working on one because it’s a mix of learning about themselves and they see the world. 

Circling back to the hairdresser example, technically, in this case, if you’re training for this in a training program (yes, they do exist), you’re not only learning what is a color rinse as clients may want it but later on you’ll be learning about yourself and what you want for your career.

Seriously, where is the rut when you get to travel for work? It’s basically a nonstop opportunity for getting to know yourself!

Embracing Spontaneity

So, this goes back to what was being said about about being in a rut. Back home, life can be pretty predictable. You know your schedule, your favorite coffee shop, and your go-to Friday night plans. Travel throws all of that out the window.

When you’re on the road, things rarely go exactly as planned. Trains get delayed, the weather changes, and sometimes you get lost.

But here’s the thing – these moments of unpredictability often lead to the best experiences.

You might stumble upon a hidden gem of a restaurant because you took a wrong turn or end up in a fascinating conversation with a local because you missed your bus.

But generally speaking, travel teaches you to embrace spontaneity and go with the flow, making you more adaptable and open to new experiences in everyday life.

A yellow van drives along a road through a rocky desert landscape with large red rock formations under a partly cloudy sky.
Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

Finding Inspiration

There’s something about new surroundings that sparks creativity and inspiration. It could be anything really during your travels, but you have to remember that travel can reignite your passion for life and give you fresh ideas.

Just think about it this way: writers find new stories to tell, artists discover new muses, and everyone finds new ways of seeing the world. 

Even if you don’t consider yourself particularly creative, you might find that travel inspires you to try new things – cooking a new dish, picking up a new hobby, or simply changing up your routine back home.

Building Up Resilience

It’s not always this incredible experience nonstop- everyone wants that, but it’s not exactly the reality though. So, you have to remember that travel isn’t always easy.

There are challenges, setbacks, and sometimes downright disasters. But each obstacle you overcome makes you stronger and more resilient. Lost luggage? You’ll figure it out. Language barrier?

You’ll find a way to communicate. Missed flight? You’ll find an alternative. These experiences teach you to handle adversity with grace and humor.

You learn that you’re capable of more than you ever imagined, and this newfound resilience carries over into all aspects of your life.

How Travel Can Help You Discover Your True Identity

Well, rediscovering yourself and finding your true identity honestly go hand in hand. When you think about discovering your true identity, you might imagine soul-searching sessions at home, surrounded by familiar comforts.

But here’s a curveball: sometimes, to truly find yourself, you need to lose yourself—literally.

Travel isn’t just about seeing new places and snapping enviable photos; it’s a profound journey into the depths of who you are. So, how can hitting the road lead to self-discovery?

A colorful globe on a wooden table with an out-of-focus background, depicting various countries and continents.
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

Breaking Free from Routine

Remember what was mentioned earlier? Well, this ties in with that. At home, life can fall into a predictable pattern. While routines can be comforting, they can also be stifling. You might not even realize how much you’re stuck in a rut until you step away from it all. 

Travel shakes up your routine in the best possible way. Suddenly, every day is different, filled with new experiences, challenges, and decisions.

This break from the norm forces you to think on your feet and make choices based solely on your instincts and desires, not out of habit.

It’s in these moments of spontaneity that you often discover what truly excites and motivates you.

Exploring Interests and Passions

Remember what was mentioned about finding the type of career you’d want due to travel? Well, this actually ties in with that!

Now, travel is a fantastic way to delve into interests you never knew you had.

Maybe you’ve always lived in the city and have never tried hiking, but a trip to the Swiss Alps introduces you to the breathtaking beauty of nature, and you find a new passion for the great outdoors. 

Or perhaps you stumble upon a cooking class in Thailand and realize that you love experimenting with exotic flavors and ingredients. You get out of this bubble, you learn more, and you discover what you want in life! 

You Get to Reflect on Life Back Home

Ironically, being away from home can give you a new perspective on your everyday life. Distance provides clarity.

When you’re removed from your regular environment, you have the mental space to reflect on your life back home. Are you happy with your career? 

Do your relationships fulfil you? Are you living in a way that aligns with your values and goals? Travel offers a unique vantage point from which to evaluate these aspects of your life.

The insights gained during your journeys can guide you in making changes that better reflect your true identity.

So while travel may be a fun way to spend some time, there is a lot to learn from it too. Get out there and explore the world.

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Find flights – I always use Skyscanner as my starting point when searching for flights. One search will give many options including airlines I may not have thought of. This means I can find the best possible flights to suit my needs

Book accommodation – my go to is always for the best places to stay. It’s not just hotels anymore, but hostels, apartments, B&Bs and more. I love that the bookings are usually cancellable, and that I can book now and pay later.

Hire a rental is my go to here. It allows me to do just one search and it finds cars from many of the different supplies, so no checking multiple websites to compare.

Get travel insurance – you would have heard by now that saying “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel”. If we’ve learnt anything from the last couple of years it should be how essential travel insurance is. I use CoverMore for my insurance.

Pick up an eSIM – I tried an eSIM on my last trip and it was fantastic. I set it up before I went so it was ready as soon as I landed, and I still had access to my home number for emergencies. Get your own eSIM at Airalo.

Book activities, tours & attractions – I use a few different websites for this. Viator and Get Your Guide tend to be the first places I look. In Asia, Klook often has more options, and in Australia it’s Experience Oz.

Manage your money – the best way to manage your different currencies is with an account from Wise. You can hold money in many different currencies, and use them with the ATM card or from your phone.