Guest post: Whitney O’Halek is the founder of QuickWhitTravel.com, and her mission is to inspire others to travel, whether that’s outside the city limits or outside the country’s borders. She specializes in travel tips, planning resources, and her favorite: What I Ate Wednesdays! You can follow her blog at www.quickwhittravel.com, or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @quickwhittravel!
If you’d like to guest post – click here.
Why would anyone want to travel? And how could anyone think they need to travel? I get those questions often, and I’ve come up with a few reasons why traveling can change your life. Follow along with me!
To Understand Others
Traveling somewhere new is the only way to begin to understand people in a place and culture other than your own. You don’t have to know the native language to communicate with others, you just have to be willing to understand that your way is not the only way–and perhaps not even the best way! As I began to travel, I also began to understand that I don’t have to understand. No one who lives anywhere else, and does something I’d never want to do for a living, needs me to understand their way of life. I only need to respect them and be kind.
To Understand Yourself
Traveling has taught me a great deal about myself. I’m smarter than I thought, but also much clumsier. I can also make do with just about anything, just about anywhere. And I can make friends with just about anyone! This doesn’t mean I “found myself” while traveling; I know who I am and where I’ve come from. What I didn’t know was whether or not I could survive outside of my tiny hometown. Turns out, I can! And anyone else can, too. Traveling makes people realize there’s more to themselves than meets the eye. I learned so much about myself and God’s love and care for me while I was there.
To Gain Confidence
Traveling has given me the confidence to do more than I ever dreamed possible on my own. I’ve climbed glaciers and learned to ski in the Alaskan wilderness, seen the Fairy Chimneys in Cappadocia, Turkey, and snorkeled at the Great Barrier Reef! Sure, those are cool, “once in a lifetime” things to do. But what’s more, they’re the kind of opportunities that give a person confidence.
To Gain Humility
So now that we’ve talked about confidence, let’s point out the humility that also comes with traveling. I don’t mean utter humiliation, I mean the realization that others have it harder than you. Others have a better way of doing things than you. Many people around the world speak two, three, or even more languages very skillfully. My Swiss friend Bianca has achieved fluency in four languages and can communicate in six more! It amazes and humbles me, especially after I traveled to France with her–she’s fluent in French, and all I can say is “merci!”
To Learn How to Roll with It
Sometimes you have to sleep in the airport. Sometimes volcanic activity cancels your flight and there seem to be no other flight options for the next 34 hours. Sometimes your travel companions are not where they said they’d be, and they totally say it’s your fault–but then you have to swallow your pride and spend the next week with them. And you have to roll with the punches!
I’ve never once had a perfectly smooth trip, but I have survived each and every one, and I’ve had to learn a lot of patience along the way! Traveling teaches us how to take every moment for what it’s worth and to adjust our expectations to make it to the next event. There is always another flight, there are always people to help, and you will make it!
Why do you travel? Or what’s holding you back?
For more great life hacks and tips, subscribe to get my free 50 Every Day Life Hacks Cheat Sheet straight to your inbox! Click the link, or:
Also published on Medium.