Travel is inherently risky. The moment you leave the confines of your safe home and start exploring the world, you see just what a precarious place it is.
But with these risks come tremendous rewards. When you travel, it transforms you as a person.
So, what are some specific ways risks make travel more worthwhile? Let’s take a look.
A Shift In Perspective
When you view the world through the lens of your culture, everything tends to look “normal” and you can’t see the fundamental assumptions you are making. Then when you go abroad, foreign cultures bring these into sharp relief. Suddenly, you get a new view of life and the world, broadening your horizons and showing you your strengths and weaknesses.
What’s fascinating about these changes in perspectives is how they are always utterly unexpected. You never see them coming. But when they arrive, they have a lasting and profound impact.
An Appreciation Of What You Have
Another thing the risk of travel gives you is an appreciation for what you have. When you explore the globe, you see just how remarkable and unusual your position is, as someone even able to travel to where they’d like to go. Most people have little other than the clothes on their backs and the food on the table.
When you come home, you also have a newfound appreciation for everyday things. For instance, traveling abroad to megacities in the developing world deprives you of clean air and green open spaces. But when you go home, you can access these easily. The whole place looks like a garden.
You also enjoy the fact that you can find the food you love anywhere. You don’t have to endure foreign cuisine not made for your body.
Stepping outside of your home country and taking risks also enables you to build deeper connections with those around you. You can get out of routines, opening up opportunities to get to know people better compared to the office.
These connections forged in the context of risk often go much deeper than those found in superficial professional acquaintances. That shared sensation can have a lasting effect, causing relationships to endure for many years.
Perhaps the main benefit of travel is the personal growth it offers, despite the obvious risks. While you can mitigate some of these with cover, as Generali points out, that only deals with the financial side of things. You still have to face other fears.
At its essence, travel is a tool people use to get swept along by the world. When you travel to distant locations, it’s not so much about sightseeing or even meeting people. Instead, it is the process of “letting go.” When you travel in a foreign country, you are essentially at the mercy of others, and that’s what feels so good.
Finally, related to this last point, travel gives you a sense of resilience. You have to think on your feet, deal with problems and unexpected expenses, and constantly adapt to changing situations. You don’t know what’s going to happen next.
How has travel changed you? Share your stories and advice with the Frayed Passport community!
Featured image by Drif Riadh on Unsplash