Many people believe travelling is only for the rich. Think again, it’s actually an essential part of your general well-being and everyone should make out time in their busy schedules to travel at least once or twice a year. Travelling for business or health purposes is good, but it does not afford you many opportunities to appreciate the destination.
The benefits of travelling include making you:
- Learn How to Live in the Moment
Travelling allows you to enjoy the beauty of nature and the world. Do you remember the hike up Holy Mountain and what it felt like at the top in the clouds? Okay how about being at Lekki Conservation Centre watching the Koi fishes or the monkeys screeching in the distance? When you travel, experiences become more important than material things. You get lost in the moment, it is a mental escape, freedom of the cares of your world.
- Humble, Patient and Self-Confident
Travelling leaves you in awe. The vastness of the world and gratitude for the privileges you enjoy will deflate any selfish-pride and humble you. You learn patience with each delay or miscommunication during your trip, otherwise, you may lose more money than intended. Travelling also makes you more tolerant of people, not just your travelling companion(s) but also of service providers and people of other cultures at your destination.
When you take on certain adventures like the canopy walkway in Obudu cattle ranch or riding a camel in the Sokoto desert plain, you become more confident in your ability to handle anything life throws at you. You become more independent in decision making.
- Learn the Difference Between Value and Price Of Things
The cost of spending a Day at Inagbe Resort or a week-long holiday in Calabar might be high. But when you think of the value you will get, it becomes worth it. The value of a trip lies in the experiences, relationships built, new paradigms on life created and profound respect for our shared humanity. You cannot quantify unforgettable memories, peace and quiet away from the usual mental and physical cares of our daily lives or even the joy of experiencing something different in monetary terms.
- Have Faith in Humanity
Travelling reminds you of the danger of a single story. You’ll discover that not all people are bad and there are still good people in this world. For instance, Some Southerners in Nigeria assume all Northerners are poverty stricken or violent. Thanks to a few miscreants and tales of communal clashes from the Media. But until you go there yourself, you will never know the vibrancy of the youth population, the intelligence of the educated who running establishments, the beauty of the landscape, etc. You will hear inspiring tales of people making the most of a bad situation and being grateful for life.
- An Efficient Worker and a Better Planner
That you have to save money for a vacation, makes you more committed at your workplace. That’s because you know your salary can help you satisfy your wanderlust. The act of planning a vacation and how to save for it makes you more purposeful about your daily spending. Travelling makes you become proactive, taking action more rather than just talking. It teaches you to be a creative problem solver, better time manager, improves your decision-making and organisational skills. It makes you become someone who can take responsibility not just for yourself but for the environment. Imagine going to Olumo Rock and discovering piles of plastic trash hidden in the nice crevices you wanted to take a picture in. The annoyance can lead you to be more ‘Green’ or ecologically conscious. Travelling also makes you learn how to ask others for help.
- Discover the Kind of Person You Are
The courage to travel, the need to taste foreign cuisines, the drive for adventure, all show you something about yourself you will not uncover stuck in the routine of your life daily. If you travel solo, you learn to get comfortable being by yourself and with your space. Travelling makes you fearless and somewhat spontaneous. It makes you feel or care about things you didn’t know you could have the capacity for. You become appreciative for the life you live compared to the less fortunate. It opens you up to a world of possibilities. You don’t only discover the world through travelling, you inadvertently discover yourself.
- Less Stressed Out
Travelling might have its stress especially if you are having a weekend getaway at Ekiti before resuming work on Monday. But that is nothing compared to the constant daily worries of meeting targets or deadlines of work. Your body gets a soak in the warm pool and in that moment, it relaxes and all the tensions ebb away. You get to sleep and rest either during the journey or when you arrive at your destination (what you would have felt guilty for doing if you were at home). Just a 15-minute walk in a place like Okomu National park can help you reduce stress levels by lowering your blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones.
- Feel Rich and Make New Connections
There are experiences that are cheaper in other places than where you live. And when you experience them on a trip, you feel like a million box. For instance, the cost of gym registration where you live might be high and you know you will only go there once a month. Might be the same amount you will spend paying for a hotel room with free access to gym, sauna, swimming pool and other facilities for one week vacation. Most people feel freer talking with strangers. When you travel, you will meet a lot of strangers and find people who not only resonate your beliefs but also become what you need at that point in time of your life. You become interested in hearing the stories of others and be less self-absorbed. Even if you don’t stay in touch long afterwards, you will never forget the relationship and how it impacted your life.
- More Resilient and Adaptable
When faced with challenges like a Hotel with poor WiFi or mobile network that keeps you disconnected from the world, you learn to adapt. Being in a different place, we learn to adapt to the culture of that place to blend in not to draw the wrong attention. And if you get swindled by a cunning person, find the strength to continue with the vacation so the trip is not in vain. That’s being resilient. Also, you become more hospitable and generous when you interact with different people on your travels.
The life lessons travelling can give you is a practical exposure to things you learn in classrooms and religious centres. It’s time you embrace the culture of travelling for your own good.
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This article was first published on 10th October 2018
Ann Esievoadje is a freelance writer who is passionate about encouraging a reading culture and personal development. She has authored two books, The Quilt (fiction) and Being Mummy and Me (non-fiction). She manages Pulchra Publishing which offers a content creation/editing, transcription, different forms of writing (including Ghostwriting) service and her blog, Life Love and Anything Goes at annesievoadje.blogspot.com.ng. You can reach her at email@example.com
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