In which trupz says Travel helps builds character

In the last decade, I have made so many friends who love to travel! Some of them travel often, some of them travel together as a couple, some solo and some travel not as frequently as they would like to. But, if there is one thing that is common among them, it is that they are ‘different’. No, they are normal human beings, but they choose to think different about LIFE and everything around them in general. This got me thinking, why? Why are they different and what makes people who travel stand out from the crowd? Eventually, I came to conclude that traveling and exploring new places helps develop your personality and adds to your character, here are some reasons why:

1. Travelling gets you to shake out of your comfort zone

Dalai Lama has said, “Once a year go someplace you’ve never been before.” Very few realize that traveling does not mean collecting travel stamps on your passport but it means to gain new experiences. There is a thrill in traveling to a new place. For me personally, right from taking the flight or train to reaching the actual place, every milestone is thrilling. Every journey has its own flavor and that’s what makes it special. When you travel to a new place, at first it is unknown, a couple of days spent in a new place and it all starts becoming familiar, the air, the surrounding, the people start feeling known and you begin to fit in. Learning to communicate with absolute strangers, walking in a lane you have never before, trying a new dish or even participating in some cultural activities in some way force you out of your comfort zone to do or try something different. You often find yourself in never before situations when you travel and that’s the true fun part.

2. Travel to learn something new

In school, I remember reading about Hsuen Tsang, a Chinese scholar who traveled extensively in India. Traveling teaches you much more than what you would learn from a classroom or your job. For some of us who are students of LIFE, traveling is our only EDUCATION. Thanks to the internet, you have all the information at your disposal. Until you don’t experience what you read first hand, you are still left wanting. Don’t get me wrong, when I say learn, I don’t only mean learn about the place, you learn more about yourself also.

There are so many beautiful places to see around the world! The ancient relics and monuments are the living remnants of history, as we know it. Travel makes you more open-minded to explore and experience new things. Learning about different cultures, food, history and the people. I’ve been amazed by some of the people I have met on my travels, their stories and the experiences they have shared have helped me realize a lot about myself.

3. Traveling is good to be able to disconnect and reflect

In our constant and relentless effort to be connected with everything and everyone, we have forgotten that we have the option to disconnect. Whether it is social media, television or other distractions, the need to know and keep up with everything is so strong that it has engulfed our personal space, time and become a routine.

Travel helps me break this routine. When I am traveling I like to imagine the world without cell phones and Internet. So my first instinct is to buy a map of the place I am going to then rely on Google maps. Traveling slows things down, giving you time for self-exploration and introspection. Travel helps to listen to your instincts and act on them. Away from crowds, familiar surroundings and away from distractions helps me put things into perspective.

Most of us living in cities are overwhelmed keeping up with the expectations of big city life! Being at 10000ft, in the cold winter of the Himalayas, having to wait for a good 30 minutes only to be able to drink a cup of warm water made me realize how taken for granted these luxuries are for us in cities. A sunset with splashing colors or viewing millions of stars under a clear sky, one realizes these are the rarities of life we have forgotten to appreciate in comparison to the man-made grandeur.

4. Traveling taught me to do the best with what I have

Even the best of plans can go awry in an instant! Traveling comes with its set of problems, missing flights, losing baggage or being lost yourself. How you handle them all while being in unprecedented territory helps you grow as a person. There is only so much one can plan and be careful about! Traveling though is not about certainty, its what you do and how you react to a given situation that differentiates a catastrophe from an adventure.

My trip to Ladakh a few years back was one such adventure where catastrophe turned into an adventure of a lifetime. The group was stuck in a village called Rumtse a few 100km before Leh. A small village, Rumtse had room for maybe 300 people, but because of a landslide, a huge part of the road was literally washed away and now close to 1000 people were stuck. We had to spend the night in someone’s kitchen. 6 people with our luggage in a room which was no more than 10ft x 10ft. Would you believe this is one the most famous travel story told and all 6 of us reminisce about the incident? That night we all learned a lot about each other, our tolerance, ability to adapt, our problem-solving skills and who snores the most :P. The positive that came out of it was that despite the slight roadblock in Rumtse, everyone wanted to carry on further to the trip and remaining 13 days were most memorable.

5. Travel and learn to manage your expectations 

Someone has said, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey!”. Each travel journey is different and extremely personal. In the very same place, on the very same path, at the same moment,  different individuals have different experiences. At times you become aware of your own strengths and capabilities, and sometimes you have to come to terms with your limitations.

So where are you planning to travel next?

Check my travel-related posts on the Travelblawghh

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