Travelling is known to change you. Surrounding yourself with different cultures, different people and different outlooks on life are bound to change all of us a bit. That’s one of the greatest things about travelling as a whole – apart from tasting the different cuisines of course! You are on a constant learning curve as you venture from the US to Europe to Asia and so forth. It can be a scary thing at times, especially if you don’t understand the language. Ultimately, however, travelling will be the best thing you’ve ever done for yourself. That’s because travel broadens our minds and expands on our worldly wisdom.

Many people travel for the sole purpose of personal growth. But you should also know that travel isn’t all glory...there are ups and downs to it just like everything else in the world. You are going to deal with challenges along the way, but that’s part of the whole experience. Doesn’t all personal growth surface from personal challenge?

For the most part, travelling is the most fun and rewarding experience we’ll ever have. It doesn’t matter where you go exactly. It just matters that you’re leaving your hometown and exploring other countries and cultures.

Let’s take a look at some life lessons we can learn from travelling.

20 Travel teaches us: To leave our comfort zone

If you always stay at home and simply flit between work and home, you’re not really leaving your comfort zone. You’ve found a comfortable routine in your life where your heart doesn’t need to skip a beat all that often. Travelling brings about the opposite effect. You are forced to leave your comfort zone whether you like it or not, because you are in a new country with a new culture and things are different. You are leaving behind friends, familiar foods, and often a familiar language. Entering a new territory, however, is exhilarating. There is no better feeling than expanding your horizons and coming home with endless stories.

19 Travel teaches us: To be more patient

When you travel overseas, not everything is going to flow like you want it to. In your home country and your hometown, you’ve probably grown familiar with how things roll. But when you travel to other parts of the world, obstacles are going to arise and you are going to have to find a way to deal with them.

Whether it’s struggling to get your point across in another language or losing your luggage along the way, you’ll definitely become more patient the more you travel. Learning how to deal with these little challenges is the best lesson in patience ever.

18 Travel teaches us: To appreciate cultures and their differences

Isn’t the best thing about travel experiencing new cultures? We all learned about cultures back at school, but it’s not the same. Actually experiencing a culture is totally different. From visiting museums, admiring landmarks to eating out in a local restaurant, you are exposing yourself to people and lifestyles that are usually totally different to what you find back home. You don’t have to stay in a country long before you start picking up local customs.

The vast difference between one country and another’s culture depends on the countries themselves. But generally, every new country you visit will teach you to appreciate new cultures.

17 Travel teaches us: To enjoy life over possessions

Many people believe a new car, a new house, or a new something will make them happy. Actually, humans need very little to find happiness in life. That’s a life lesson you’ll learn from travel. When you have to pack so lightly and bring only the essentials, you rely more on your experiences for pleasure. Sleeping in rundown guesthouses and hostels is something you learn to live with.

The joy of travel comes from the experiences you encounter, not the possessions you bring with you. This is when you start to realize that all the things you needed back home aren’t needed anymore.

16 Travel teaches us: Making friends with strangers is freeing

It’s easy to build a global network of friends as you travel. If you are travelling alone, you will especially find yourself in need of some human interaction. The good news is, finding traveler friends isn’t hard. When you meet travelers, they are usually happy to hear your story and share theirs too. You both have that mutual love for travel, which only strengthens the bond. If you are travelling solo, you will never be alone with all the travelers out there to befriend. You just have to stick your neck out a bit if they don’t speak to you first.

15 Travel teaches us: Being alone isn’t a bad thing

Traveling alone does get lonely, we’re not going to lie. When you are constantly saying goodbye to friends and entering a new territory, there will be those lonely moments. It can be especially lonely when you’ve spent the day sightseeing with nobody to talk to about it.

On the other hand, being alone also gives you time to reflect on your experiences. You won’t be distracted by outside opinions and you also won’t have to deal with conflict of interest and activities. This is your journey and you can do what you want. Going to bars, eating meals in restaurants, and walking around a city alone will soon feel familiar and not scary in the least.

14 Travel teaches us: To try new things

If you got offered a snail appetizer in your home country, you’d probably refuse right away. When you visit other countries around the world, you will get used to being offered or served unusual and maybe even unappetizing foods. Over time, it will become normality and trying new things will be part of your DNA.

Every culture has its own foods and customs. Although it might be hard at first, you’ll soon adapt to trying new things – even if you wouldn’t try them back home. Travel broadens your mind and pushes you to do the new and not hold back.

13 Travel teaches us: Forget about the plan

As rigid as your travel plan may be, most of the time your travelling schedule does not go according to plan. That’s why you have to embrace spontaneity when you travel. You never know what’s going to crop up when you travel so it’s always good to just forget about the plan and go with the flow. Besides, you have enough rules in your home life. Now is your time to find your impulsive side and let your travelling journey guide you. Drifting is one of travel’s best pleasures. Instead of making a strict plan, just drift and see where it takes you.

12 Travel teaches us: To Discover new cuisines

One of the most enjoyable parts of travel is trying the different foods around the world. There’s no point in just sticking to the food you know when you travel abroad. Visiting new countries gives you the perfect opportunity to try new things. And that in itself broadens your mind and your taste buds. In fact, some people say you can learn a lot about a culture from its food.

If you’re the kind of person who sticks to their steak and fries, traveling will open your eyes to all the other wonderful dishes out there available for you to try.

11 Travel teaches us: To Find beauty in small things

We tend to take things for granted most of the time. We sometimes fail to see how special something is until we travel. With travel comes new perspective. It makes you appreciate things more – especially the small things. And normally you will find that it’s the free things that give us the most joy in life. When you travel, you will encounter at least a few curveballs along the way. It’s during and after these moments when you start to find beauty in small things like friendship, food, and even the rising sun. We stop taking things for granted and start opening our eyes.

10 Travel teaches us: To think outside the box

Once you leave your country, things aren’t going to be the same as what you’re accustomed to. Little obstacles will occur and you’ll have to find a way to deal with them. Maybe you have no wifi for directions, maybe the restroom is a hole in the ground…like it or not, you will learn to think outside the box.

Thinking creatively is a major life lesson you’ll gain from traveling the world. There are always going to be bumps in the road. If you can find a way to deal with them, it will be much easier and less stressful. Traveling allows you to adjust to new situations easier.

9 Travel teaches us: Lessons come in the most unlikely times

Especially if you’re traveling solo, you’ll find yourself making conversation with everyone around you: on buses, trains and planes throughout the world. Each new person you meet offers an intriguing story and maybe even a shred of wisdom.

When you surround yourself with a variety of different people during your travels, you will learn a lot. Forget what you read in the books. You learn a lot more when you’re out there in the world. Through your conversations, you will learn to respect how different your lives are. You will also learn that most of us, in spite of the cultural difference, want the same thing ultimately: happiness.

8 Travel teaches us: To Accept kindness and humility

Without even realizing it, most of us follow a cynicism attitude towards people. It’s a great shame because we sometimes overlook genuine kindness in the world. When you travel, expect to meet a whole variety. Not everybody is going to be kind, but accept that some people are. Meeting people through your travels will teach you to accept kindness – sometimes even from strangers. And it is your job to be open to invitations.

Accept the chai latte from the shop owner, accept the invitation to the local family wedding, and accept kindness whenever can - the rewards will be joyful.

7 Travel teaches us: Amazing things lie on the other side of fear

Fear paralyzes us. A lot of us miss out on so much because of fear. Travelling alone, for instance, may be something you’ve always wanted to do. What stops you from doing it? Aside from money, it’s probably fear. You overlook all the excitement and focus on all the bad things that could possibly happen.

Sometimes, you need to do the things that scare you the most because on the other side of that fear, you’ll discover the most amazing things. Push yourself to do new things, try new things, and push through those feelings of fear. It’s the most liberating thing ever!

6 Travel teaches us: Smiling is a universal communicator - smile more

Although it’s always good to learn a few phrases in the local language, smiling is a universal communicator. Sometimes you won’t always be able to get your point across or make conversation with people as you travel around the globe. The good news is, you always have gestures you can use. One of them is smiling and it’s the best way to show people that you’re approachable. Frowning, on the other hand, does not.

Frankly, you can’t go far wrong in a foreign country if you smile. You can express many things with a smile: happiness, friendliness, gratitude. Traveling teaches you the importance of smiling.

5 Travel teaches us: We never stop learning

Wherever you go in the world, you will also learn, see and discover new things. Travelling is definitely a learning opportunity. That’s why it’s usually the most curious of personalities that long to travel. Every day you can learn something new.

This isn’t exclusive to traveling because you can still learn something new in your everyday life. But when you travel, the opportunities to learn come in abundance. You’ll be exploring and discovering new cultures, new people, new foods - everything is a learning curve and a chance to broaden your mind.

Every experience and every conversation you have teaches you something new.

4 Travel teaches us: Failure is a learning opportunity

Take it or leave it, not everything is going to go to plan when you travel. You are going to fail at some things and it’s going to be hard. Maybe it’s the language barriers or the inability to accomplish certain things during your travels. Either way, travel teaches you that failure is a learning opportunity.

So what if you messed up the local word and asked for rotten eggs instead of bread at the grocery store? Nobody apart from yourself cares anyway. All you can do is accept that you made a mistake and learn from it. That is all we can do: learn from our failures.

3 Travel teaches us: Health is the most important thing we have - take care of it

We all take our health for granted at times. When you travel, you need to take extra care of your health – particularly if you are alone. In a foreign country, it’s not always going to be easy to get understood or maybe they don’t have the right medication.

If you get sick during your travels and find yourself in a foreign hospital where nobody understands a word you’re saying, you will definitely learn to appreciate your health.

Outside of your home country, things work differently. It’s good to realize that your health is the most important thing you have. Take care of it, nourish it and do your best to stay healthy.

2 Travel teaches us: To adapt quickly

Some of the most unbelievable situations may crop up during your travels. Unless you want to go back home and give up your dream of seeing the world, you need to adapt – and fast! If not, you’ll never appreciate the greatness of travel. Anything can happen when you travel. Sometimes you find yourself in various situations and you need to find a way to solve problems quickly and without getting totally stressed out.

Once you’ve travelled to a few different countries, you’ll soon realize that the things that seemed like a big deal in your home country are now totally minor issues.

1 Travel teaches us: To discover our own powers

Being alone in a foreign country can teach you one or two things about yourself. For starters, it makes you realize just how much you can handle being alone without the help or support of friends and family. When you’re away from everything and have all that time to yourself, you’ll be surprised how zen you feel.

Even when you face difficult situations, you’ll find a way to overcome them. You are more receptive to new experiences when you are alone and it can be one of the most transformative experiences in your life.

Probably the most important lesson of all that comes from travelling is that you are more powerful than you thought.