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9 Ways Travel Makes You a Better, More Interesting Person

Updated: Nov 5, 2019

Why you should start seeing travel as a necessity for your whole-being health, instead of a frivolous luxury.

Pinterest photo of 9 ways travel makes you a better more interesting person

Do you enjoy traveling? If you’re on this site we’ll assume you do - but have you ever dug deep into why you enjoy traveling? Have you broken down the elements of adventure that excite and expand you? We hadn’t, until now.

While you might not nod your head to all the elements we pinpointed as reasons we adore travel, we’ll be so presumptuous as to say you’ll likely relate to many of these. Our hope is that realizing why you’re drawn to travel will encourage you to do more of it, as you’ll begin to see it as more of a necessity than luxury.

1. Travel helps you collect wild stories.

A family of three laughing about a funny travel story

Intense turbulence, chickens on a bus, the secret beach at the end of the overgrown trail, and other travel-related circumstances foster the collection of a compelling reserve of stories. In addition to your own stories, fellow travelers are sure to have intriguing tales they’ll easily share, especially after a few rounds at that beach bar. To ensure you don’t forget these tales, chronicle them with photos and a travel journal.

2. Travel expands your capacity for empathy.

Homeless man in the subway holding a sign that says seeking human kindness

Almost all travel (especially international) crosses your path with those that are managing intense life circumstances. If you allow yourself to connect with these individuals, hear their stories, and if you choose, support them in some way, your capacity for empathy and goodwill expands. Our most memorable and life-changing trips involved unexpected encounters with those in need of some form of aid, whether it be emotional, financial or both.

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3. Travel empowers you to strengthen your resilience and courage.

Woman in beige coat jumping across a rock because she's been empowered by traveling

The act of traveling almost guarantees mishaps and obstacles. However, these challenges not only craft those great stories we talking about, but also expand your capacity for resilience. In addition, the unknown that’s present in all new-to-you locations requires the summoning of courage. This courage is especially amped up when you combine the challenges with the unknown. While some of these ingredients might be uncomfortable in the moment, they create lifelong positive changes, which include making you a better, more worldly traveler.

4. Travel inspires creativity and a-ha moments.

Traveling man standing on a rock by the ocean at sunset with his hand raised toward the sun

Getting out of your routines, meeting new people, and viewing novel sights all encourages your creativity and revelatory mind to come out to play. Maybe this creativity and string of revelations will come in the form of a new business idea, motivation to create a particular sketch or painting, the seed for a novel, or anything else that will make your spirit come alive. Always travel with a pen and notepad so you can capture the often-fleeting moments of inspiration.

5. Travel awakens your childlike wonder and curiosity.

Children playing outside at sunset during a family vacation

While traveling with children can be fraught with difficulties, there’s also a special brand of enchantment that’s present when you witness a child witnessing the world. But whether you’re traveling with a child or not, you can still tap into the wonder and curiosity they feel by slowing down and noticing.

Instead of rushing from one activity to another, give your itinerary enough spaciousness to support you in fully tuning in to your five senses as you explore an area, allowing yourself to follow the nose of your creativity. You might even want to have full days where you have nothing planned but wandering wherever your feet take you.

6. Travel promotes bonding, with yourself and others.

Mother and child bonding in a meadow during a vacation

Traveling (for the most part) pulls us out of the logistics of laundry, dishes, carpooling and all the other to-dos filling our mind at home. This shake-up creates mental and emotional space for us to deepen our connection to the thoughts, dreams and emotions of our self, and those we’re traveling with.

I’ve had many friends say they would never marry someone without first going on a few trips with them, and we completely agree. Travel allows us to see the raw, unfiltered version of others – it’s hard to hide it when dealing with missed flights, sunsets so beautiful they make you cry and the confusion/wonder of listening to a foreign language. So yup, that’s our PSA: Travel with someone before you marry them. We didn’t do that, but we lucked out.

7. Travel forces you to organize your priorities, especially if you don’t have unlimited financial means.

Map of the world with money for a travel budget pinned to it

When you want to travel, but aren’t rolling in the Benjamins, you likely need to abstain from various purchases in order to afford an adventure. After years of saying “we should really make a budget,” we finally took a hard look at our finances and realized that if we dialed back luxuries like eating out multiple times a week, and buying endless LEGOS and other money-suckers that are nice, but not as nice as the trips we’re dreaming of, we could afford said trips. So if you’re in a similar space, now is a great time to list and rank your priorities, make that budget, and make the necessary lifestyle shifts.

8. Travel diversifies your palate for all things.

Table with Thai food dishes from a family trip

Travel forces you to try new foods, interact with people you wouldn’t normally interact with, exist in circumstances that may be vastly different from those you experience at home, engage in activities you never thought you’d have the courage to say yes to, and explore other elements that expand your tastes for life. So when you’re traveling, and faced with the opportunity to try something new - maybe even something that makes you nervous - muster the nerve to give it a try.

9. Travel helps you appreciate home, or makes you realize home needs to be somewhere else.

Bicycle outside a teal townhouse covered in ivy

While home is typically filled with multiple obligations, it also provides numerous comforts and conveniences. So while being on vacation is lovely, if you spend enough time away from home, you eventually miss it, and appreciate it more when you return. However, if a vacation makes you dread the thought of going home, that could be something interesting to look into.

Maybe there are just aesthetic issues with your house you want to fix, a person in the community you need to mend a bridge with, or some other circumstance momentarily souring your perspective of home. But if none of that applies, yet you still feel icky about going home, this might be an indication that home needs to be located somewhere else. This happened to Bailey when she was living in Texas and decided to move to Roatan, Honduras – a home-switch that changed her life. Feel free to email her at if you want to hear more about that decision.

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