April 23, 2014

Why traveling makes you a better person.

Everyone that knows me knows that traveling is my thing. I've been fortunate enough to have an amazing family that loves to travel and also has the means to do so. So today I want to share a few things that I've learned in my trips not only with my family but also alone. 


Makes you more responsable. 

Even if you're traveling with your parents and your mom doesn't even let you hold your own passport (yep, my mom used to do that). Of course, when you're traveling alone your responsabilities are bigger, you need to take care of your money, your life, your documents, your belongings and even your health. Because if you don't, nobody is going to it for your and you're going to be fucked in another country alone. Bottom line: You learn to take of yourself,  the easy way or the hard way. Because if you don't remember stupid things like taking a jacket when it's cold or eating right, a cold, a fever or something worst will come to remind you to take care of yourself.  

Makes you get out of your confort zone. 

I don't know if it's the confidence that comes from not knowing the people around you (therefore they can't tell anyone you know what you did) or from being alone and acknowledging that if you don't get out of your confort zone and talk to people and do different things you're just going to be alone wasting your money and time in a city that you don't even know. So my advice here is DO THINGS, explore as much as you can, because you're never going to be as young as you are right now and life doesn't stop for anybody, so you never know if you're getting another opportunity like this. 

Makes you smarter. 

When I say smarter I mean all kinds of smart. You not only learn history, geography, languages and even math. When you live in Brazil and make money in reais (that's our currency, Real) you learn exchange rates like no other, in Mexico, for example, we had to make the conversion from Real to Dollar and then from Dollar to Mexican pesos. Anyway, you also learn to be street smart (I'm not sure if that's the best definition for what I'm about to say but just bare with me as I try to explain), you learn to sense if the street you are is dangerous, to pay more attention to people around you, to not assume that everybody is cool and honest, to always close your bag and keep it in your sight at all times. It's these things that in my opinion are just as important, if not more, as knowing that Picasso painted Mona lisa. 

Makes you better at time management. 

Planning a trip is no joke, guys ! Coordinating the time your airplane lands, the time that you can do the check in the hotel, the transport you're taking to get there, buying tickets, doing an itinerary. I'm tired just typing it and it gets more stressful when you have a tight budget like me. But although it can seem overwhelming sometimes, it's 100% worthy. There's nothing worst than arriving to a city and not knowing what you can do there or what it has to offer. Just so after you find out when you arrive home and sit your ass in front of the computer to explore the magic of Google. 

Teaches you how to be alone and be ok with it. 

Let's get personal, shall we ? I've always lived with my parents and we have a very good relationship. And although that's good it can be a little suffocating sometimes. So I was super excited to go to France and just be alone for a change. But as much as I liked to be alone, it's a little sad to sit down to have dinner alone with your computer. It takes time to learn to be alone and to realize that you're enough for you. That way company will be a plus in your life, not a necessity. And this is going to make you not only a better company for other people but also you're going to surround yourself with only good people, because you don't have that need to always be around someone, not matter if they're good or bad. 

Teaches you how to make new friends.

Now this one I can totally and completely relate to. I sucked very bad at making new friends (now I suck just a little), I always felt nervous or I would create excuses not to go and talk to people. But one thing I realized is that if you don't talk to people they're not going to talk to you. I mean, it could happen but what are the odds that you're going to be in your hotel room and a very amazing person will knock on your door and say "Hi, I'm going out to a bar now, come along and let's be friends !" Let's just say very small. You have to create your own opportunities and realize that it's ok to talk to people, they might even surprise you. 

That's exactly how I met my boyfriend, he was talking in the hallway with some people and me and my friend just said Hi and he invited us to a party. I'm NOT saying that you should go out with strangers that you met on the street, but we met in a student's residence and I was with a friend and everybody looked normal. But anyway, just be careful.  

Makes you happier.

I don't know anyone that came back from Paris, Bali or London (and had a safe trip) feeling sad. It can happen, I just never saw it.

Makes you grow as a person. 

I think this is the most important. You realize that the world is bigger than your city. We all know that there is a world out there, but when you actually see it and link an image to that thought amazing things happen. For me it made me more aware of other people and their needs, it made me help them when I can, it made me set higher goals to my life and appreciate more what I have. Because you can't aspire for something better if you don't even know it exists, you can't value the act of helping if you never needed help and you can't fully appreciate something until you don't have it anymore. 

This are the reasons why I think traveling goes beyond just having a great time and not having to work. It's an experience that in my opinion everyone should have and if you have the time and the money right now I would say : What the hell are you waiting for ? 

I would like to know what is your opinion about traveling. And just remember that your feedback is ridiculously important to me. 
Do you think I'm crazy ? Do you agree ? Do you hate traveling ? 

Thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful day. 

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