Traveling is one of the most eye-opening and exhilarating experiences you can do in your life. There’s something about walking through famous streets in history and experiencing different cultures, that changes us. It changes the way we see the world and expands our understanding of the people around us. When we first traveled throughout Europe (if you want to read more about that trip, click here), I kept being told how the experience was going to change me. I waited for change after the first month abroad, then waited for change after I came back, but I didn’t feel any different. It wasn’t until the following months of going through the usual routine that I noticed the nuances of who I had become.
Now that my husband and I travel full-time, we don’t feel like the same people we once were!
Related: We Sold Everything to Travel the World. Here’s Why
This is How Travel Changes You
Traveling makes you more understanding of people’s life choices
Even though I am, and have always been pro-LGBT rights, in the US at the time everyone was fighting over whether Gay marriage should be legal. In fact, it finally became legal as we landed in Paris on June 26th, 2015. My now husband, though, was not as open-minded as I was… I’ll let him tell you that story. That changed after our cool, very masculine waiter (who we saw every night for almost a week) introduced us to his soon-to-be husband! While the US had *just* ruled it legal, it was old news in France. Nobody cared. We ended up at his engagement party later that evening! Had we not had that experience, I’m not sure if Daniel would be the open-minded guy he is today.
You’ll grow a new appreciation for life
Life is short, and in the US we cut that life even shorter. We always focus on living for tomorrow instead of enjoying the now. Where eating out here is a 45 minute, in and out process, that’s not how it is around the world. In Italy, you better get to the restaurant 2 hours before you actually get hungry because that’s how long it takes for them to serve you.
Going to dinner is a social experience, instead of a transaction. The first forty-five minutes were dedicated to enjoying your wine and conversation. You’d be lucky if you got your food within an hour and a half of ordering it. At first, it was frustrating, but Florence taught us to slow down and enjoy the experiences we were sharing. Really tasting how the flavors of the wine, pecorino cheese, and ham complemented each other. Looking around and enjoying the scenery, the music, and the life around us.
How many times have you done that while sitting at outback? Chances are you engage in conversation for 15 minutes, look at your phone for another 15 minutes, finish your food, and run out. When you travel you don’t have the option. Your phone doesn’t have signal, you don’t have a car, and you have nowhere to be. It presses you to enjoy the moment.
Related: Why You Should Study Abroad in Florence
It makes you open to more fun!
When you’re traveling you learn, you explore, and you do crazy things you wouldn’t typically do! We cliff jumped in the Amalfi and hiked to the top of Mount Fuji in Japan. We got lost in Venice, and got so drunk during a pub crawl in Munich, I peed on the floor. We’ve been Jetski Island Hopping in Malaysia, and eating from every street vendor in Thailand. It’s fun and sometimes scary, but it’s made me chase for adventure and seek to love my life every day. Can’t wait to continue to travel and share the world with you.