When your travels are planned out in the right way, then they can be so much more than sunshine and ticking things off your bucket list. There is so much to discover, experience, and learn when you visit new countries.
There are definitely some things that you can do to heighten the learning or the cultural experience, such as renting a room in the home of a local resident, or doing some volunteering as part of your trip. Getting to know the people where you are going, and testing out the culture of somewhere new will give you so much more than tan lines when you get home. You never know, you could develop some great new skills at the same time, as well as have some fond memories.
You can learn about Japanese culture in a book, but it won’t be the same as experiencing it and trying it out first hand. You can read up about the quirks of Great Britain or hear a song that is unique to that country, but you won’t really understand the sights, the sounds, or the people, unless you visit and meet the people from that country.
So with that in mind, here are some of the things that you can learn on your travels.
Being Confident with Communication
If you are travelling, and perhaps more so if you are travelling alone, you will have your communication skills tested. From knowing if you’re on the right platform for a train to ordering dinner or booking a taxi, your communication skills will be tried. Finding some new friends and going on to build relationships, even if it is just for that trip or excursion, will need you to have an element of confidence, especially if there is a language barrier. Which is where things like charisma and body language come in. These things are skills that will prove to be equally useful at home as well.
How to Prioritise
When you are going abroad, you need to think about what is essential to you when you travel, and what you can or can’t do without. For example, is having more luggage important to you, or will you wing it with a backpack and cross your fingers? Is luxury accommodation to you, or are you happy to sleep anywhere? You will have some tough decisions to make on a daily basis when you travel, and as a result, you will learn to prioritise and think about what is the most important for you. If you can manage your time, then it can be a really great skill and can improve all areas of your life.
Coping in a Crisis
If you have travelled a lot online, then you will know that travel isn’t all smooth sailing. You could get pick-pocketed in a busy street, have a train or flight that is cancelled, accommodation that isn’t up to scratch, or getting sick or injured when you’re away. When you have to deal with these trials, you have to think clearly and logically, and then think of the best course of action, all while having to deal with the actual issue and how to resolve it. So you can learn more than you think when you travel.
Being able to get involved in a new culture is one thing, but it can be hard to do if you don’t know anything about the language. If you can push yourself to communicate using a new language, then it will help you to learn more, as well as being confident with what you are saying. Most people say that in order to get fluent in a language, it makes a difference to live somewhere and speak it everyday, rather than just sitting in a classroom and learning it. You might be going on your travels seeking out learning a new language, but it can make it all run much more smoothly if you are able to choose a few words (and can pick up some more along the way).
Travelling is an amazing way to expose yourself to new people, new cultures, and new ideas. But on top of that, there are some really valuable learning experiences. You might not think that much good can come from being mugged on a busy street in Rome, but being able to sort it all out with the Italian police and dealing with your insurance can teach you communication skills and organisational skills. The skills that you will gain on your travels will help you with the rest of your life.