I'm writing this while sitting on a train. I just came from a small medieval village in Obidos, Portugal. Almost missing the train because I took too many pictures, I shortened the walk to the train station from 20 minutes to 5 minutes. (i.e., I ran like hell.) Back to the content:
Travel makes you more compassionate: At home, we take it for granted that we can speak, read, and write without issue. However, little things like reading signs can be challenging when away from home. Thus, I'm more accepting of foreigners and the challenges they face because I can relate.
Travel spices up life: Traveling helps break that monotony of everyday life. Doing the same things each day can be soul-sucking, but traveling breaks all of that because you're in a new land with a different culture.
Traveling makes you reassess your rituals: You get to see how other people live, and it makes your question your life. For example, growing up in the Poconos of Pennsylvania (i.e., backcountry woods), I used to think it was normal to go to Firehalls for special events. In addition, a nice outfit was a Carhart jacket, Wrangler jeans,
and a Fox Racing baseball cap. However, after escaping the Poconos, I never want to go to a Firehall again. Traveling has this effect because you see how other people live. This allows you to pick and choose new routines that are a better fit.
Incoming Rant: I hate restaurants in America where the waiter/waitress rudely interrupts you every 2.7 seconds:
"How's everything?"…we know you don't care.
"Here's the check. Whenever you're ready."…???...I didn't even finish my appetizer.
I prefer the European approach to restaurants where you're not forced to eat and leave ASAP. You can enjoy the food and company.
Traveling makes you less materialistic: Back home, we naturally accumulate items, and we start to think that we need those items to be happy. However, leaving all your stuff behind and going into a different land is enlightening. It makes you realize that you need little to be satisfied. We're still able to function without our
electric toothbrushes. We're already complete without our personal belongings.
Traveling makes you more outgoing: Ever hitch a ride in Colombia because you're 50 miles from your hotel and you have no cell phone service? I didn't enjoy being placed in that situation, but I needed to get back, so I did what needed to be done. I have other similar "adventurous" experiences, and they start to add up and change your
personality. Now, when I see something that needs to be done, I just do it.