The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on people’s lives and mental health. From losing self-confidence or social skills to becoming more withdrawn or insular, there are many ways that people have found themselves changing through the lockdowns. If you’re ready to re-discover the real you in 2022, it’s time to get back out there through travel. As one of life’s greatest teachers, travel can help improve your mental health by revealing your strengths, challenging your limits, and showing you what’s really important to you. Whether you want to boost your confidence or hone your intuition, here are 11 things travel teaches you about yourself.
1. You’ll find out what you’re capable of
One of the most important travel lessons is that we’re more capable than we ever thought. From boosting confidence, self-awareness and independence to honing your problem-solving skills, travel teaches us that we are powerful, competent and able to handle everything that life throws at us.
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2. You’ll learn how to get out of your comfort zone
If you want to thrive in 2022, you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone and embrace new challenges. Travel teaches us exactly how to do that because when you travel, you take on a whole world of new languages, cultures, foods, and friends. When you explore, you’ll quickly learn where your comfort zone is… And how to leap out of it!
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3. You’ll learn what your limits are
While it’s important to get out of your comfort zone, boundaries are crucial too. One of the best travel lessons is getting to know your limits and how comfortable you are pushing through them. Maybe you tackled a multi-day camping trip and found it wasn’t for you. Maybe you’re not comfortable sharing a room with others and prefer a private space. Perhaps you’re not okay with travelling independently and prefer to travel on a small group tour with Trafalgar. The point is, it’s important to know your limits… And that’s what travel teaches you!
4. You’ll learn how to be more open-minded
Has months in lockdown left you feeling detached and closed-off? A trip is the perfect antidote! When you’re travelling, all your beliefs, prejudices and assumptions will be challenged like never before. Travelling opens your eyes to new ways of living and allows you to get a first-hand perspective on new cultures and customs. So let 2022 be the year you let travel teach you how to broaden your horizons… both literally and figuratively!
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5. You’ll learn how to trust your intuition
When you’re travelling, you depend on yourself to make hundreds of decisions every day – all in a brand new environment. You’ll meet so many new people and try so many new things, it can be difficult to know who to trust and where to turn. But don’t worry – travelling is one of the best ways to quickly learn how to trust your gut and tap into your instincts.
6. You’ll boost your social skills
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many of us have spent months isolated indoors. If you’ve recently ventured out and discovered that your social circle and skills are a little lacking, it may be time to take a trip in 2022. Travel is amazing at teaching you how to be social, as it opens you up to a new world of human interaction. From striking up conversations with a stranger to joining group tours, travelling makes it easy to meet like-minded people and maybe even make a new friend.
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7. You’ll learn how to be flexible and manage difficult situations
Do you know what you’re like under pressure? Or in a stressful situation? That’s what travel teaches you! There will always be bumps in the road when you travel, from losing bank cards to getting sick or missing flights. One of the biggest travel lessons is learning how to roll with the punches and adapt to all sorts of situations on the fly.
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8. You’ll learn what you makes you tick – and what doesn’t
Do you know what gets you excited? Or what bores you? Do you know if you’re a thrill-seeker? Or more of an introvert? If you want to get to know yourself better and understand what you like, love and loathe, travel will be your ultimate teacher. Travelling gives you the opportunity to develop your likes and dislikes without influence or pressure from your usual community.
Maybe you prefer to get up early and go sightseeing before the crowds arrive… Or perhaps you think sunrises are overrated and prefer to sleep in. Maybe you love being outdoors and getting active in nature… Or museum and gallery hopping might be more your speed. Perhaps you need a solid eight-hour sleep every night… Or maybe you’ve got an inner party animal just waiting to be released. Whatever you prefer, you’re sure to find out when you travel, so make 2022 the year of rediscovering the real you!
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9. You’ll tap into your spontaneous side
With months of lockdowns and restrictions, it’s been impossible to flex our spontaneous sides. There’s been no such thing as impromptu weekend trips or spur-of-the-moment nights out. But in 2022, it’s time to throw out the rigid planners and let travel teach you how to get a little more free-spirited. Whether you jump on a bus to a new neighbourhood or hit the town with new friends you’ve just met, travel is the best way to embrace your spontaneity.
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10. You’ll learn what is important to you
Travel gives you the incredible opportunity to slow down, reflect on your experiences, and appreciate the little things in life. You’ll start to treasure the things we often take for granted, like a delicious meal, a beautiful view, or a loving friendship.
When you leave the hustle and bustle of your daily life and have time to look at your life more objectively, you’ll start to get some clarity on what kinds of dreams, habits, relationships, and choices are really important to you. Perhaps you’d like to spend more time with your family or learn a new language. Maybe you’d like to switch careers or start a veggie garden. Whatever it is, travel has an incredible knack for opening our eyes to the things that make life worth living.
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11. You’ll learn to love yourself
After spending so much time in lockdown, are you feeling a little lost and unsure of yourself? It’s completely normal to be lacking confidence and direction in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic – and travelling is the perfect way to rediscover yourself and learn to love yourself again.
Whether you want to spend your trip relaxing on the beach, hiking up mountains, or exploring iconic cities, a trip in 2022 will be all about self-care and self-compassion… and you’re sure to return home feeling more invigorated and inspired than ever.
What does travel teach you about yourself? Let us know in the comments below…