21 Aug 5 Benefits of Traveling Abroad
If you have not traveled abroad what are you doing with your life?! Please don’t tell me it’s because you work a 9-5 and you can’t get paid vacation leave! Well I’m sure that’s another story, but on a serious note: do not miss out on the opportunity to travel abroad! I always heard people say “traveling abroad will change your life” before I decided to step out and travel. Now, it’s not only something I say, it is something I strive for: those life-changing experiences.
I have come up with 5 benefits to traveling abroad and hopefully by the end of the blog post, you will have the travel bug as well.
- Allows you to get out of you comfort zone. There are so many opportunities to grow throughout life. Instead of shying away from those opportunities, we should embrace them and allow them to blossom within us. So I claim my trip to Germany in 2014 as my semi-solo trip because I decided to go to Germany by myself but I was able to stay with a family when I was there. I knew I wanted to travel abroad and I always said I would visit the family soon. So how was I presented with the opportunity to stay with a family in Germany? Well I met an international student I became friends with while he studied abroad. After he returned to Germany, I was invited to visit. I said I would and I made my promise in May of 2014. The family welcomed me in and I was grateful to have the opportunity to stay with them. I stayed in a small town in the country side, called Nusplingen for 2 weeks. I immediately fell in love with Germany when we arrived in the county side. Of course my stay in Germany was different because I didn’t stay near any major cities, but I preferred it that way. I wanted to be immersed in the culture.
Traveling abroad showed me just how courageous I am. I began to realize how beautiful the world is by visiting Germany. I also came to the realization that there are so many opportunities in the world. During my stay in Germany, I thought of my father and how proud he would be of me. I honestly felt free and weightless while in Germany. I was not carrying the burdens of what was happening back home and what I had to worry about when I got back. Most importantly, I began to realize a few things about my life: 1) people will show you who they really are, 2) I deserve the best out of life and 3) you can create a peaceful environment for yourself wherever you go.
- It will make you appreciate life. I was welcomed in Germany with open arms. I stayed in a small town in the country side called Nusplingen. Germany was beautiful! ‘Beautiful’ is not even an appropriate word! Being in Germany made me appreciate life even more in a way that made me realize I am capable of doing anything! The simple things in life can be everything. I can still visualize riding bikes along a pathway, walking through nature, and taking the train to Tubingen. It opened up the door to envision a life of traveling wherever I want without fear.
- It can be transforming. Honestly, I did not want to return to the states. If someone told me I could move to Germany with no concerns about citizenship, where I would live and work, I would have gladly stayed. I felt that I became a more experienced enlightened person and ultimately it allowed me to see the importance of being accepting of others. I was welcomed in to the small town I stayed in and it made me realize the importance of not judging individuals because of the unknown. Apart from my obvious physical features that are distinct, I was a stranger in the community but they made sure I did not feel as such. Being in Germany also made me realize how I do not appreciate the small things. We would take walks in the town, have dinner at the table, sit down and talk, etc. and it was something I hardly did at home. I was these simple acts that meant everything. During my childhood, we would have our meals in front of a television; I walked but not by choice and conversations were held but not always face to face. I also began to realize that it is okay to change as life progresses. You may realize that you actually don’t want what you thought you did. (And it’s not always a bad thing!) I knew I was changing during my stay in Germany but I didn’t quite realize it until I returned to the states and I can say, as I am writing this post now, how this trip truly changed me for the better.
- It will make you a more well-rounded individual. In high school, I would have never imagined traveling to Germany by myself! I was just not that person at that time. As an African American woman in a small town, I stood out. I got stares from community members but I didn’t feel like they were stares of judgment, it was more of curiosity. On my journey back to California, I had an extended layover in Atlanta, which was the only downside of my trip. My flight back from Germany was fine, but when I was on my way back to California, I could not catch a flight back to California. I was on standby so I would go to each terminal in hopes that I would be called to board and it was just not happening. I ended up going to at least 5 terminals to try to catch a flight with no success. I ended up staying in the airport that night (which I would NEVER recommend) in hopes that I could catch a flight the next day. Ultimately, I was not able to catch a connecting flight. I ended up staying at my Uncle’s friend’s house and then my sister had to buy an additional flight for me. I would do standby again but I would make sure to buy a flight from Atlanta to California. What did I learn from this experience as I returned home? Patience. I had to learn to go with the flow and keep my peace. At time it can be easy to get frustrated and break your peace, but your inner peace is one of the most important things you can possess. Life is much more beautiful when you have inner peace. It helps you throughout your daily tasks, it turns Mondays into productive days, it helps maintain great relationships and it helps you live a much happier fulfilled life.
- You will have an experiences of a lifetime. My trip to Germany, my first trip out of the country, is a trip I will never forget. Being in a new environment was fulfilling in itself, but being out of the country was an experience like no other. Apart from the environment, I began to see America in a different light. I was unemployed at the time and the family I was staying with could not understand why I did not have a job. I know I could have easily found a job there. Apart from that, Germany has free health care and schooling, government assistance and sustainable healthy environments. It of made me realize the value of life and the world around me. What types of things do we value? For some it is our careers and goals. For others it is our families and the community we live in. Are we truly giving value to the things that deserve it? Life itself should be valued yet we take it for granted, thinking we have another day or we can create new relationships. Realize the value of the world around you and the people you love and who love you. That is what life is truly about.
I hope that by reading this post you have been able to understand the reason I adore traveling so much and why I encourage you all to do so.
Thank you for being part of my journey. I would love to hear from you! Let’s talk. You can comment below, send me an email or we can connect on my Instagram profile, @kayiadore.
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“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
― Augustine of Hippo