“On the road and traveling – that’s when people are at their most creative.”
Nick Woodman, Businessman
Advantages & Disadvantages of Traveling
Traveling can be a quite nice experience from which we learn a lot. We can experience new cultures and expand our horizon.
However, apart from any other important advantages of travelling, there are also some issues related to it.
In this article, the pros and cons of traveling are examined in detail.
Advantages of Traveling
- You can experience new cultures
- You will expand your knowledge
- Traveling can broaden your horizon and expand your world view
- It will show you the relativity of life
- You can learn new languages
- You can make new friends
- Traveling can make you really grow in character
- Memories for a lifetime
- You will be better able to deal with stress
- You will be forced out of your comfort zone
- Traveling may make you more independent
- Boost in confidence
- Traveling can help your career
- You can try different foods
- Better knowledge about our environment
- Traveling can improve your fitness level
- You will learn about yourself
- Traveling may help you to figure out your goals in life
- Your strengths and weakness will become more apparent to you
- Traveling might enable you to escape your boring life
You can experience new cultures
One key advantage of traveling is that you can experience many different new cultures. In case you always stay at home and always do the same things, you will never experience how the world really looks like since you haven’t seen enough different things to make a proper judgement.
By traveling around, you will meet many new people and see how they live your life. You will soon realize that what’s “normal” for you will not necessarily be normal for people living in remote parts of our planet.
Talking to those people and experiencing their way of life is extremely important since you will be able to see how different people live on our planet.
Moreover, you will also be much more thankful for your own life once you get back home since you under what conditions people have to live around the world.
Thus, this overall expansion of cultural knowledge will give you many advantages back in your own life since you realize how lucky you really are if you live in one of our rich Western countries and chances are that you will stop complaining about rather unimportant things.
You will expand your knowledge
Through travelling, you will also be able to improve your overall knowledge in several different areas. For instance, you will learn how to find an accommodation, how to talk to people if they do not understand your language and how to get around in a safe and fun manner in general.
Hence, by travelling, you will get plenty of social intelligence since you will always be exposed to new and unknown situations and you will have to navigate in those situations in order to stay on track, which will result in plenty of knowledge regarding how to behave in unknown territories.
This is not only extremely helpful while you are traveling, it will also give you an important edge over other people when it comes to the workplace since you often have to think out of the box in order to solve problems in demanding jobs.
Traveling can broaden your horizon and expand your world view
In general, travel is one of the things that has the ability to greatly broaden your horizon. Since you will see many different cultures and lifestyles, you will soon realize that what was taught to you back home to be the right way to go is just one cultural footprint and cannot be generalized at all.
In fact, there is no “right” way to live since this right way only depends on the respective cultural values in a respective region. You might be much happier to live an alternative life than the mainstream life that is proposed to you.
By traveling, you really have the chance to figure this out and to get a broader world view, which may help you make better decisions in your future life.
It will show you the relativity of life
Traveling has also the potential to show you how relative life really is. For instance, many people complain about their daily lives and how hard it is to succeed in their job, to manage their family life and so on.
However, if you live in one of our rich Western countries, you will soon realize that there is nothing you should complain about at all.
While traveling to exotic places all over the world, I learned how good we have it in our Western world and how hard it is for billions of people around our globe to manage their daily life.
Consequently, if you experienced and really integrated all of that, chances are that you will be much happier at home since you know that so many people have it much worse and you are just lucky to be borne in such a good environment back home.
You can learn new languages
Another upside of traveling is that you might learn new languages during your travels. While it is quite hard to motivate yourself to learn new languages back home, it might become easier when you travel since you see for what you actually learn.
Trust me, if you are in a remote part of our planet and urgently try to communicate to people but nobody seems to understand what you want to tell him, you will be quite motivated to learn at least a few words of the native language in order to make your life much easier.
Moreover, locals will also appreciate it quite a lot if you try to learn their language and to get to know their cultures and it will also be much easier to make new friends if you speak a few words of the local language.
You can make new friends
On my travels, I also made many friends and I am still connected to some of them over social media. This is quite cool since you can stay in touch and see what happens in their daily life.
Moreover, once you want to go back to certain places, you already have connections there and can meet up to have a good time. Therefore, traveling is also great to meet many new people and to make really good friends for a lifetime.
Traveling can make you really grow in character
Traveling is definitely one of the things that can make you really grow in character. Especially when you travel alone, you have to figure out all the things by yourself.
You have to figure out how to get to your hostel, how to get from A to B and many other things. Moreover, if you go backpacking and sleep in many different places, you get to know so many different people and talking to all of them greatly expands your knowledge and also forms your character.
For instance, on my travels, I met some really exotic guys. Even though they seemed to be kind of strange first, I realized that I could learn a lot from them.
Thus, traveling is really great when it comes to character development and you will profit your whole life from the experiences you made traveling abroad.
Memories for a lifetime
During your travels, you will also make many memories you will never forget over the course of your life. When I look back on all the incredible things I was lucky enough to experience during my travels and the great people I got to know, I can just say that I will never forget some trips and will be forever thankful for them.
Those experiences will benefit you over the course of your whole life since you will know how to navigate in different times of your life. Instead of just giving up, you will be much more likely to recover from those bad things since you know how beautiful life can really be and that it is worth fighting for.
You will be better able to deal with stress
If you work in a demanding job and work long hours on a regular basis, you might also suffer from serious stress from time to time. However, if you traveled a lot, you will know that this stress is only temporary and you will also be able to put your life into perspective.
You will learn that it doesn’t matter how stressful your life really is right now, since there are billions of people on our planet that would do everything to change places with you.
Thus, by putting your life into perspective, you will be much better able to deal with stress in a healthier manner.
You will be forced out of your comfort zone
Another upside of traveling is that it will force you out of your comfort zone. You will likely not see this as an advantage at first.
However, only if we get pushed out of our comfort zones, we will really learn about ourselves and the world. New experiences often do not come for free and often involve a certain level of pain or exhaustion.
Yet, in the long run, we can greatly benefit from those experiences out of our comfort zone since we will be better able to deal with those unknown situations.
Traveling may make you more independent
People in our nowadays society also have it quite hard to get really independent. We as a society impose so many rules on our children so that they learn to behave in a certain way that is in line with our cultural values that they are often not able to develop their own character.
Many people, even once they turned into grownups, behave more like zoo animals than like independent humans who have developed their own character and thinking.
Therefore, at least in my opinion, it is crucial to hand back more responsibility to our children so that they have a greater level of independence regarding what they want to do with their lives.
By traveling, we can increase our level of independence since we can freely do what we want to do without any rules imposed on us by our parents or our friends. This would lead to much greater happiness for many people all over the world.
Boost in confidence
Traveling can also significantly increase the level of confidence in people. On my travels, I met numerous people who seemed to be rather shy and not confident at all.
However, after a few weeks of traveling, they have really grown in character and their confidence levels skyrocketed. This is due to the fact that people are often afraid to try out new things since they are afraid to do something in the wrong manner.
Yet, after experiencing that mistakes are a part of life, we can become more confident and the best versions of ourselves since we learned to overcome those cultural struggles.
Traveling can help your career
Apart from the numerous other personal benefits of traveling, it can also help you boost your career. Many renowned firms require you to spend at least few months abroad if you want to have the chance to get a job in those companies.
Those companies also know how important traveling can be and therefore require some sort of different cultural experience from their potential future employees.
Hence, if you plan to work for one of those big companies, you might also go traveling or spend a semester abroad in order to improve your career opportunities.
You can try different foods
Another upside of traveling is that you will be able to try many different foods. Every country usually has a specific traditional dish and you should definitely try them.
Even if it will not always be your taste, you might still get to know many different dishes and you may even be able to cook some of them when you get back home.
Thus, by trying those different foods while traveling, you can also expand your knowledge regarding food and cooking and can bring some cooking knowledge back to your home.
Better knowledge about our environment
Traveling will also make you much more aware of our environmental problems and how important it really is to protect our planet. You can read all of this in textbooks or in my blog, however, it is quite different when you actually experience the real beauty of our nature.
Therefore, by traveling and seeing all those beautiful places, it will become obvious to you how important protecting our environment really is and you are much more likely to also behave eco-friendly after your travels back home.
Traveling can improve your fitness level
Depending on the kind of traveling you are engaging in, it can also significantly improve your overall fitness level. For instance, when I had been backpacking for about half a year, my fitness level improved significantly since I always had to carry around my big and heavy backpack with me.
Thus, traveling can also help you improve your fitness level, which in turn will give you more energy for all other parts of your daily life.
You will learn about yourself
Traveling will also give you the opportunity to really learn about yourself. While you are traveling, you will have plenty of time to think about your life and if you are on the right track. You may also think about what you should have done differently and learn from it for the future.
You will also get some inspirations from people you meet during your travels and you can adapt certain character traits if you regard them to be beneficial for yourself.
Traveling may help you to figure out your goals in life
Since traveling provides us with a broad perspective on life, you might be much better able to decide what to do with your life after you finished your travels. For instance, while you were studying or in school, you might have been quite sure about your future profession.
However, many people experience things during their travels that completely change the course of their lives since they are able to really figure out what they want to do in the future.
Hence, traveling may also protect you to make bad career choices which you might regret in your later years when you take a look back on your life.
Your strengths and weakness will become more apparent to you
Especially if you are traveling by yourself, you will soon become quite aware of your strengths and your weaknesses. This is probably one of the most important things we as humans can learn.
Everyone of us has numerous weaknesses, yet only the minority of our population is really aware of it. However, it is crucial to know what you are not good at so you can either improve or get help in this field.
Traveling might enable you to escape your boring life
Many people will also become quite bored in their daily life. After a while, everything feels the same. Our work will become less exciting and we are often just living for the weekend.
If you suffer from the same issues, you might consider traveling around for a while in order to bring some excitement back in your life.
Always remember: You don’t know how life after death looks like and you should definitely make the most out of your life right now!
Disadvantages of Travel
- Traveling can be costly
- Can be exhausting
- You might get into trouble
- Communication problems
- You might get sick
- You might get stuck
- You might get lost
- Sleeping in many different beds may feel strange
- Feeling of loneliness
- Your current worldview may collapse
- Some companies may not be willing to employ you
- You might get the travel bug
- Some people will have problems when coming back
- You might feel bored at home after you traveled a while
- You might miss some important occasions at home
- Environmental problems
Traveling can be costly
Although traveling has many important advantages, there are also some problems with it. One downside of traveling is that it can be quite costly. Even if you stay in quite cheap hostels and try to save money on food, you will still need some money to get around, to pay for your flights and so on.
Over time, especially if you travel for an extended period of time, this can sum up to significant amounts of money. Thus, before deciding for such a big trip, make sure you make a rough calculation in order to assure that you don’t run out of money during your travels.
Can be exhausting
Even though you will make many experiences you will never forget during your travels, traveling abroad can also be quite exhausting, especially if you are traveling for many months in backpacking style since you will always have to search for new accommodations again and you will not have too much time to rest.
Therefore, don’t expect your travels to be quite convenient if you go backpacking. It might also be hard from time to time. However, in my opinion, it is still worth it since you will make incredible experiences during your travels.
You might get into trouble
Depending on the county you are traveling to, you might also get yourself in serious trouble. For instance, some countries may have customs you never heard of and if you violate those rules, you might even end up in jail.
Therefore, if you plan to travel to a remote exotic place, make sure to get familiar with the culture and the local rules in order to avoid any unnecessary trouble.
If you travel a lot to different places all over the world, you will also face serious communication barriers since you will not be able to communicate in the foreign language in a proper manner.
While you can learn some words, you will never be able to speak some exotic language fluently since you will simply most often not put enough time into it.
Hence, be prepared that while you are traveling, you might face some communication problems. However, this is not too bad and many locals understand that it is hard for foreigners to learn their language and most of them will not be mad at you due to that.
You might get sick
Another issue with traveling is that you might get sick from time to time. Especially if you travel to countries that have rather low hygiene standards, chances are that you might suffer from diseases sooner or later.
Thus, make sure to get proper travel insurance so that you are covered in case of emergency. You can also bring your own first-aid kit in order to treat minor issues yourself.
You might get stuck
If you are quite unlucky, you might even get stuck during your travels. For instance, in case you lose your passport, you will no longer be able to leave a country or to enter another one.
In such a case, you might have to attend an embassy or contact an institution back home in order to get out of your misery.
Even if this works, it could take an extensive period of time and you might be stuck in one place much longer than you wished.
You might get lost
In quite rare cases, people even get lost during their travels and never come back home. The risk for such a horrible event increases if you travel to quite unsafe countries where there are conflicts among the local population.
Therefore, in order to avoid getting lost, you might want to avoid going to countries that are known to be not safe right now.
Sleeping in many different beds may feel strange
Depending on the person, it may also feel quite strange to you to sleep in a dorm with numerous other people.
However, when I traveled around, I frequently slept in dorms with up to 16 people in one room and I got used to it pretty soon.
Yet, I advise you to bring earplugs with you so that you can sleep better and are not disturbed by the sounds of your roommates.
Feeling of loneliness
You might also suffer from a strange feeling of loneliness during your travels. Especially if you are traveling by yourself and are in remote parts of our planet, you might feel kind of lost and may want to go back home.
This may be especially true if you do not speak the local language and cannot make connections with locals at all. Thus, be prepared that you might experience this feeling of loneliness, especially if you travel for extensive times by yourself.
Your current worldview may collapse
Due to all the experiences you will make during your travels, there is a real chance that your current worldview may collapse. As I have mentioned before, life is relative and many people are not able to let go of their old beliefs since it is simply too painful for them.
Therefore, be prepared that adapting new views on the world is not an easy process and it can take a while until you really accept and incorporate all this into your personal emotional world.
Some companies may not be willing to employ you
Even though some people think it is positive if you traveled around and made new experiences, others may rather be skeptical about it. Thus, depending on the company, you might even have a harder time when you come back from your travels to find a job.
You might get the travel bug
Another real danger related to traveling is the so-called travel bug. I met many people who initially just wanted to travel for a few months, but had been on the road for many years.
This is due to the fact that it will be quite hard to adapt to your new life back home after your travels. While traveling, you have a pretty high level of freedom and many people have problems giving up this freedom and working in a regular job afterward.
Homesickness is a problem that is especially present in young people. If you have never traveled before, you might feel quite lost and miss your family and your friends a lot.
Therefore, you might develop a mental state that is referred to as being homesick. However, many people quickly overcome this feeling after a while, especially when they find new cool people to hang out with.
Some people will have problems when coming back
Some people might also have problems with all the bureaucratic work when they come back. During their travels, they had not to do too much paperwork and now, they have to get new health insurance and many other things that have to be done in order to function in our society.
You might feel bored at home after you traveled a while
Since you experience so many new and exciting things during your travels, you might also get pretty bored at home pretty soon. This may make it quite hard for you to stay focused on your job since you know there is so much more out there that you will miss out on while you are wasting your time working in a job you actually do not like too much.
You might miss some important occasions at home
Another problem with traveling is that you will miss some important occasions like birthdays or weddings in your home town. This may be quite sad since it might be important for you to be present for those important celebrations.
Thus, at least make sure that you travel as eco-friendly as possible in order to minimize the negative impact on our environment.
Top 10 Traveling Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Traveling Pros||Traveling Cons|
|Traveling expands your horizon||It can be costly|
|You get to know new cultures||You might get yourself into trouble|
|You can make new friends||You might get lost while traveling|
|Forces you out of your comfort zone||Travel bug|
|Memories for a lifetime||You may feel lonely|
|You realize the relativity of life||You may get homesick|
|Confidence boost||Difficult to reintegrate back home|
|You may learn new languages||Language problems|
|It can help your work career||You may get stuck|
|Traveling can improve your fitness level||You may get sick during your travels|
Should You Travel?
As we have seen before, there are many important pros and cons related to traveling. You can definitely make unique experiences you will remember for the rest of your life.
Even though there are also some problems with traveling, the pros outweigh the cons in my opinion and you should at least give it a try. Chances are that it will be worth it for you!
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.
As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.
After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.
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