Renowned traveler, writer, and chef Anthony Bourdain once wrote, “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you.” It’s true: the second you set foot outside your own door, your entire world begins to change. Your ideas evolve, your perspectives shift, and you evolve as a person. Here are some of the ways that travel will make you question everything.

It’s impossible to travel without it leaving a mark on who you are and what you believe. (photo credit)

You realize you know a lot less than you think you did.

You may go into travel thinking you know quite a bit about yourself and the world around you, but there’s nothing nearly as humbling as exploring the globe. Every person you meet, destination you visit, and memory you make opens your eyes to brand new history, facts, and perspectives. You learn about global issues that never made it to your school textbooks, you hear new versions of the events you thought you once understood completely, and you see first-hand how other parts of the world live.

Getting by in a country that speaks another language opens your mind to new methods of communication. Your geography expertise skyrockets as you pore over maps to plan your itineraries. You boost your organization and budgeting skills each time you book a hotel or purchase train tickets. Talking to locals teaches you about that destination, but you can learn about the whole world without moving an inch by also speaking to fellow travelers. Travel is a constant learning process, broadening your mind each step of the way.

There’s no end to the things you can learn while you travel. (photo credit)

You have a new definition of success.

Many of us are conditioned by our family, friends, and society to have specific ideas about success. This often involves conventional goals such as finding a high-paying job in a prestigious company, owning property, or building a family of your own. While these are admirable goals that bring joy to many, traveling teaches you that the definition of success is not nearly as clear-cut as you may have once been led to believe.

As you travel, your priorities and goals shift. You see how other parts of the world live and meet other travelers who lead nontraditional lifestyles. As a result, you find yourself aspiring to do things that may have never crossed your mind before. You may have had your whole life mapped out in front of you prior to embarking on your adventure, and now you find yourself questioning what you really want. This can be a terrifying realization, but it can also be magnificently liberating. You discover how you personally define success and can shape your life accordingly.

Travel can do a complete 180 on your sense of direction. (photo credit)

You see your hometown in a whole new light.

When you return home after visiting locations all around the world, your perspective on the place you grew up changes entirely. You begin to compare everything to the many details you noticed in your travel destinations. Was your family’s house always so spacious? Did the sunlight always hit those hills that way? Come to think of it, the coffee at that one café tastes just like that cup you had in Naples.

You become grateful for the things back home that you once took for granted and recognize the advantages and disadvantages your town has over the places you’ve visited. You’re able to become a tourist in your hometown, finding a new sense of adventure in exploring the places you’ve known all your life. You begin to view everything through the lens of curiosity, no matter how far from or close to home you may be.

There’s no place like home…especially after you’ve left to explore the globe. (photo credit)

You develop new ideas of friendship.

As you travel the world and meet locals and fellow adventurers in each destination, your perspective on friendship begins to evolve. No longer is friendship simply about how long you’ve known someone or who you spend most of your time with. As you explore the world, you develop relationships with people in the span of a few hours that end up changing your life entirely. You find a deeper connection with someone you met that day than you have with a person you’ve known since childhood.

You may find yourself reevaluating friendships that predate your travels as you realize you no longer view the world the same way, but this opens you up for new, stronger relationships that will last a lifetime. Years later, you may reconnect with the people you meet on your travels, perhaps having gone all that time without seeing each other, yet you’ll feel like mere seconds have passed since the day you met.

The things you experience with the people you meet while traveling will bring you closer than you imagined. (photo credit)

You begin to view everything as temporary…and that’s okay.

When you travel, you’re constantly saying goodbye to people, places, and experiences. Farewells become your new normal, and you start to view everything in your life as a temporary, fleeting phase. The strange part, though, is that you begin to embrace this and find a deep sense of calm about the ephemerality of life.

You lose the desperate need to frantically cling on to the past, and you develop a peace of mind about any major changes you may face. You learn that there’s nothing wrong with leaving a chapter of your life behind, because that chapter has touched your soul and will therefore forever be a part of you. You may never cross paths again with the people and locations you encounter in your travels, but you’ll always be a changed version of yourself because of the adventures you once had.

You’ll never truly leave anywhere or anyone behind. (photo credit)

As Anthony Bourdain said, travel truly does leave marks on you. From minor details like your tolerance for spice and your ability to withstand long bus rides to deeper mentalities like the ones above, globetrotting can change you like few experiences can. Never forget who you are deep down, but embrace this questioning of everything around you, and you’ll truly begin to discover yourself as you discover the world. Keep your mind and heart open as you explore, and you’ll be astounded by what you unearth.


Author bio:

Kirstie JeffriesKirstie Jeffries is a travel blogger and digital marketer from Pasadena, California who has seen 72 countries and counting. She lived and worked in Madrid and Sevilla, Spain and Sydney, Australia before embarking on a round-the-world adventure, which she blogs about at Venga, Vale, Vamos. Kirstie currently works as an independent digital marketing specialist.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedin PleasingTravel TipsRenowned traveler, writer, and chef Anthony Bourdain once wrote, “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you.” It’s true: the second you set...