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Finding Yourself While Traveling Abroad

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By Mikkie Mills

If you're feeling lost and unsure of what to do with your life, international travel might help to bring you out of your shell and learn who you really are. Those far-off horizons you've only ever dreamt about could be the answer you are seeking. It can be frustrating to think we are just floating along without purpose or passion while we watch others pursue their dreams. Travel is one way to greet the world and discover the real you.

  1. You'll Be Challenged
    Traveling to another country for the first time can seem daunting. You'll be around new sights, smells and sounds that are unfamiliar to you. You might even need to negotiate prices for things in a new language and learn how to spot scams so you don't fall for them. You'll have new insights into what makes you tick and will be able to separate the important from the trivial. Most of all, you'll adapt and learn new problem-solving skills so that your travels will go without a hitch.
  2. You'll Meet New People
    One of the greatest things about travel is the people that you meet. They may be wildly different than you, with an unusual upbringing or cultural differences that will make you see the world in a new light. Meeting people can help break down prejudices and help you understand that we all have similar hopes and dreams. In some cases, you will make lifelong friends who will come and visit you for their own international travel. You'll meet people on buses in India, on Taiwan tours or at a street vendor's stall in Thailand. You may even meet your new best friend.
  3. You'll Become Self-Reliant
    Everyone knows, if you want something done right, do it yourself. This is also true of international travel. You'll find an inner strength you weren't aware of before and the ability to roll with the punches. Things don't always work out like you planned or hoped, when the weather or transit strikes change your holiday plans. When you're on your own, the one thing you can rely on is yourself. Traveling teaches us to take a deep breath and not sweat the small stuff.
  4. You'll Fall in Love
    It could be romantic, it could be with a city or a sunset or a beautiful building. You'll fall in love with something while you are on your travels, and this can ignite that latent passion in you. You'll find a new meal that is the most delicious thing you've ever tasted, or a hidden waterfall that reminds you of your dreams. There are few travelers who leave a place the same person as they were when they arrived. Falling in any kind of love can inspire and encourage you to accomplish things that once seemed impossible.
  5. You'll Change
    For a traveler, change is inevitable. Learning that schedules can change, trains can be canceled and flights delayed means that you'll become much more relaxed about life. You'll understand more about the world because of what you learned about the history and culture of another country. The people and places you visit will also have a profound effect on you, and you'll return home with a very different outlook on life than you had when you left. Change can be a very positive thing, and may be just what you were looking for to learn who you truly are.

International travel can seem a little frightening at first. Landing somewhere you've never been with new customs that are unfamiliar may seem intimidating. You'll find there is really nothing to fear. Once you get accustomed to the idea, you'll find yourself charmed and awed by your new experiences. There's nothing like international travel to help you find your identity.

About Mikkie Mills: “I’m a Chicago native who loves to share her expertise about personal development and growth. When I’m not writing, I’m chasing the little ones around or rock climbing at the local climbing gym.” More articles by Mikkie

P.S. Also check out the Solo Travelers Guide - a resource that explains how you can keep your money and credit cards safe, before and during your trip. Plus a printable checklist to ensure you are prepared and ready to hit the road.
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