Going on vacation is relaxing and has the ability to dramatically relieve your stress levels. There’s no doubt about. But I want to talk about one of the most overlooked benefits of traveling.
Not every traveling experience is the same. Some are more memorable than others. But what makes those experiences more memorable?
The people you engaged with while you’re there.
And surprisingly, this can make you a better person.
Traveling is an opportunity to grow as a human being. You have the chance to positively influence every facet of your life: health, relationships, finances, and overall happiness.
I know it sounds like an infomercial, making grandiose promises that are super broad and far-fetched… that’s not my intention. I’m not saying there’s a direct correlation between traveling and ultimate success. It’s more nuance than that. It will take effort and action. And you need to be proactive in other areas of your life. However, traveling provides you with an opportunity to grow as an individual.
“But I’m not trying to become more successful when I travel! I just want to unwind and relax.” Well the good news is, even if you’re not trying to grow as an individual, it’ll happen anyways if you do this one thing on vacation.
Engage with Your Environment and the People in it
Many people agree that social and emotional intelligence are great indicators of overall success and happiness. And if you think about it, it totally makes sense.
We live in world where you must interact with other people. There’s no way around it… despite the technological advances and our noses being buried in our smartphones.
And your success and happiness are contingent on your ability to connect and relate to other people.
But engaging with your environment and the people in it doesn’t come naturally. You’ll have to step outside of your comfort zone. You have the choice of staying cooped up in your hotel room or chatting with the locals in your surroundings.
At first, it may be uncomfortable. But you’ll be thankful you did it. Your travels will be much more enriching. Your experiences will be much more memorable and impactful.
In retrospect, all my traveling experiences were amazing because of the experiences I SHARED with other people.
Developing the Ability to Empathize
There are interesting theories that claim that reading fiction improves your ability to relate and understand other people. It helps you have more empathy. Reading is like a social simulation in your mind about potential social situations.
You learn about a character’s experiences, what they’re going through, and different facets of their personality that motivates their behavior.
And going on vacation takes you a step further, placing you in social situations where you begin to understand other peoples’ experiences.
But it’s not a book. It’s life. And everyone experiences life differently. Not everyone is an open book.
You’ll have to put yourself out there, but it’s worth it.
Unfortunately, we can read more often than we can travel. But whenever you do decide to travel, try engaging with your environment and the people in it. The result of that interaction may surprise you.