However much they might yearn to go overseas and “see the world”, people tend to make all sorts of excuses for not traveling. Worries about money, loneliness, language skills, or even simply where to go put plans on hold and turn would-be exchange students and expats into unhappy home dwellers.
The good news is: even if the idea of overseas travel scares you, making the choice to do so will enrich your life in more ways than you can imagine. To help inspire you to book that ticket, here are our favorite reasons – out of hundreds that exist – why you’ll never regret going overseas:
1. You’ll expand your horizons culturally and emotionally
One of the best things about traveling is being part of a world that’s different from your own; full of new foods, a different language, another take on social etiquette, changing rhythms, religions, and customs. At first, these differences may seem strange – but let yourself absorb them. You’ll be surprised at how much bigger your world becomes after experiencing another.
2. You’ll learn the truth of the phrase “we’re all in this together”
While at home, our personal problems can seem awfully trying. Luckily, travel is great for gaining a new perspective on life, and helps us realize that people the Earth over (except for those facing extreme situations like civil violence) experience the exact same daily challenges, sadnesses, and joys as we do. Seeing this is anything but dull – instead, it’s incredibly refreshing!
3. You’ll get excellent additions for your CV
Use your overseas experience to add spice to an otherwise standard CV. Life overseas – whether a longer trip or the experience of actually living abroad – comes with added bonuses for hard-working expats and travelers: practicing a foreign language, volunteering for a good cause, and part-time work. These opportunities not only enrich your experience, but will boost your employability later.
4. You’ll practice your language skills
Are you hanging onto the threads of high school French or harbor a secret desire to learn Japanese? Channel that energy into overseas travel and kick your level up a notch. Any progress is great and if you stay long enough, you’ll soon be on your way to fluency!
5. You’ll learn to communicate across cultures
Whether trying to buy fresh produce at a market, negotiate a taxi route, or simply have a chat over a cup of coffee, cross-cultural communication can be tricky! But it’s also super rewarding. With practice, you’ll soon learn to communicate complex ideas more simply, and how to pick up on others’ cues when they’re trying to help you understand.
6. You’ll step out of your comfort zone
If there’s one way to stay exactly as you are, it’s to never challenge yourself or do anything truly new. But what fun is that? Sure, you might feel comfortable and safe, but soon enough all that comfort and safety will drive you crazy. The secret? To experience challenges and learn to overcome them. There are no rules for a “good challenge” – it could be anything from talking to strangers, traveling alone, or choosing to visit or even live in a country you know nothing about. Once you’ve done it, the next challenge will seem much easier!
7. You’ll see that even the “bad moments” teach you something
Venturing outside your comfort zone isn’t always trouble-free. At times, you might feel lonely and confused, or face a more tangible problem like losing your passport or running out of money. Sure, these experiences aren’t on your Top 10 list, but remember: once the sting fades, you’ll have learned something valuable – like how to trust your gut, talk to other travelers at your hostel, or say yes to new situations.
8. You’ll create memories for life
If there’s something that has attracted travelers throughout the ages, it’s creating memories. Whether beautiful views, bizarre new foods, experiences of nature, or the precise moment new friendships were made, your overseas travel memories will stay with you long after the ink in your passport has dried.