As we know, travelling offers some benefits to the destinations you are going to. The main one is generating income for the countries. Only in 2022 the international tourism receipts reach 1,011.5 billion US Dollars. For some places, it is seasonal; for others, it can be all year long, but tourism creates jobs in hotels, restaurants, and leisure businesses where the tourists will spend their money. If well done, tourism can highlight some unknown cultures and traditions and highlight a whole country, encouraging tolerance and respect for others and nature.
But what are the benefits for individuals? Here, you will find a non-exhaustive list of the advantages travelling can bring you regarding personal growth and overall well-being.
- Culture discovery: Travelling exposes people to new cultures, traditions, languages, and habits. This experience helps to be open-minded, understand and empathise with individuals with different ways of living and can contribute to creating a world without stereotypes and judgements.
- Out of comfort zone: Even if it can make you feel uncomfortable initially, travelling forces you to face new situations, adapt to unexpected challenges and encourage you to be more independent and confident. It can sometimes bring you new perspectives and ways of thinking to use in your daily life once you return home.
- Learning opportunities: Whether it is a language, a skill, historical and geographical knowledge, or something personal about yourself (interests, passions, strengths…). By going abroad, you can learn a lot. And generally, they are lessons for life.
- Less stress, more creativity: Stress is a barrier to creativity. Breaking your routine and immersing yourself in a new environment can help you to relax and recharge both mentally and/or physically, while exposure to this new environment can stimulate your creativity. The new experiences travelling will bring you could make you come up with innovative ideas.
- Better communicator: In any kind of relationship, communication is the key. It feels natural to some, but it can be stressful for others. Going abroad is an excellent way to exercise your communication skills and empathy. You will have to talk and connect with people from different backgrounds, speaking different languages or with other cultures.
- Building relationships: strengthening an existing friendship by travelling or meeting new people who will become genuine friends; both will come naturally along your way of travel. And what is more enriching than our relations?
- Life memories: Going to the other side of your country or the other side of the world doesn’t matter. What matters are the lifetime memories you will create while being there, maybe trying some exciting new activities you would not even think you would do one day. So, make just the most of it for relaxing or adventurous travel.
- Appreciation: Appreciating your home, country, and culture is not incompatible with appreciating others. You can be grateful for your life and opportunities while knowing other places’ good points. Travelling can help you consider the positive and negative from your point of view in your habitual environment and in some new areas you discover.
For all those reasons, travelling will make you grow, but it is important to note that all those benefits may vary from one person to another and depend on factors such as the destination, the purpose of the travel and personal taste and attitude. Travelling can also have some negative impacts on the environment, on the culture and local life. As for anything, travel being aware that what you do and how you act impacts others and the planet. If done consciously, travelling will be a formative and rewarding experience for many people, contributing positively to their lives.
Because we think that travelling is something we should all have access to, the Silver Tourism project aims to identify the best practices for inclusive tourism for +60 people and create a guide and training module from those practices. Three organisations from Belgium, Italy and Turkey are working on this project. This consortium is essential for the success of such a project.
Alton, L. (2017, May 19). 5 scientifically proven health benefits of traveling abroad. NBCNews.com. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/wellness/5-scientifically-proven-health-benefits-traveling-abroad-n759631
International Tourism Receipts Worldwide 2022. Statista. (2023, May 15). https://www.statista.com/statistics/273123/total-international-tourism-receipts/