Even though you’re probably already pretty great, we think that travel can help you discover greatness you never knew you had. Here are three reasons why.
Endless possibilities lie beyond comfort zones
Anything new is a little bit intimidating at first. Like when you’re a kid, and you go to dinner at a friend’s house, and your friend’s mum puts beans in the dinner, which your mum would never do, because you don’t like beans. It can certainly be tempting to stay home, inside your comfort zone, where nothing is stressful or risky, and you can avoid beans at all costs.
Being in a new place is the perfect environment to learn to embrace, not fear, the unknown. The most rewarding experiences can often be those that both scare and excite us, and nothing is quite as scary and exciting as travel. There are a lot of unknowns in a new place, and there will be challenges and problems to solve. But if we never stepped outside our comfort zone, we’d never figure out that beans are actually pretty awesome, and after all, where would a good plate of nachos be without beans?
By pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, you might find you are better at more things than you thought you were. You might discover a new passion you never knew you had. Travel is one of the best ways to open up your world, and grow beyond your habits and routine.
Travelling is a crash course in personal growth
Travel can help you fast-track a lot of life’s lessons, because it is through new experiences that we grow, and pretty much everything you do while travelling is a new experience! Figuring out a foreign transport system or trying to order a coffee in another language can seem like formidable tasks, but the newness of travel can be so positive if you embrace it.
When you put yourself in situations that require a bit of figuring out and thinking on your feet, you’ll become more resourceful, more confident and more independent. Through travel, you can learn to trust yourself, welcome challenges and see the reward in overcoming them, and you foster an openness to experience that will allow you to get the most out of life.
The unpredictability of travel is a great way to learn to roll with the punches. Sometimes you can do everything right and still end up in Queens when you were aiming for downtown Manhattan, all because that one subway stop you were counting on was closed for maintenance. Accepting that things don’t always go to plan, and learning to adjust accordingly, gives you the skills you need to hit life’s future curveballs out of the park.
You’ll gain an appreciation for other ways of life, and for your own
When you’re at home and living within your daily routine, you can slip into autopilot without even realising it. When we travel, we naturally have to pay more attention to our surroundings, so we are more conscious, more aware. We notice the people around us, how they are living their lives, how they mirror or differ to our own. Venturing outside of what you’re accustomed to enables you to be more conscious of how you live, and identify what you value in your life, as well as respecting the values of others.
Travelling in a place influenced by different cultural traditions and norms can open your mind to other ways of doing things. You might see the benefits in the Spanish midday siesta, come around to the English habit of putting vinegar on chips, or admire the respect the Japanese show just through the simple act of standing to one side on an escalator. Being able to see things from a different perspective, particularly that of people completely different from yourself, is a valuable skill that builds tolerance and breaks stereotypes. When we travel, we cultivate a valuable curiosity about the world and the people in it.
You might never have thought twice about many of the things considered normal in your everyday life, but travel can change all that. Visiting a place without access to clean drinking water, or even learning to cope in a completely different climate, will fill you with gratitude for things you once took for granted. Being away from what you know and love gives you a greater appreciation for what you have, and perhaps, a deeper consideration for those who aren’t afforded the same privileges.
Here is what our students have to say:
“Overall this tour was one of the best experiences of my entire life. I learned so many invaluable lessons and gained so many new skills from the workshops. The sights and sounds of America overwhelmed me in the best possible way; the buzzing, almost alive, quality of the crowds during the day and the bright, almost blinding, lights at night made me believe that NYC truly is the city that never sleeps. Being a part of if all felt so incredibly magical and left me so in awe.”
Student - Genesis Christian College, New York Dance Tour
“Everyone had a great time, we all became closer as a group and learnt so much, not only about the culture, but about others in the group. New friendships were formed and everyone enjoyed all the activities that we did.”
Student - St Brendan Shaw College, New Zealand Netball & Basketball Tour
“I found this trip to be an absolutely wonderful experience. I enjoyed every day and all the things that were arranged for us. We got to experience things we would never normally get to do. If you enjoy drama, music and dance, you get to fulfil lifelong dreams and experience places you've only dreamt about. Thank you, Student Horizons, for making it possible!!”
Student - Kirwan State High School, New York Arts Tour