Ever since solo travel became an integrated part of my life, people always ask how it has changed my perspective both personally, and globally. I began my journey into the vast unknown at the age of 21; alone, and unaware of the profound effects it would grant me. Some of them including a set of well-rounded characteristics, and interesting traits that have created me into a much better individual.

Photo By Dan Hellinger

Even though I started my exploration alone, my determination lead me to discover that I was, in fact, part of a greater community that shared the same desire to find self-enlightenment. No longer a stranger to that world, I’ve become part of a collective experience that has ultimately taught me an expertise in traveling on a budget. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there who’ve experienced what it means to travel solo with little to no money. I’m one that wants to pass on my knowledge to those that have yet to know the luxury of that experience. It’s the type of luxury that advocates peace, tolerance, wisdom, and gratification. I believe that possessing these qualities ultimately make this world a better place to not only see, but to know.There are many ways travel makes you a cooler person. I have 13 reasons why travel will make you a better version of yourself.

Stress Free You
Traveling takes the stress out of every day life. There are no bills to pay, angry girlfriends/boyfriends to fight with or idiot bosses to worry about. Traveling gives you the open road to freedom and a stress free life. No one can tell you to stop traveling. Only you can stop yourself.

A Happier You
Being free to do as you please in any country in the world is an incredible feeling. So incredible in fact, that it makes me giddy just thinking about it. Every time I take my next flight, I get a small chill down my spine. This is called happiness. You’ll never be more happy than to be free and feeling that cool breeze through your hair as you experience a new country for the first time.

Less Materialistic
Why do you need a brand new car or iPhone when you can use that money to travel. Being a continuous traveler, I have come to realize that the only materials I need are my camera, laptop and passport. Everything else is expendable. Possessing less means more. Use that extra cash to explore a new country.

Laid Back Vibes
You’ll come to notice your personality changing as you travel on your own. You’ll become more of a laid back person who doesn’t rush or need much. This will carry over into your normal everyday life. People around you will appreciate your new-found vibes. Being a laid back and easy-going person goes a long way.

The New Indiana Jones
Adventure is waiting for everyone in this world. Most people who are blessed with the opportunity never actually take the risk of traveling. You won’t make this mistake. Now, adventure is right around the corner in your everyday life. Traveling has given you that jolt of excitement to live day by day like its your last. Use this new-found adventurous attitude to keep exploring the world.

Adaptability
Traveling is all about making last second plans and quick decisions. Being able to adapt to the unexpected is a valuable skill to have in everyday life. Traveling will absolutely help in this category. There’s no better way to become an adaptable person than to be thrown into a foreign country where little to no English is spoken. Being able to find your way around while still enjoying yourself is the ultimate goal.

Keeping It Cool
Having the confidence to walk into a room and make friends instantly is one of the hardest things to do in life. Not a lot of people have that type of confidence to make a great first impression. When traveling, no one cares who you are or where you are from. Take that same approach in your everyday life. Use that new-found confidence you have gained abroad to get what you want in your life. May that be a new job, a girlfriend/boyfriend or to use as swagger. Confidence is the key to success.

James Bonding It
James Bond was always a great conversationalist. Having those smooth words to back up an epic story goes a long way. Traveling will give you that skill. There will be multiple opportunities each day where you will need to use your smooth words to get you through a tough situation. This will carry over to everyday life as well. Being able to sway someone with a few mouthfuls can go a long way in life.

Life of the Party
Everyone will want to hear your stories when you return from your epic adventure. No one wants to hear about someone else’s boring Friday night out at the bars. They want to hear your camel trek through the Sahara Desert in Morocco or diving with Great White Sharks in Australia. These are the types of stories most people wish they could experience.

Life Savvy
Life will hit you hard when you try to settle down in the “real” world. Good thing you already have skills in adaptability and confidence. Life won’t get you down now. You’ll be prepared to tackle life by the horns at any given time. You are a life savvy hacker now. Nothing will stop you from making the most out of your adventurous lifestyle. Keep on keepin’ on!

Approachable
Being an approachable person is a good feeling. A lot of people can be awkward and shy. Not you. You will have this approachable scent in the air that people will notice. You won’t have a hard time talking to new people or knowing what to say. Traveling has given you those skills. Traveling has also made you a better person. This will be evident to those around you. Don’t be surprised if random people come up to you for directions, advice or just to say hello.

Intellectual
This is the #1 skill that most people come out with. I have found that on each trip I take, I become a smarter person in some type of fashion. Being able to travel the entire world alone while budgeting the little money you have, shows just how far you have come. Each day you will learn how to adapt, communicate and feed yourself in a country that either doesn’t know English or knows very little. This is called learning as you go. This is also the scariest part of traveling. No matter, you’ll be an expert by the time you are done with your epic adventure! Now look back at all of these traits. Most of these are imbedded in some of the most successful people in the world. Being able to adapt to your surroundings, communicate with people you don’t know, make friends out of thin air, build up confidence to experience something new all while traveling the world, shows just how awesome you really are.

Take these new-found skills and use them to your advantage. Just because you stopped traveling for a few months or a few years doesn’t mean you get to stop being a cool person. Use those experiences to achieve your life goals. Traveling will always be there for you when you need it most. That’s the beauty of it all. Once you step foot into this new world of adventure, there’s no going back. The travel bug will stay in you your entire life. It’ll eat at your soul until you get on that plane and fly to a foreign land. Don’t fight the bug, embrace it. Nurture it and keep it alive.

 

www.wanderwithdan.com

About The Author

danhellinger@gmail.com'