Do you love to travel? Some people will say yes, while others will say no. The title of this post might seem biased because I happen to like travelling. As I was reading travel-related articles on the internet, I found several articles that show how travellers and backpackers have developed certain skills that will help them in life. So I have summarised them and voila, I present them here.
The first thing about frequent travellers is that they know how to survive when away from creature comforts. In some sense this is honed out of necessity. When one is travelling, he or she is likely to encounter everyday occurrences similar to being at home. As a result of being in unfamiliar environments and situation, travellers have to learn how to “wing it”.
As a result of “winging it”, frequent travellers would have a better grasp of their emotions. When one is in an unfamiliar environment, he or she always has to be on guard. There are certain elements of fear involved with being in the unknown. Travellers are aware of it, and so they know how to take the right actions to stay safe.
This brings me to my next point – they tend to have better decision-making abilities. There is a Russian saying that “with time and pressure all truth is known”. As travellers are “put on the spot” fairly frequently, they have to be able to think on their feet and adapt. As such, they can recognise and seize opportunities when it comes to crunch time.
On that note, travellers also have to develop good organisational and financial budgeting skills. Of the different categories of travellers, backpackers seem to be the best at this. Time is always of the essence and travellers know that they must always allow some “buffer time” when travelling. And finances are of course an important issue, even if they are earning passive income from another source.
Another thing they would have is better people-skills. You see, it’s no surprise that in some countries, tourists are the victims of scams. Seasoned travellers, being well aware of that, would need to display more confidence and even know how to fake it. Related to this is the point that frequent travellers tend to have good negotiation skills, because it is what allows them to not get ripped off.
Many travellers have also learnt to be patient, as they have learnt that not everything runs the way they are supposed to, like at home. It becomes a reality that in the developing world, resources that people take for granted might not always be available. And some things might not be as convenient. For example, water might not be potable and require boiling before you can drink it.
Another thing with interpersonal skills is also the ability to trust people. Travellers know that they do not always need to be in control, because sometimes circumstances are simply beyond what they can control. As such, having good judgment and interpersonal skills are great when the traveller needs to trust someone who might not even speak the same language.
Speaking of languages, people who have not travelled often marvel at how travellers seem to be able to overcome the language barrier. This in itself is a skill set. Travellers have learnt how to use non-verbal communication effectively to get what they want. At the same time they also hone their verbal communication skills, especially when communicating with people who might only have a basic grasp of their preferred language.
Travellers are also more open-minded, because they have to be. If they are curious enough and put in effort in understanding how things are done in said country, they will start to understand the nuts and bolts of how the society functions. It might also help with other areas in their lives when they are at home. Long-term travellers, in particular, have really shaken off the “crabs in the barrel” mentality.
Finally, they tend to be happier. You might think I’m contradicting myself because of the way I have described the challenges with travelling. While those are true, travellers would have learnt to lower the bar on expectations, and simply live in the moment, appreciative of quality time spent with others, and seeing beauty where most people don’t.
While it may seem that I’m biased about it, I urge you to think about it. Even if you are not quite the travelling type, it would be good to have a bit of an adventure once in a while. Budget it well and enjoy the experience. You’ll thank me later – I promise!
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Mark is an all-rounded guy with dreams, aspirations, and a desire to be a better version of himself. Having conquered obesity, he set-up Granite Fitness to help regular people get in shape and stay healthy. As of 2023, Mark spends his days as a People and Culture Manager. He holds three science degrees, a Diploma of Christian counselling, a Diploma of Human Resources, and a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety. Connect with Mark @ http://au.linkedin.com/in/marksptan