Why travel, move or study abroad? Why leave your comfort zone behind to trot around the globe?

Recently, I’ve seen quite a few articles pop up focusing on external validations: studying abroad will make you more attractive to potential employers, for example. While that may well be true, I’m not a fan of basing my motivations on the value others might (or not) assign to my experience. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that approach, it’s just that intrinsic motivation is much more powerful for me.

why travel

Máncora, Peru

So here’s my take on it: assign value to your own experience and determine what it means to you. Your experience will then have value for you regardless of how others react to it.

Obviously, travel is as much an inner journey as it is an outer journey. It is a way for new places to wake a part of you you never knew existed. A part that might help develop some or all of the following:

  • It’ll open your mind.
  • It’ll make you more confident.
  • It’ll make you more flexible.
  • It’ll make you more understanding.
  • It’ll make you more self-reliant.
  • It’ll make you more responsible.
  • It’ll help you relate to more people.
  • It’ll make you kinder.
  • It’ll make you more compassionate.
  • It’ll help you navigate other social codes more fluently.
  • It’ll help you expand your comfort zone.

I think these are qualities that we, as humans, crave – in others and ourselves. Traveling, living or studying abroad is one way to develop those qualities. And you will feed off of them for the rest of your life.