When you are in high school or college, it is not uncommon to hear people advising you to study, travel, and work abroad. And most often, we do not take these encouragements seriously or postpone these plans later because we feel like we have a lot going on with our lives at the moment.
However, a lot of seasoned travelers, especially those coming from the millennial cohorts, think a lot of benefits come with traveling abroad while you are young. It helps develop your character and makes you more of an interesting person, among others.
Also, being young and free means having the luxury of flexibility. You can study anywhere in the world and get to enjoy relatively long breaks. And, with the knowledge and skills you gain from traveling abroad, you have a leg up in the professional world.
Top Reasons Why You Need to Travel Abroad While You Are Young
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Most young individuals have a pretty established comfort zone. We have our usual routine at home, in school, and even at work. We have our defined set of friends, our favorite hangouts, and people in our community who know us for most of our lives. And breaking these routines can be scary.
However, we know that it is during the most unfamiliar and uncomfortable situations we learn a lot. Being in a new place, meeting new people with different sets of values teaches you how to connect despite the differences. It might be easier said than done, but eventually, you will learn how to adjust to new situations.
Traveling abroad also helps build your confidence. Think about how fulfilling it is to say your order in a restaurant using the local language or to figure out your way around using public transit. These might be little things we tend to overlook, but it certainly does help with our self-confidence.
Having enough confidence and trust in one’s self is crucial especially when we are building our career. How can you be assertive and more interactive at work if you doubt everything that you do? Our confidence also helps us stay positive during difficult life situations we would certainly encounter along the way.
Develop Cultural Sensitivity
Having cultural sensitivity is critical in today’s globalizing world. It is more than just knowing the superficial stereotypes, but it is about understanding the underlying values of each culture. Furthermore, learning about other people’s culture and traditions is in itself fascinating enough.
Being culturally sensitive allows one to see the bigger picture in terms of international issues and conflict. This skill also comes in handy especially when you are dealing with a foreign business partner and helps you avoid any social blunder. It is easier for you to shift perspective and see the point of view of others.
Adapt to Globalization
Whether you are ready for it or not, globalization is here to stay and it is happening fast. With the internet and social media, all of us are interconnected. Distance does not seem too evident anymore unlike 10 or 15 years ago. It is also more likely now that your job will require you to travel abroad.
With experience living abroad, you have a competitive edge among your colleagues. The cultural sensitivity and confidence you pick up during your international travel stint make it easier for you to interact and relate with foreign clients. This skill makes you an indispensable asset to your company.
Learn Second or Third Language
Living abroad also helps you understand the beauty of being fluent and proficient in another language. Sure, a lot of countries speak English as their second language. However, in a practical sense, it would be much easier for you to get around in a foreign country when you know how to speak their language.
In most non-native English speaking countries, almost everyone knows who can speak at least two languages proficiently. This is not surprising in today’s globalizing world. Moreover, being able to speak another language makes it easier for you to get to know other people and expand your network.
Learn Financial Management
Spending a considerable length of time abroad means being independent financially. When you are in a foreign country, you are all out on your own with everything depending on you. Traveling abroad teaches you that you need to earn your living and manage your finances wisely.
Apart from these reasons, perhaps like any other people, you need to take a break from life. Hike the terrains of Machu Picchu, go for a working holiday in the UK, or simply lounge on the beautiful beach of Bali. Whatever may your reason be, traveling while you are young only brings a lot of good things.