Why Spending Time Abroad Might Be Right for You

Go Global By Christine Wardlaw October 5, 2016

Dreaming of traveling to faraway places? If you haven’t yet spent time overseas, you might not be sure if travel will be beneficial to you. After all, there can be a lot of expenses involved with traveling, and time away from friends and family, as well as work or school.

However, traveling can broaden your horizons, introduce you to other cultures and languages, teach you about the world, and allow you to gain invaluable life experience that can benefit you later. Western Union (WU) has complied a list of the benefits of traveling or living in a foreign country, and why spending time abroad might be right for you.

Become More Cultured

If you want to become more cultured and worldly, then traveling overseas is the best way to do it. When you experience how other people live, you become more knowledgeable, more interesting to talk to, and most importantly, more compassionate and understanding toward others.

Couple with digital camera riding double decker bus near Big Ben clocktower in London

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

It can be easy to get into a routine of spending time doing the same things, around the same people, day after day. It can feel like you’re in a rut when you’re not being challenged or exposed to new things. When you travel abroad, you’re forced out of your comfort zone and into learning a new way of being with brand-new sights, sounds, people, situations, and even foods that you haven’t encountered before. It can help you grow and build character.

Gain More Confidence

When you’re on your own in a foreign country, you’ll be faced with challenges on a daily basis that you’ll need to overcome, such as finding a place to stay, navigating unfamiliar streets, and dealing with a language barrier. These experiences can make you more resilient and give you a sense of accomplishment, building a lifelong feeling of confidence that you can take on whatever comes your way.

China, Hong Kong, couple looking at incense by Po Lim Temple

Learn New Ways of Living

Do you find yourself consistently wearing the same types of clothes? Cooking the same foods? Spending time with the same types of people? Doing the same jobs? Then you might not realize that there’s an entire world out there that does things differently than you do, and may even do it better. When you travel, you can learn how to interact and communicate with diverse groups of people, gain new life skills, and pick up habits that may work better for you than your current ones. 

Discover More About Yourself

When you travel abroad, you can learn more about yourself, your likes, your dislikes, and your capacities than if you always stay in the same environment. You may find that you love a different type of music or art than you thought you did, or discover that you need to change careers. Traveling gives you space away from the everyday to discover what it is that truly makes you feel alive and happy.

Enhance Your Career Prospects

In our global world, having experienced other cultures and lived overseas can give you a serious leg up when it comes to what can often be a tough job market, particularly if you can speak a different language. Understanding customs and etiquette in other countries firsthand is a valuable resource for employers, and can give you the competitive edge you need to be successful in your career.

If you’ve traveled overseas, what countries did you travel to, and what life experience did you gain? Let us know in the comments!