Sounds amazing right?
Travelling around the world, endlessly hopping on planes going from one tropical country to the next.
Meeting new people, experiencing new and interesting activities without a care in the world…
And yes travelling, especially on a longer-term basis, is one of the most amazing things you can do in your life. But despite the many amazing benefits, there are some surprising cons that come with it.
In this post were going to explore a few of the amazing pros and (surprising) cons of travelling.
Table of Contents
The Pros of Traveling
Introduction to Cultures
Travelling anywhere out of your home country exposes you to a completely different way of life.
It may be differences in simple day to day activities or when heading further afield, some countries can completely turn your idea of life upside down.
Suddenly everything you know to be true is done completely differently on the other side of the world.
Getting Out Of The Comfort Zone
Travelling forces you out of your comfort zone.
In fact, this is actually one of the biggest advantages of travelling.
At the time, when you’re on the road and something goes wrong, you just have to deal with it and there often isn’t anyone there to help you (like your family and friends at home).
At home, it’s so easy to continue the ‘normal’ way of life or even follow the dreaded ‘deferred life plan’ (a safe 9-5 job until you get to retire).
Travelling says no to this way of life and throws you out of a safe, yet very mundane way to live.
Expanding Your World View
At home, you have a very clear idea about the way things are done.
From socialising, working, getting around and what constitutes right and wrong.
The list of what you might consider ‘how it should be’ or ‘normality’ goes on and makes up your worldview.
You sometimes hear people use the term ‘worldly’ to describe someone’s personality. This simply means how broadly has their world view been expanded and changed through travel and exposure to new countries and cultures.
Ability to Deal With Situations
On the road, things go wrong.
Cars break down, you get lost, robbed or run out of money. All of which are less than ideal situations.
Having to deal with such situations occurring regularly on the road, makes you grow as a person. In dealing with such situations, you’ll become more confident, less anxious about unimportant things, develop people skills and be comfortable in sticky situations.
These are extremely valuable life skills.
My friend once said to me, you want to be like water. A metaphor for having the ability to change and be comfortable in any situation. I love that as a metaphor and try and think of it whenever an undesirable situation occurs.
When travelling all over the world, you’re going to meet a tonne of people.
Some you’ll meet for minutes, some you’ll spend a day with and some will become friends for life.
You’ll meet people from all walks of life mostly for only a short time, but these interactions with different people add up and provide you with invaluable people skills that last a lifetime.
The Cons of Traveling
Despite the many incredible benefits you’ll gain from travel, there are some surprising cons that come along with such a life.
One of the biggest, especially if you’re heading on a longer trip, is homesickness.
This is the feeling of missing your friends, family and way of life back home.
On the road, you’ll often be living with a lower standard of living than you would be at home (where things may be simple and easy), add in sticky situations and a few unlucky scenarios and homesickness multiplies.
For some, this feeling is too hard to ignore, and even for me (after being on the road for years) it gets to me front time to time.
Losing the Sense of Belonging
When constantly moving from place to place, you often find yourself ‘on the outside looking in’.
By this, I mean when you’re at a spot for such a short time, you’re only seeing the culture and community and unless you’re moving somewhere permanently, you don’t become a permanent fixture in that community.
You then don’t get that community feeling, you took for granted at home.
Can’t Stop (Getting the Bug)
Although this may seem like a positive, travelling is actually very very addictive.
After you’ve travelled for a number of years, it becomes hard to stay in one place for a long time and as you get older this actually becomes more of a worry.
It’s hard to imagine settling down, as many of your friends at home begin to do so.
As a traveller, especially a solo one, you can actually end up spending a lot of time by yourself.
Now this will depend entirely on where you are and what the social life is like in the place you visit.
But even if you’re constantly surrounded by people, it just feels different as none of them are truly close friends.
Having lots of temporary friends is very different to having your best friends and family around all the timer.
Exposure to Risk
As you know, things are extremely likely to go wrong on the road and the more you travel, the more you are exposed to this risk.
Whether it be physical, emotional or financial, you’ll always be exposed to risks in these areas, when travelling.
Pros & Cons of Travel Summary
Now we’ve looked at both some pros and cons of travel, you can decide for yourself if a life of travel is right for you or not.
That said, I think everyone should travel as much as possible, as the positives you’ll gain far out weight the negatives.
If you are worried about the negative side to travelling, just remember you are pretty much always 24 hours away from home, wherever you are in the world, so if you’re on the road and you’re really struggling, jump on a plane and you can be home the next day.