In my 24 years, I've lived in four countries and eight cities.
Every decision I've ever made to get up and travel has shaped my life, and I've never regretted any of them.
There is so much pressure to follow the norm and achieve society’s structured version of success, but there are even greater benefits to traveling.
Here are five of them:
1. Learn how to be free.
When you're living a life you can always predict, surrounded by the same people you've always known and doing the same things you've always done, you experience a certain ennui.
For some, this turns into a burning desire that is hard to ignore.
Perhaps you never realized you were lacking freedom.
Yet, when you pack your things up, leave what you know behind and venture into a brand new world, an undeniably exhilarating feeling overcomes you.
You suddenly realize you can start a new life without any limitations.
2. Realize home is where you make it.
After moving so often between countries, it became very hard for me to identify with any one place.
I built a new nest everywhere I went, and I've never understood homesickness.
When you let go of the idea that home is a single place, you learn you can build a home wherever you go. You learn there are people everywhere who share the same interests and passions as you.
Over time, you realize building new relationships is not a phenomena limited to your hometown.
Ultimately, you understand home is actually where you open up your heart and soul.
3. Discover new things about yourself.
Ultimately, you learn how to evolve.
When you're so used to the environment, people and society around you, it subconsciously shapes you in a particular way.
It becomes difficult to break out of this mold and embrace growth and new experiences.
Moving and traveling to different countries helped me to evolve. I overcame so many personal limitations and barriers I never even realized I had set up.
I used to believe it was difficult for me to connect to people. Yet, the more people I met, the more I learned I had a lot to offer and share.
Living in a new place can also force you to overcome certain situations alone, without that comfort zone you were always accustomed to.
You go through heartbreak, challenges and personal struggles, and you come out stronger and better.
If you embrace your experiences and open up your heart, you'll realize you're not only meeting new people, but you're also discovering a new version of yourself.
4. See life as a journey, not a narrow tunnel.
When you're living within a routine, it can sometimes damage your dreams.
Your goals and aspirations shrink to fit the redundant lifestyle you've convinced yourself you're required to live.
You see other people traveling and roaming the world, and you think it's beyond you.
However, it's up to you to widen your aspirations and realize your life is a journey you can write yourself.
Life doesn't have to consist of working the same job in the town you've always known.
Broaden your horizons.
There is an infinite number of places you could be visiting and an infinite number of careers you could be exploring.
5. Learn to feel and listen to your inner desires.
When I graduated from university, society told me it was time to start full-time work, save up money and integrate into the “real world.”
That idea made my stomach churn.
Instead, I decided to start a new life in a place where I didn't know a single soul.
You don't have to ignore your desires just to mold yourself to society's expectations. Listen to that voice challenging you to live, travel and discover.
At the end of the day, your life is what you make of it.
So, embrace that extraordinary sense of satisfaction, self-discovery and adventure.