There is a growing number of people in today’s world who make travel a top priority. Many prioritize travel above having children or entering top-level careers because they don’t offer enough freedom to travel. Some go as far as to figure out ways to earn a living remotely, joining the elusive group known as digital nomads. But why? Is it really just about becoming a ‘permanent vacationer’? I know from my own experience the ways in which travel has made me a better person. But what about everybody else? I asked ten travel bloggers what the most valuable lesson travel had taught them. Here they are, straight from the horse’s mouth – the most valuable lessons learned from traveling the world.

The real voyage consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

Marcel Proust

1 . tara of she needs less

The most valuable lesson travel has taught me…

“…is that it’s okay to be out of control and let life happen. I fell in love with traveling the world because it is so unpredictable – when you’re in a new place where you don’t know a soul, you never know what’s around the next corner and every day becomes an adventure. By putting yourself in a new place, it’s like you’ve plucked yourself out of the mundane and put on fresh eyes. You notice the little details of everything around you, you’re more interested in getting to know people you meet throughout the day. Dropping your whole schedule just to go along with new friends you’ve made isn’t so crazy.

Letting adventure and the unknown into your life can be scary on a trip, but it’s not nearly as scary as letting the unknown into your main life where you have bills to pay and relationships to maintain. I put this lesson into practice with my career and trusted that life would deliver something good if only I’d follow my heart. Sure enough, when I left the job that wasn’t my passion, my dream job landed right in my lap with no effort on my part.”

Tara of She Needs Less

2. kimberly of pannali travels

The most valuable lesson travel has taught me…

“…is that you can never run away from yourself or your emotions – but you can find new emotions and corners of yourself previously hidden. While so many people see traveling as going, seeing and doing, I see travel as discovering more about yourself.

The influence of new cultures and climates brings out new qualities in our essential personalities. You can’t run away – but you can run towards becoming a more full version of yourself. Travel has given me the space and grace to run towards who I am becoming and to find the best in myself.”

Kimberly of Pannali Travels

“We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.”

Hilane Belloc

3. darcy of plan, ready, go!

The most valuable lesson travel has taught me…

“…is that when it comes down to it, I won’t let fear stop me from doing the things in life that I really want to do.

I’m quite the anxious traveler. In fact, I can’t travel at all, especially to a new place, without feeling at least some anxiety. I personally believe that travel helps us to learn as much about ourselves as the world around us, and it has been through travel that I have learned more about my anxiety and how to work on dealing with it. So, even though I’m often frightened when I explore a new place, I’m doing it anyway… and that’s really the most important thing.”

Darcy of Plan, Ready, Go!

4. rhianne of wanderfully living

The most valuable lesson travel has taught me…

“…relates to living a simpler life. It’s a universal lesson that we can all learn from. Traveling to far-flung places, experiencing different cultures, and forcing myself out of my comfort zone has taught me many things about myself as a person. When you travel, especially for an extended period of time you must choose the items most important to you, the ones you only really need and you pack them in your backpack and suddenly you carry your whole life on your back.

It is this practice that teaches us that we don’t actually need a lot of ‘things’ to survive. We don’t need all the clutter and noise that advertising companies constantly try to stuff down our throats. All we need for life to be good is a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and some food in our bellies. When you travel and you experience how big and amazing and beautiful the world is, you become addicted to the feeling that new experiences and human connections bring. You begin to realize that these things are way more valuable than objects that you can possess.

I’m not saying I’m completely immune to advertisements and the feeling of wanting to buy more material things, but now I ask myself twice if what I’m buying is really worth it and will it actually enrich my life?”

Rhianne of Wanderfully Living

“I would rather own a little and see the world, than own the world and see a little of it.”

Alexander Sattler

5. cristina of finding elevation

The most valuable lesson travel has taught me…

“…is that what I was looking for was in me the entire time. I could travel far and wide, but if I’m not feeling at home with me, I won’t be able to feel complete anywhere. I just needed a change of environment to come to this realization. It taught me that if I don’t fit in somewhere it means that I’m in the wrong crowd and there’s nothing wrong with that. I just have to change the crowd. It taught me that life is actually not supposed to go at the speed of light. It’s meant to be lived in the moment and appreciated to the fullest. It truly changed my perspective on how I see things.”

Cristina of Finding Elevation

6. corritta of itz a family thing

The most valuable lesson that travel taught me…

“…is that time is priceless. In life, we oftentimes get so wrapped up in making a living that we forget to live. Before you know it, time has passed you by, and you have nothing to show for it.  While on vacation in Thailand it hit me – I no longer wanted to follow societal norms. I did not want to work for 50 years in hopes of enjoying life in my 60’s. Why can’t I enjoy my life today?

This thought inspired me to take control of my time. We decided to sell everything and travel the world and to live life on our own terms.  Taking charge of your time can make you the wealthiest person in the world. The old saying may be cliche but it is also true – sometimes the best things in life are free.”

Corritta of Itz a Family Thing

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

7. sam of the-OOO

The most valuable lesson travel taught me…

“…is that we are more capable than we give ourselves credit. Before I began traveling, I was always second guessing myself. I was nervous to make decisions and would seek help before I tried to do something by myself. Once I began traveling, I was forced to make decisions myself. Traveling forces you to figure things out and trust your instincts. I realized I was so much more capable than I gave myself credit for. I could trust my gut and anything was possible!

Another valuable lesson travel taught me is that people are better than we think they are. Many times we see the world as a scary place. We’re always told to be careful of people we don’t know and places we’ve never been. We tend to think more people are out to hurt you. While you should always be safe and stay aware, I realized more often than not, people are good. The world is more loving than we assume. Strangers are willing to help you in situations, give advice and offer suggestions. The world is filled with loving, helpful people, it’s just a matter of going out and seeing it yourself!”

Sam of The-OOO

8. gabrijela of under flower sky

The most valuable lesson travel taught me…

“…is to follow my dreams which I’ve been putting on hold.  Many years ago I was hitchhiking from Croatia to the south of Spain because I wanted to see how it was to hitchhike on longer routes. I wasn’t thinking about travel in the terms of the journey, rather in the terms of being somewhere else. My idea behind hitchhiking was following what people do, not so much seeing as many places as I could.

Realising what travel means is not only about travel, it’s about your skills, about learning that dreams are going to be realised sooner or later. My way of life gets richer when I travel and I can really follow my dreams. That was realising how travel can be something more than destination, that travel can be about discovering yourself.”

Gabrijela of Under Flower Sky

“I travel because I become uncomfortable being too comfortable.”

Carew Papritz

9. izzy & phil of the gap decaders

The most valuable lesson travel taught us…

“…is the value of minimalism. We sold our house and almost all of our possessions to quit our jobs and travel full-time around Europe in a motorhome.  Space is limited, so we only carry what we really, really need. We have learned that we can live happily and well with very little; the basics of healthy eating, being clean, and protected from the elements take on new importance and remind us that simple pleasures are enough. So, the most valuable lesson travel has taught us is that possessions don’t make you happy, life does!”

Izzy & Phil of The Gap Decaders

10. sara-jane of listen to the wild

The most valuable lesson travel taught me…

“…is that we’re all the same. Sure, each one of us has our own unique personality, our own interests, our own quirks. Yet, universally, people don’t differ too much at their core. Each of us wants what is best for our friends, our families, our loved ones. Each one of us wants food, shelter, safety; we want emotional and physical security. Once you’ve moved around the world, seen hundreds of cities, towns, villages or slums, you’ll realise that you are as similar to a stranger on the other side of the world as you are to the people you surround yourself with every day. Once you travel you realise there is no ‘other’.

In the face of rising xenophobia, I am grateful to have learnt from an early age, through travel, that geography plays no part in humanity. We’re all just people doing our best, and by travelling you can learn about those unique cultural quirks, but it’s that universality that helps you relate.”

Sara-Jane of Listen to the Wild

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness… and many of our people need it sorely, on these accounts.”

Mark Twain

So, there you have it. The answer to all of life’s questions, the key to happiness – travel! ???? But really, though. Do it often, do it with an open mind, do it with a soft heart. Discover the lessons that lie in traveling the world. You’ll find that prioritizing travel is worth it.

And if, for whatever reason, travel is absolutely not an option for you at this moment, then try this: Go out and see your own location with new eyes. Explore places you haven’t been. Research your own city or town, its things to do and claims to fame, as you would if it were a foreign place you were visiting. A set of fresh eyes can do wonders for the self. But if and when it’s possible, travel. Explore the world, be open to the lessons that the universe has in store for you.

What are some of the personal lessons travel has imparted upon you? I’m interested to know! Leave them in the comments below!