Reading the title, you are probably thinking, “How can I develop my character by traveling?”. “It’s just a vacation, I’m just supposed to relax, right?” NOT QUITE!

While it is true that you go on a vacation to relax and have fun, you also develop quite a bit of backbone when traveling and to be honest, you don’t even realize it right away.  Think about it, you are in a very unfamiliar place and on a temporary basis, you have to adjust to how the locals live.

Today, I am here to tell you in some ways that you will develop character and be a much better human being through travel.

The first way traveling helps develop character is through navigation. The very fact you are able to navigate around a foreign place where the streets are different, the signs are in a different language, and the buildings and surroundings are different mean a lot. Reading a map and locating where things are a crucial part of traveling.

I mean, you didn’t just come to your destination to walk around and simply look at things or stay in your accommodation. Also, you wouldn’t want to get lost in a foreign place. ☹

I remember a time when I was in Poland, my friend Anna and I were in a small city near Krakow, and we were trying to get back into town by train, but for some reason, they weren’t running. So, Anna and I were wandering around the woods trying to find someone to help us, and we noticed the more we walked, the further we were from civilization. Then, Anna trips over a pothole and sprains her ankle. We were limping around until eventually; we found a hotel and we were able to finally call for help. The phones were busy, but eventually we got an ambulance to take Anna to the hospital. When we got to the hospital, I had to call my friend Barbara and help her find the hospital so she can meet us. Of course, Anna was ok, but still needed a cast. That experience definitely developed my character as a person through navigating because if Anna and I weren’t able to use the resources we had, we probably would have never gotten the help we needed.

Another way that you develop character through traveling is by eating the local food. By eating food from another culture, you are developing your cultural sensitivity and becoming more open to trying new things. It also encourages you to be more adventurous not just by food, but on other aspects of life. I remember a time where I tried quail egg in Kyoto. At first, I was skeptical because the egg came from an animal I wasn’t used to, I wasn’t sure how it was going to taste, and it was encased in an octopus body. I took one shot of it and it was actually delicious but chewy. It was so good that I ordered another one!  Don’t judge me, it was cheap street food! Hehe.

Lastly, another way that you develop character through traveling is through self-sufficiency.

When planning a trip, you are planning the places you are going to, budgeting how much money you are going to spend on the trip, and figuring out the logistics of the trip. That definitely develops a certain level of self-sufficiency. Me as a person, I have grown much more self-sufficient as a person through traveling because I have developed an art for planning when I go somewhere, when the tickets and accommodations are cheapest, what to pack, what to see, how much money to bring and anything else that may arise.

Doing this while traveling has allowed me to incorporate this into my daily life. I would not have learned to be as self-sufficient if it wasn’t for traveling. For a moment especially like this, I felt like Anthony Bourdain. I recommend him highly on learning about the most interesting foods. 😊

These are just a few of the many ways that someone can develop their character through traveling. You may not even realize it, but you do develop greatly and in so many ways as a person when you travel somewhere. Your wits are truly tested and you also discover what you are capable of. Thanks for reading and thank you for your support. This is Jet Lagged Jaff taking off until next time. Stay safe during this pandemic of ours.

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