People travel around the world for many reasons. Many young adults opt to travel abroad during the year following graduating from college or university, sometimes to “find themselves.” People take vacations with their families and/or friends every year to enjoy some time away from work. Many people also travel for business purposes.

Regardless of the reasons that people travel, Samir Khushalani, a partner at a major international business consultancy firm in Houston, Texas, says that travelling offers various benefits aside from providing a sort of escape. Be sure to immerse yourself wherever you go. The more that you can take in and adapt to your surroundings, the more that you can take away from every experience. It is important to continue to learn and grow yourself in whatever you do. He says that travelling both educates and unites us as citizens of the world.

Travelling as Education

Travel is actually one of the best forms of education. Through travel, you are essentially immersing yourself into a different culture, says Samir Khushalani. Even when you travel to different parts of your own country, you learn the different social etiquettes and traditions of that place. You will taste the local foods. By visiting different attractions, you will also learn the history of the region.

Depending on where you travel as well, you may learn a new language, even if it’s just a few words like “hello,” “please,” and “thank you.” Many people actually use travel as an opportunity to perfect their language skills, as they learn the accent, intonation, and slang while communicating in a real-world scenario.

Travelling on your own also teaches you to be more independent. After all, a fundamental goal of education is independent study and development. You learn to make your own decisions and be proactive, all while enjoying some time away.

Uniting Us

In addition to learning about new cultures, by travelling, you learn a lot about what unites us all as people. You learn that despite our differences, we have a lot in common. You learn to empathize with others and you build a connection with them.

On backpacking trips in particular, you can learn a lot about what unites humanity. You can meet people from all around the world that are on the trip for a singular reason: they want an experience, something that they can look back on years from now. You can meet people from all walks of life, younger people that are on the trip purely for an adventure, people on their honeymoon, even people with terminal illnesses that want one last special experience.

Travelling is also something that a lot of different people enjoy as a hobby and can be used as a way to spark conversations, notes Samir Khushalani. Travelling can therefore unite you with people within your own communities and networks as you swap travel stories from places you have visited. You can even talk about where you plan to travel next.

Final Thoughts from Samir Khushalani

While on the surface, traveling may be seen as an escape from mundane, everyday life or just another business trip, the benefits on personal growth are enormous, says Samir Khushalani. Not only does travelling provide educational benefits, but it provides important lessons on humanity, connecting us with others. One of Samir’s favorite quotes by Paul Bowles from The Sheltering Sky states: “Whereas the tourist generally hurries back home at the end of a few weeks or months, the traveller belonging no more to one place than to the next, moves slowly over periods of years, from one part of the earth to another.” He is of the strong belief that we are constantly travelling and learning from one another and that spending time in other countries and with other people, helps us grow as individuals and communities.

Be sure to be open to new experiences and opportunities when they arise and consider saving for traveling to build your life experience.