The urge to travel is like a whisper in our hearts and a rustle in our minds. It’s an itch we need to scratch – a desire to explore and to experience everything this phenomenal planet has to offer first-hand. Perhaps this urge is also born from our understanding that to travel is to learn – both about ourselves and the world at large.

The term ‘better person’ is admittedly vague. Perhaps a more apt expression would be fulfilled. Does travelling fulfil us? Here are five ways that it might:

It gives us insight into ourselves:

Do you like to be alone? Do you prefer sharing beautiful moments with someone else? How do you cope with stress? Could you lie on a beach all day or would you be bored? Does Dubai’s vast shopping mall excite you or are you more of a fan of ancient ruins in Italy? These are questions you’ll start answering about yourself. Travelling takes us to realms outside of our comfort zones, and in these sometimes pressurised situations we begin to see ourselves in a new light. Yes, to travel means to meet new people, but it also means a deepening relationship with self.

It allows us to learn:

Part of the joy of this life is our constant capacity to learn. Travel is one of the best means to broaden our knowledge and experience new things. Whether you have a deep existentially-shifting conversation with a drunken antique dealer in a tiny town in Switzerland one day or simply marvel at the mind-blowing architectural beauty of the Acropolis, all of these are learning moments. Soak it in, every second of it.

It makes us more tolerant:

Acceptance comes through understanding. The more we’re exposed to people different from ourselves, the more we learn about them and the greater our insight into why they exist as they do.  Through others, we can learn important lessons of love and acceptance – not to mention new ways to navigate life. There’s nothing like forming meaningful relationships with newfound friends.

It grants us independence:

As we grow, we find ourselves increasingly craving independence. Travelling is a means of leaving the nest, leaving the familiar, and learning to be alright on our own. It may be tough at times, but it’ll be worth it.

It allows us to have fun:

This might seem quite superfluous in comparison with travels other gifts to us, but it’s actually very important. Often, our lives get so busy we forget to simply play and enjoy ourselves. Being in a foreign environment can give us time to recharge, and to embrace a childlike wonder of our surrounds.

Pack your bags and go and experience everything this world has to offer! You’ll be a ‘better’ and more fulfilled person for it.