The saying that travel makes one smarter doesn’t necessarily mean one turns into a genius suddenly. But travelling will sure force you to see and think differently as you are exposed to multiple cultures. It’ll create neurological connections in your brain that’ll make you react to or solve problems better.
Albert Einstein’s saying that a person shouldn’t chase easy-to-accomplish goals is at the root of this discussion. You are no smarter than your experience.
You Meet New PeopleTravelling literarily makes you meet “ALL” kinds of people. Some radically different, some will be similar. Some you’ll like, some you won’t, but you’ll have to interact nonetheless. Interaction will help impart knowledge and new skills (including social skills).
To paraphrase Mark twain, you can’t remain narrow-minded, racial and prejudiced if you travel.
Expand Your PalateSampling new varieties of foods and beverages is common to travelling. And even when you come across something you are familiar with, some ingredients and/or the methods of preparation will vary. Normally, except you are allergic, my best advice is to try them, including the most obscure on the menu. All this simply exposes your brain to more flavors and sensations. You may also want to learn to prepare a dish you liked.
Mohamed once said, “Tell me how travelled you are, not how educated.”
Learn New LanguagesStruggling to get by is common to travelling to a country of a language we are unfamiliar with. Instead of resigning to hand signals and grunts, we should try to learn the language. This won’t be easy and won’t be picked up on a short trip but trying usually endears you to some locals. Before ever travelling, learn the basics. And when you are there, expand on them.
In Henry Miller’s words, “Your destination is a new way of seeing things, not a place.”
The better for your mind if you understand more foreign words. You are smarter if you understand more languages.
Open Your Mind to New ExperiencesBe safety conscious, but don’t neglect to attempt anything on your bucket list. Try something new. Some may be unexciting, others breathtaking. Whatever the case, you’re unaware of what positive impact it may make until you try.
“Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God.” – Kurt Vonnegut
Become More Self-SufficientYou’d be challenged by travelling, especially when solo. It will teach you that you really don’t need any specific person to get by if you live in the moment, and have a head and a positive mindset.
“Your mind gets new vigor with travelling and change of place” said Seneca.
Become a Better TravelerThough related to the point above, your learning different specific skill-sets will help make the process of travelling more efficient and deepen your experience. That makes it quite different. I, for one, have learned to be more budget-conscious and what is really needed. I used to over-pack, but no more.
“The voyage never ends once you have travelled. It plays repeatedly in the quietest chambers. The journey never leaves the mind” said Pat Conroy.
Learn New SkillsThis is worth saying again: You get to learn new skills. You may not have the full opportunity to hone them on shorts trips but the brief practice can go a long way.
See Unique ThingsThere’s something, if not many things, unique about every country including great landscapes, architecture, and amazing animals. Always be open-minded. You might be inspired to embark on a unique quest or create something new.
“The man who does not travel only gets to read a page of the book called the world.” St Augustine.
Be InspiredLiving in the moment is essential as you travel. Before reaching for your camera when you encounter something awesome, enjoy it first. Be there in the moment. Inspiration is a natural result and you will get to become a progressively happier and smarter person.