If travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer, why is it a good investment?

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In the digital world there’s a lot of inspiring articles being thrown out into cyberspace that make us think something, feel something, but rarely ever actually do something about it.

I recently wrote an article about why travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer which turned out to be quite popular and quite rightly so, it was a pretty damn good inspirational piece to throw out into cyberspace. But did anyone who read the article actually do something about it? To be honest, I have no idea.

But if on the off chance you didn’t do something about it, I’m gonna go ahead and give you four of the most important reasons as to why travel is a damn good investment.

It costs a lot to look this cheap

Travel makes you more employable

The age old debate has resurfaced and it’s time to take my stance and proclaim that yes, travel makes you more employable.

Life skills. You’ve heard of them. I’m sure you’ve also heard of life experience, after all everyone’s talking about it. But what exactly are these elusive concepts?

They say money can’t buy you love or happiness, but what they don’t tell you is that money can’t buy you a lot of things. Arguably you could say that money can buy you friends, affection, and all of the tangible items a walk-in wardrobe can hold. But it can’t buy you social skills, tolerance, patience, understanding, and it certainly can’t teach you to go with the flow (money has a way of doing the precise opposite and controlling our lives).

So if you can’t buy these skills, how might they be acquired?

Adventuring out into the unknown is a scarey thought – but it is indeed just a thought alone. We don’t know that things will go wrong, but we anticipate them to. Why? Because it’s beyond our comfort zone and beyond what we know. Knowledge (or a false pretense/security blanket of ‘knowing’) is what makes us feel comfortable and confident. Travel is to most, the ultimate antithesis of knowing, being comfortable, and having our usual confidence.

Now take this example into an interview scenario – we don’t know what to expect, what answers will be asked, or how we will react (though we might claim to have some idea). This is precisely why we fear ‘the interview scenario’. It’s the fear of the unknown. Experiencing the unknown and learning to deal with these scenarios will teach you life skills that simply cannot be bought or earned through education. But one things for sure, learning to deal with the unknown will make you more employable.

You’ll learn what they don’t teach you in school

Numbers, letters and symbols can only get you so far. A private education is argued to be a ‘good investment’, but even then it is not guaranteed…. but since when did life have guarantees. So what can travel teach you that you won’t learn in school?

Patience, kindness, openness, worldly views, a first-hand education of cultures, languages, morals, values, ethics…. the list could really go on forever.

So while an education in it’s strictest sense might be an investment, such is the case of a worldly education.

Tolerance, like patience, is a virtue

My mother always told me ‘patience is a virtue’. Granted, this would be in scenarios where I was tapping my shoe, watching the clock, or nagging for an answer to the infamous “are we there yet?”. But without realising, I have grown out of these habits. I have learned tolerance in its purest form. So much so that when I hear others complain of trivial matters – a flight delay, waiting in a line, or their food not being cooked to their preferred temperature, I really can’t help but to cringe. But how does this return as an investment I hear you say?

Learning tolerance is learning to control your mood. Controlling your mood is the most direct access road to happiness – you can’t get a much more clear, straight and narrow road to happiness. And you can’t put a price on happiness.

You’ll learn budgeting and reap the returns in the long run

If you strip back the idea of an investment to its purest form, it doesn’t get much more straight forward than this. Particularly in the financial sense, the core value of making an investment is to outlay an initial cost for a long-term gain. In the financial sense travel appears to most to be an ‘expense’. Sure, initially it is. But it is also one of the most valuable ways to learn how to manage your finances – something that can take years to master. Throw yourself out there for a few weeks, a month, or a year with an identified sum of money, a budget, and all the temptation that the world can offer, and you will soon learn how to budget properly.

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    Isa Dione
    June 7, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    I loved your article back then and I love this post as well!
    Nr 2 should basically be implemented in schools, so people could do more exchange studies or even study travels on their own. Sigh, my dreams are always too big 🙂

    June 6, 2014 at 5:58 am

    So true! I don’t know anyone who regrets traveling, but I know plenty of people who regret not traveling more.