A couple of days ago I was told about the Grand Tour, a trip that some young aristocrats, mainly English, of the 17th century undertook around Europe, as part of their educational process after finishing their studies.
This custom arose as a response to the precariousness of university education at the time and as an opportunity to learn languages and cultural training.
Adam Smith himself, the father of economics, stated that the Grand Tour became a key element of education.
Discovering the world we discover ourselves
Therefore, Travel is part of the educational process, not only as part of intellectual and cultural development, but also as part of the personal development or maturation process that these life experiences entail.
What process does our mind undergo when we travel? We find ourselves in an environment different from our own, we change culture, customs… What we know and identify us, so we do not know culture, language, customs, people, etc. …. We develop a series of skills that favor personal growth and plasticity.
WHAT SKILLS DO WE DEVELOP BY TRAVELING?
From an objective and subjective point of view, travel provides 4 basic skills that are difficult to develop from other experiences:
1. ADAPTIVE CAPACITY
As Stephen Hawking said: “intelligence is the ability to adapt to change”, so embracing new situations develops intelligence. Gradual adaptation gives you tools that help you solve your daily problems. I have experienced more creativity when facing problems and how to solve them, adopting a more positive attitude towards adversities, seeing them as an opportunity.
It is to accept that there are different thoughts, to open the mind to diversity. We tend to have many prejudices about the unknown and sometimes this prevents us from approaching and appreciating things in themselves: people, situations, customs, ideologies… It’s like when you decided to try sushi for the first time, you thought: “A piece of raw fish with seaweed? And it was delicious! Openness to what is different, to what is new, develops our tolerance.
When you find yourself alone in the face of adversity and you have no choice but to solve them on your own, you develop your degree of autonomy. My experience has taught me that as situations arise, you learn to cope with them. To do so, it is very important to follow your own instinct, to learn to trust yourself and to make decision making easier.
It is when we face our fears that we can overcome them. As you overcome them, you develop confidence, security in your abilities and, therefore, self-esteem. You become a much stronger person psychologically.
In short, it opens our minds, makes us grow, develops our capacity for observation. Traveling turns life into a great adventure full of enriching experiences and discoveries.
I leave you with a TED Talk by Alicia Sornosa, entitled: “Going out to travel to learn how to live“. It talks about what we actually discover when we travel, which is the human reality. I hope you like it!