5 Different Ways Travel Opens Our World

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Open Your World

5 Ways Travel Opens Our World

Travel Tips

People travel the world for different reasons. Adventure. Curiosity. Escapism. Or maybe just to chase those epic Instagram shots. But something else happens too.

No matter what your reason for traveling is, there’s no denying that travel can change a person. I’m certainly not the same person I was when I started traveling more than five years ago.

In fact, I’m not even the same person I was just one year ago. The more of the world you see, the more you learn about that world and about yourself — plus where you fit into the mix.

“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Mary Ritter Beard

They say that travel is one of the best educations. But it’s not just facts and historical dates you learn as a traveler. Travel also opens your eyes – and in turn opens the world to you.

This month I’ve partnered up with the flight search experts at Momondo to share some of the different ways travel has opened my world after 5 years of travel adventures.

Be Open

Eating Scorpions in Thailand

1. Be Open

Mark Twain once said that “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” When you travel to countries very different than your own, you’re given a chance to set aside your conceptions (or misconceptions) and observe how things really are.

When you set aside your prejudices and open yourself to new cultures and experiences, you’re not just opening your mind to new languages or food or music – you’re also opening your mind to new ways of thinking, living, and understanding.

Even though you may feel like you have nothing in common with the person sitting across from you on the bus 10,000 miles from home, the reality is that, as humans, our similarities far outnumber our differences. Once you are open to this concept, you quickly start noticing the things that all strangers – regardless of race or religion or way of life – have in common.

And suddenly the world becomes a lot less intimidating.

Talk To Strangers

Making New Friends In South Africa

2. Talk To Strangers

Growing up, your parents probably taught you all about “stranger danger.” But forget about that when you’re traveling. When you’re open and open-minded on your travels, you’ll want to talk to that stranger on the bus or that tuk-tuk driver or that surfer who just caught that awesome wave. It’s the locals in a destination who know the best places to eat or the best spot to catch a sunset.

When you talk to strangers, you also help break down barriers. When you can share a joke with someone who doesn’t speak your language or make an effort to communicate with a shy kid on the street, you make a connection. And connections are what help strangers become friends.

Be Open

Moto Taxi Ride

3. Just Say Yes

You don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie to enjoy traveling. In fact, you don’t even have to be all that outgoing at all (I know plenty of people who identify as introverts who still love to travel). The trait you do need is the ability to just say YES.

Travel is sometimes just about the destination – the beaches and colorful towns and snowy landscapes. But often it’s just as much about what happens along the way. Say yes to a ride on the back of a motorbike. Say yes to that scorpion on a stick. Say yes to a polar plunge in frigid Arctic waters. To steal Nike’s slogan: “Just do it!” You’ll be surprised at how much you’re capable of doing if you allow yourself to be spontaneous once in a while.

Stay Curious

Trekking in Greenland

4. Stay Curious

We’ve already talked about being open and open-minded on your travels. And one of the best ways to facilitate this to stay curious and continue pushing yourself.

Talk to that stranger on the bus even if you’re a bit shy. Hike a little further to see what’s over that next ridge even if you’re tired. Find out what will happen if you face your fear of heights or spiders or deep water. I think all travelers are inherently curious people, but cultivating and expanding that curiosity on the road is important, too.

Inspire Others

Playing with Northern Lights in Iceland

5. Inspire Others

When you talk to strangers and say yes to adventure and open your mind to things that are “different,” you often become kind of different yourself. As a travel blogger, I’m always aiming to inspire people to get out of their comfort zones and open themselves up to the world.

I want to convince people that traveling doesn’t have to be scary, and I do this by showing people the world through my eyes.

You don’t have to be a travel blogger to inspire others though. Simply telling your friends and family about the great new dish you had in Mexico or the interesting history you learned about mosques in Turkey can go a long way in inspiring others to travel and open their minds, too.

And, the more people who travel, the more the world opens up.

Let’s Open Our World!

My friends at Momondo believe that “the world is open to those with an open mind,” and want to know how traveling has affected YOUR view of the world around you.

They’re even running an Instagram competition where you can win a 360fly camera by showing them how you’re playing your part in breaking down barriers and opening your mind.

Visit LetsOpenOurWorld.com to learn more & enter for a chance to win. ★

READ NEXT: 33 Cool Travel Jobs For Travel Addicts

How has travel opened your world? Let me know in the comments!

Momondo Flight Search

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They say that travel is one of the best educations. But it's not just facts and historical dates you learn as a traveler. Travel also opens your eyes – and in turn opens the world to you. Here are some of the different ways travel has opened my world after 5 years of travel adventures.


  1. Hola Matt,

    I just signed up yesterday and I’m loving your blog!

    I totally agree with all 5 and by allowing yourself to be open. It’s an adventure of so many levels…Culture, World religion, Exotic foods, Wild life, Mystical sites, and getting that passport stamped, only means what corner of the Earth have I fulfilled, and what else is possible?

    I’m focusing now on 60% of my time in Traveling again..and just to warm me up….the best hang out when there’s delays or just being on standbys is the Airports…. I love talking to strangers and hearing about their Traveling experience… The glow in their face is contagious ….

    Four Corners of the Earth,
    Laura Q

  2. Really Inspiring and motivating post Matt!
    Even i have changed a lot within my 1 year of travel , not across the world but within my country itself. When we allow our minds to lead in it’s own way travel experience will be exceptionally awesome , it’s just that simple!

  3. This post is so inspiring and I agree with all the points you made! I personally feel like I have changed so much since traveling and I couldn’t be more thankful for that! Talking to strangers and stepping out of my comfort zone has led me to some of the most amazing experiences I could ask for! The best way to have a great adventure is to do something that’s scary and out of the ordinary! Thanks so much for your post! Another great one! :)

  4. Great write and I truly enjoyed your post. Point number three ”Just Say YES” sums up all. Being positive and open to absorb and learn new things make a traveler different. And the key to success is saying YES.

  5. #3 really hits home for me. I used to say no too a lot of things. Now that I’ve been traveling more, the word yes is coming out of my mouth more often!
    Great post Matthew!

  6. I absolutely agree with all five, especially inspiring others! My favourite part of being a traveller is inspiring others to see the world for themselves. It isn’t as scary as you may think! It’s amazing what travel can do to us!

  7. Hello! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. A few days ago I finally decided to do it; sell everything I own to travel (frugally) in a van outfitted for camping. I just started up a blog (first timer..) If you’re not too busy having a blast in your travels, check it out!

    “Die with memories, not dreams.”

  8. Couldn’t agree more about just saying ‘yes’ – it opens up so many more doors than you can imagine. Be it going our for a meal with that new travel buddy or going on a kayaking trip around the coast, yes is nearly always better than no!

  9. As a traveler, it’s interesting how I never think about these things happening (but it’s so obvious in retrospect). The one I don’t consider is the inspiration — but sure enough, I’ve had lots of people mention it to me lately. Ultimately, I think travel is a wonderful thing and hopefully this inspiration will leads others to their own personal changes.

  10. You are not going to get an argument from me on these 5 ways. I completely agree with you on those points. It really forces you outside of your comfort zone and look at things from a different point of view.

    For example, when I was in Costa Rica, one of my deaf friends asked me, why do you call yourself Americans? I was a little curious about the question and responded because that’s what we call ourselves.

    She went on to explain, Costa Rica is part of America too but they don’t call themselves Americans. It was after that lively conversation that I started changing my answers to I’m from the USA, instead of American.

    It’s fascinating to see how we all respond to the same question different ways. Great facial expression on the Moto Bike picture you have here. Not sure if you were excited, thrilled, or just a tad bit nervous.

  11. This article couldn’t have been written any better. As a traveller, I’m a big advocate of all especially #3. Almost all of my greatest memories have been from random invitations to do things where I’ve just said yes as opposed to isolating myself.
    Safe travels!

  12. Great points Matthew! The best decision I’ve ever made was booking my one way ticket to New Zealand to start travelling the world. I also agree that it’s not always about the destination. Really for me it’s about the journey, the memories I’ve made will stick with me the rest of my life. Thanks!

  13. Awesome point of view and I can agree more! Having the chance to travel different places either local or international, opens me into a world of other culture and races in a positive way.

  14. As a fellow vagabond-er, I am the fullest after a new adventure. Travel keeps me open, youthful and most of all smiling. I very much enjoy reading your blog and I hope you wonder over to mine for a look. Keep on keepin’ on.

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