What Makes Travelers So Smart?

To some people, a good idea for a vacation is to go out to sit on a beach and laze about for days on end. For those with a bit more interest in the exotic and the active, the chance to visit another nation and learn more about our fascinating world represents a series of major life goals. Ask your friends what places in the world they’d like to go to most, and why. You may be surprised by their responses. Everyone has a bucket list, but travelers not only get to see new places and faces but will have a much stronger understanding of the world about them.

How do vacations help us to learn more about the world and become geography experts?

Geographical Knowledge

The greatest reward that any traveler gets is the knowledge of new places and new faces. Few people are lucky enough in life to learn about geography by seeing the world up close. Those that do, however, will be better able to communicate on topics like global events, politics, and persons. It’s possible to improve your geography knowledge without needing to catch a plane or a cab, furthermore, by playing interactive games like Geo Guessr.

This game randomly generates Google Map street views and challenges the user to determine their location: find a spot in Switzerland and you’ll earn a bevy of points, but choose Swaziland instead and you only get a few points.

Language Barrier

It’s a given fact that no matter where you go in the world, you can be sure to find someone to help you that speaks English. While it’s become the lingua franca for business, politics, and commerce, a lot of the fun in visiting a new place involves communicating in a tongue far removed from your own. Even if you only hop over the border and communicate in French or Spanish, you open up your mind to many benefits.

Persons who speak more than one of the 7000 languages in circulation today gain a number of cognitive benefits, including better memory, while there’s believed to be a greater financial gain for multi-lingual career aspirants. More than the benefits, however, it’s fun to find directions or haggle using even rudimentary language skills for a different tongue.

When you travel, familiarizing yourself with just a few phrases helps open up a new world of possibilities, including meeting new people and learning new methods of expression. Many sayings in different countries can be perfectly applied to English, sayings that we have no words for, such as the French “a descender”, meaning that you think of a witty retort as soon as you leave the room and walk down the staircase — by which time it’s far too late, of course.

Cost Efficiency

Let’s face it, it requires a bit of change in order to travel to a new country. You don’t necessarily need to have deep pockets in order to travel, but it certainly does help. There’s a major life lesson to be learned when you go abroad: how to get the most value out of each dollar (or pound or Euro) that you spend. Maximizing cost efficiency helps travelers stay longer, do more, and experience new things they would not have been able to do if they had purchased expensive “all-in-one” vacation resort packages.

What do you learn about money when you travel? For starters, the best way to cut down on the largest expense of a vacation: is the plane ticket itself. Savvy fliers know that they can request a later flight in order to earn vouchers that they can use on future flights. Others can sometimes catch a cargo plane for only a fraction of the cost of a commuter plane.

Once you’ve arrived, furthermore, you can minimize or even negate the cost of lodging by finding friendly accommodations. Use social sites like CouchSurfer to find a friendly home that welcomes travelers to put their feet up, free (or nearly free) of charge.

Finally, you can cut down on the cost of travel by making your own food the way the natives do rather than paying out the nose to sit down at a restaurant that serves “authentic” meals.

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