5 Ways Travel Has Made Me More Adventurous

Last updated on:
Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission. Read the full disclosure policy here.

There are many reasons that people choose to travel. To explore new places, meet new people, try new foods… The exact motivations may be varied, but, whether we realize it or not, we all travel for one basic reason: to better ourselves in some way.

Whether that betterment comes in the form of increased cultural awareness or just a nice tan, it's always there just the same.

Once upon a time, back when travel was not something accessible to most people, the wealthy and elite young men of Britain would take off around Europe for a year or two as part of an educational rite of passage.

This trip — often referred to as the “Grand Tour” — usually involved a tutor and visits to all of the culturally and historically significant places in Europe. This was back in the 1700s, folks, before the advent of modern transportation, tourist services, and Lonely Planet guidebooks.

And yet the value of travel was recognized even then.


The premise of the Grand Tour is still alive today, as evidenced by gap year travelers, students studying abroad, and even backpackers on extended round-the-world trips.

And, because the price and style of travel has changed so much between the 1700s and now, people travel in many different ways and to many other places besides.

The reason behind all of it, however, remains startlingly the same. We travel to learn; to share; to experience; to challenge ourselves. We travel, essentially, because we are in search of some form of change.

When trying to sum up the ways in which travel has significantly changed me, I kept coming back to one point:

Travel has made me more adventurous.

And we're not just talking about bungy jumping or polar plunging, either (though I've done those things, too). I'm talking about broader ways traveling around the world has made me more adventurous in all aspects of my life.

When it comes to food

Growing up, I was quite a picky eater. I didn't like sauce on my pasta or anything other than cheese on my pizza. I wouldn't try strange vegetables, and I wouldn't even drink anything that didn't look familiar. I did branch out with my eating habits as I got older, but I really didn't start getting interested in food until I started traveling.

Whereas even in college I would never dream of ordering Chinese food or going out for a curry, today I'm much more likely to choose to eat foreign foods when given the option — especially when I'm traveling.


I've eaten everything from puffin to seaweed and drank things from Brennivin to Ayran on my travels. And becoming a more adventurous eater abroad has also made me a more adventurous one at home.

I'm now the first person to suggest to friends that we check out the new Greek or Middle-Eastern place in town, or the first to volunteer to give a strange concoction a taste.

When it comes to being spontaneous

I was raised to follow the rules. With a heavy conscious, a penchant for good grades, and a cop for a father, the rules were always important to me. But, when you follow the rules to the letter all the time, you often leave little room for spontaneity.

I've said before that studying abroad in New Zealand helped me become a more laid-back person. And it definitely did. But travel in general has made me a more positive and relaxed person, too — and also a much more spontaneous one.

Loony Dook

When you travel frequently, you begin to appreciate the beauty of the unexpected. You start realizing that things are largely outside of your control, so you stop planning so much and just go with the flow.

Not only has this made me a happier person overall, but my new-found spontaneity has also led to some of my most exciting travel stories. If I hadn't loosened up and become more open to adventure, I never would have kissed that boy in a bar or gone to the Olympics or jumped into a river in Scotland on New Year's Day. And what a shame that would have been.

When it comes to relationships

Traveling overall has given me a lot of confidence in myself. Especially as a solo traveler, I often find myself in situations where I am totally at my own mercy. I alone can decide my fate and make or break my travel experience. So I've learned how to adapt to challenges and solve problems on my own. And the result has been a lot of empowerment.

Haggis Tour

This of course has spilled over into the social part of my life, influencing all of my relationships. I am now more comfortable being the one to strike up a conversation or invite someone out for a drink or to ask to tag along on an adventure. I'm just more comfortable being ME in relationships now.

And I'm not just talking about romantic-type relationships, either (though the confidence has certainly changed those, too). ALL of my relationships — with guys, friends, family members — have been impacted by me becoming a tad bit more adventurous.

When it comes to being alone

In high school, I would have been mortified at the thought of going to a move alone or eating dinner by myself at a restaurant. These days, however, I don't even think twice.

Gaining confidence, curiosity, and a greater sense of adventure has made me perfectly content with tackling things on my own. Whether it's a whitewater rafting tour in Slovenia or a meal out in Wellington, I'm perfectly fine going it alone if no one else is around to share the experience with.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

This relates back to the increased confidence in general, but traveling solo has also just made me better at being alone and enjoying my own company. It's true what they say, you know — being alone does not necessarily equal being lonely.

When it comes to stepping out of my comfort zone

The last item on this list really relates back to all the others. It is practically impossible to change or better yourself if you're unwilling to step out of the comfortable bubble that usually surrounds you in life. It's not easy to force yourself out, but, once you do, the possibilities are endless.

Nevis Highwire Bungy

The more I travel, the more willing I am to challenge myself. Some of the challenges (like sleeping in a jungle or trying a new food) are just baby steps, while others (quitting my job or planning a big solo trip) are much more significant. All of them, though, push me outside of my comfort zone and help me grow; help me better myself as a person.


All of those young British men going on their Grand Tours back in the 18th century may have been traveling vastly differently than I travel today. But, at the end of the day, they probably learned many of the same lessons about life as I have. Ultimately, we're all traveling in search of the same things. Change. Clarity. Knowledge.

And, of course, adventure.

Has traveling made YOU more adventurous?


"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

Join the ADB Community!
Sign up here to get exclusive travel tips, deals, and other inspiring goodies delivered to your inbox.

47 Comments on “5 Ways Travel Has Made Me More Adventurous

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. There’s something really freeing about traveling. I love the freedom of belonging to the world.

    I agree with all you’ve stated, and I’d like to add that even interacting with people from different countries and/or cultures alone (not necessarily while traveling) makes us more prone to trying new things.

    For instance, while I’ve always been quite open-minded about food and love fish, I used to think sushi had to be something people ate only because it was fashionable rather than tasty, and it took me befriending Americans (usually much more open-minded about new gastronomies than the Portuguese) to finally try it and immediately fall in love with it. Now I’m the first to suggest going for sushi when eating out ^^

      Very good point, Rodrigo! Meeting and interacting with people from other cultures is definitely a great way to broaden your horizons!

    Great to read everything you write and especially this line: “…studying abroad in New Zealand helped me become a more laid-back person. And it definitely did.” Yay, go NZ!

      Go NZ again! Can’t wait to go back later this year!

    Traveling has made me realized how I can be independent. When I spent a year in South Korea last year (to teach in a university and not to travel for leisure), I was alone and away from my family. Going to different places in a strange faraway country was scary at first, but it was a fulfilling experience. Good thing I never experienced being lost despite that most people I met on the road barely spoke English. Now, I am back here in the Philippines, and I can say I am bolder now as I was able to survive a year alone 🙂

      That’s definitely a great thing to learn from traveling solo. I’ve gained a lot of independence from traveling alone, too.

    Traveling has made me more comfortable speaking to people I don’t know. I have met some wonderful friends this way.

      That’s one thing I’m working on. I’m still a bit shy sometimes, but I’ve gotten better!

    Love this post. It’s all so true, especially the being more laid back and spontaneous. I went on my first big trip nearly two years ago and unfortunately most of the “toughness” I gained has gotten lost somewhere since, as well as the spontaneity. I look back on the me who got 15 hour bus rides in Vietnam and decided on a whim to toss out the itinerary and go to Koh Tao based on one person’s recommendation and it’s like a different person! I’m headed to South America next year and can’t wait to get her back 😀

      Well good luck re-discovering that girl! I’m sure it won’t take long on the road for her to re-appear. 😉

As Seen On

As Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen OnAs Seen On