People always ask how I’ve traveled so much. If I look back at who I was before I began traveling and compare that to who I am now, I would have to say that traveling has made me a greater and more well-rounded person. I’m way more knowledgeable of the world and experienced than I was before I left to explore the world for a year.

Simply put, I’m an improved version of myself with a global outlook.

In fact, I think travel makes everybody a more awesome person. We end our travels way better off than when we started. I’m not saying this to be arrogant or cocky; I’m saying it because I believe that travel is something that makes you not only a better human being but a way cooler one too. The kind of person people gravitate toward and want to be around.

You become like the Dos Equis guy. The most interesting person in the room, you have stories to tell for days…You have already done things that some people will never do in their lifetime!

How and why does travel make you more awesome? Let me state the ways:

1. More social – It’s sink or swim when on the road. You either get better at making friends or you end up alone lost and anxious. You learn to make friends out of strangers and get more comfortable talking to new people. When I first started traveling, I was very observant and it took a while for me to talk to those I didn’t know. Now, I’ll happily talk to strangers like I already know them.

2. Better at conversation – Travel not only makes you comfortable talking to strangers, it makes you better at it too. After talking to people all the time, the same questions get boring. Those kinds of questions don’t actually tell you anything about the person. You’ll get better at small talk and how to ask interesting questions — the ones that matter and tell you more about the person.

3. More confident – You’ve traveled the world. Hiked your way inside a volcano’s magma chamber, rode a camel in the Sahara desert, and spent a night in the desert under the stars! You’ve wined and dined that beautiful girl in Paris kissing her at the top of the Eiffel tower, navigated unknown cities, and overcame any of your fears. In short, you did some badass things. How can you not be more confident? How can you not be sure about your abilities? After accomplishing so much, you’re going to feel a lot more confident in your ability to achieve anything you set your mind to.

4. More adaptable – You’ve dealt with missed flights, slow buses, wrong turns, robbery, bad street food, and much, much more. After a while, you learn how to adapt your plans to changing situations. You don’t get mad, you don’t get angry; you just alter what you are doing and move on. Life throws you curve balls and you hit them out of the park. Why? Because you’re well adapted to handle any situation that comes up.

5. More adventurous – When you become confident in your ability to do anything, you do anything. This weekend I went Sky Diving for the first time in Las Vegas. Why? Because I’ve always wanted to scratch it off my bucket list. What’s the purpose of life if not to break out of your comfort zone? I always like to try something new when I travel and I always make it worth it.

6. More easy-going – All those mistakes? They did something else for you, too. They made you more easy-going and learn from them. Why? Because you’ve dealt with all those errors and you don’t care. You go with the flow of life now, because if travel taught you anything, it’s that it all works out in the end and that there’s no need to stress. Pura Vida remember:)

7. More Attractive – Stress causes aging. Those carefree, relaxing days on the road are going to make you more confident and radiant, and you’ll age slower. You’ll look young and sexy. Wild and free, the world is at your grasp and you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, and with whoever you want.

8. Smarter – Unless you sit at a resort drowning your brain in frozen drinks, travel will teach you about the world. You’ll learn about people, history, and culture, and amazing facts about places some people could only dream about. In short, you’ll have a better understanding of how it works and how people behave. That’s something that can’t be learned from being in a classroom; you can only pick it up with international experience.

9. Less materialistic – On the road, you learn just how little stuff you actually need. You’ll realize that all that stuff they sell at the mall is pretty ineffective in leading a truly happy life long term. Coming home, you’ll find yourself a minimalist simply because you realize what you need to live and what you don’t. As they say, the more you own, the more it owns you. Don’t let debt own you!

10. Happier – Travel simply teaches you how to be happy. You’ll become more relaxed, more confident, and see the world as a brighter place. How can you not be happy about life after all of that? Even today I have flashbacks of the things I did and it stimulates my mind to bring me back to those great moments. Unique experiences last forever through memories!

Travel makes people better people. When you learn more about the world and the people in it, push your boundaries, and try new things, you become a more open, outgoing, and awesome person. All the people I’ve known who have traveled are better people because of it.

With all the ways a trip can make you more of an awesome person, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be planning your next adventure now — whether it’s around the world or just a short, two-week vacation to Mexico.

You can sit at home, wishing you were somewhere exotic, having fun, and doing something cool or take a risk and put yourself out there. Will you make that investment in yourself?

The choice is yours.

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