It’s a bold statement, somewhat of a cliche but it’s also something that every well-trodden traveller will attest to; travel is transformative and it’s true. Opening yourself up to new experiences and taking yourself out of your comfort zone can change you at the very core. A brighter outlook? Check. A broader mind? Mos’ def. A vaster friendship group, pool of knowledge and wealth of experience? Yes, yes and yes. So, together with, who do some of the finest thatched cottage rentals in rural Ireland, we look at 5 IDEAL ways travel can change your life for the better. 


Traveling can be a true test of what you’re made of, make no mistake. What they say about the best laid plans of Mice and Men isn’t as true anywhere else as it is when it comes to setting foot on unfamiliar terrain. There will always be lost luggage, wrong directions, stomach bugs and delays at every step of your journey. You’ll learn how to adapt your plans to ever-changing, unknown situations.  The patience, resourcefulness, resilience and quick thinking that’s required to navigate through these challenges can be an invaluable lesson you take with you for the rest of your life.


Travelling can imbue you with new a set of new skills. In your quest to explore the historic Mayan ruins, you may find yourself learning how to speak Spanish. On your trek through the tropical jungle in Thailand, you’ll learn how to follow animal trails and purify water to drink. When traversing the outback, you might learn how to cook grasshopper properly. Nothing helps you learn new skills better than traveling to new places and putting yourself outside of your comfort zone. 


Browsing through takeout menus from your local Chinese, Indian, or Italian restaurants might seem like a whirlwind tour of the world, but you never really know another culture until you’ve talked, eaten, worked and walked with them on their own home soil. Different cultures can have wildly different cultural habits and expectations, and the chance to experience them first hand is the surest way of bridging the gaps between us. We are all one; embrace it. If you happen to be doing this alone (at first, at least) then check out our 10 IDEAL tips for getting the most out of solo travel here.


We are far more united than the things that divide us, as the wonderful Jo Cox so rightly put it. And one of the greatest gifts that travelling can give us is the fact that getting out there and amongst us can bring us together. On the road, you’ll make friends from hugely diverse backgrounds whom you’d less likely make the time for at home. Go about things with your arms wide open and embrace the chance to make friends for life. The feeling of having a home in each corner of the world is a very special one indeed.


It’s always great to get a taste of the local culture and come away with fresh ideas. Whether that’s trying regional delicacies, checking out the latest gallery opening or listening to local bands, there’s so much out there in the unfamiliar to make you sit up and take note. Who knows, you may come back from your travels galvanised to take up a new hobby, cultural interest or even passion you could turn into a career. In the words of Kendrick Lamar, it’s time to get your ass up and be inspired. Couldn’t agree more.