Traveling has allowed me to not only see a magnitude of new places all over the world but has also allowed me to cultivate a more complete understanding of the world. Mark Twain said, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." I have found this to be very true in my travels. The act of experiencing another culture opens one’s mind to the plurality of the world. However, despite all the benefits, caution must be exercised while traveling, especially caution when conducting financial transactions. It is incredibly important to find safe ways to transfer money to yourself or others while traveling. Traveling can be greatly beneficial so long as you take some of the prescribed steps to ensure safety.

Traveling allows you to move outside your comfort zone. The act of going to a new environment and being surrounded by unfamiliar people can be a shock to the system. Some people might have issues with this, especially if they have not traveled much in their lives. In these cases, it is very important to learn ways to stem travel anxiety. If steps are taken to stem travel anxiety, you can experience great benefits from moving outside your comfort zone. Too many people build up walls around themselves. The more walls you build, the more you wall yourself away from others.

Another benefit of traveling is so that you can gain a much better understanding of other cultures. It is so easy to get caught up in your own world, but by being exposed to other cultures, you can expand your understanding of the world. This increased understanding of other cultures goes so far beyond just knowing about the cultures. There is a massive difference between knowing details about a culture and experiencing that culture. While it is very important to know the details of cultures, just having the knowledge alone will not benefit you as much as experiencing that culture.

By traveling, you will also greatly improve your interpersonal and communicative skills. In the past, I have found that sometimes it is very hard for me to communicate with people, but I have found that the more I travel, the more I have had to communicate with people. This constant exercise of my communicative skills has greatly expanded them and has paid dividends when trying to interact with those around me.

The next benefit is two-fold and slightly contradictory but is true none the less. As you travel, you will begin to appreciate your home more; but at the same time, you will begin to see many ways in which the places you are traveling are better. You might miss the ease of travel which comes with modern public transit, but you will find the community you experience in the villages to be so refreshing. While this might not seem like a benefit at first, it will, in time, allow for you to better your life and the lives of those around you. Many of the benefits at home and abroad are not mutually exclusive. You can bring those joys you find while traveling, back home.

Traveling, however, is not without its difficulties. It is important to stay safe while traveling. One of the easiest ways to stay safe while traveling is to not be annoying. A lot of times, if you do not draw negative attention to yourself, people will leave you alone. This includes not being belligerently drunk. Also, make sure that you are aware of the local laws. Americans have been detained abroad for actions which most Americans would not think twice about. While this is not always the case, it will help greatly reduce your risk.

Another important tip for staying safe is to not make yourself an easy victim. Most of the time, people who are looking to do harm will want an easy mark. If you show that you are paying attention to your surroundings and that you have taken steps to protect yourself, potential thieves or worse will leave you alone.

There are some important things to consider when traveling, but what you gain from your travel experience is worth every minute of planning. Enjoy yourself and safe travels!