Image Credit | PBS

If it wasn’t for your lack of confidence, you would’ve gotten that job that you wanted, the relationship that you dreamed about, and the investors you needed to grow your business.

Instead of being completely sure of who you are and what you bring to the table, you walk into the room with your head down, palms sweating, and inner thoughts colliding. You wish you didn’t look like a nervous wreck, but you can’t help but be intimidated when it comes to being in a large room full of influential people.

If I would have known that traveling around the world for an extended period of time would silence my doubts and insecurities, I would have done it before I turned 28; but I’m grateful that I had mentors who motivated me to take a six month tour around the world with an international organization called Up with People in order to tap into more of my potential.

If you want to shake off the goose bumps, you have to start making moves–unknown moves. Unfamiliar moves. Uncomfortable moves; this is when you really find out what you are made of. It’s time to say goodbye to your fears and book an extended vacation to a place you have never been before.

Here are four ways traveling around the world will make you more confident:

1. You gain more courage than some people gain in a lifetime

This is confidence in its finest flavor; when you take yourself from everything you have known and consistently venture into foreign territory, you gain the courage to make heart throbbing decisions that you were always too afraid to make in your personal life. If you’ve ever wanted to have the courage to follow an untraditional path as an entrepreneur or take a career-pause from the corporate casino in order to tap into your greatest potential, traveling will give you the courage you need to strip yourself of the things that have kept you in your safe zone.

Traveling around the world is one of those courageous acts that allows you to beat all odds and thoughts that say what you can’t, shouldn’t, and wouldn’t do. It exposes you to different types of people who’ve pursued different paths and are happy, giving you the courage to not fall into the temptation of doing what everyone else is doing.

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammad Ali

2. Your cultural intelligence is higher than the average human

The more you are exposed to life, the more you learn about the different shades of people who occupy the world. The best way to get to know a culture is to immerse yourself in the culture. Cultural intelligence requires that you unlearn what you think you’re certain about and put yourself in the shoes of someone else. You’ll ask the questions that you really want to know, eat the foods that the people in the community eat, and get involved in the activities that don’t exist in your own country.

While visiting Sweden, I learned about the importance of “FIKA.” It’s a concept in Swedish culture that means “to have coffee” and implies “taking a break from work.” I was excited to tell my friends in the USA about this new idea and how it impacts the work/life in Sweden.

Awareness increases confidence. When you add more cultural experiences to your mental resume, you feel more confident connecting with people from all over the world.


3. You worry less about what others think about you  

There will be times that you completely screw up a word or phrase in another language, order a foreign dish that looks nothing like what you expected, or forgot your new address when you decided to go for a three-block walk. Yes–you may look silly or want to melt in embarrassment, but you’ll realize it’s not the end of the world. It’s a great story that you can laugh about later.

When you travel the world, you begin to see the world differently, view yourself in new ways, and understand what really matters in life. You stop trying to constantly fit into an idea of perfection that someone else has created and you start making progress towards what makes your heart full. Traveling allows you to free yourself of all of the insecurities and live a life on your terms.

“Life is too short to worry about anything. You had better enjoy it because the next day promises nothing.” – Eric Davis

4. You gain more clarity about who you really are

The sad truth is that most people have no idea who they are or what they want. They haven’t done the internal work necessary to gain that clarity. They also haven’t stepped outside of everything they know in order to tap into potential that they never knew existed. When you travel the world, you learn more about yourself than you intended to learn.

From experimenting with different cultural activities and learning what really excites your taste buds, you discover more about what you like and find strengths you never really paid attention to. This gives you the power to make decisions that are core to who you really are. Clarity is key to advancing in life and will give you the confidence to make those heart-throbbing decisions that can change your life.

What do you hope to gain from traveling around the world? Share it with us and leave a comment below.


    • Hi Shubham,

      You can always start with what you know and figure the rest out as you go. That’s the beauty of life! I am in the same boat as you. English is the only language that I speak fluently. My willingness to experiment with other languages, pronounce words incorrectly multiple times, and ask for guidance allowed me to learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable. The moment when you don’t allow communication mistakes to stop your progress is when you really have the chance to boost your confidence. Great question!

  1. I whole-heartedly concur! I am an AMCIT living in China. I help my wife with her business…helping families and children. In my previous career I was able to travel the world…but, could only stay in the host country for a short while. It gave me the taste for adventure. After one year here in China and traveling in East Asia I am so thankful for all these experiences I’ve had and look forward to having many more. It has taught me that each day is a glorious gift and that each day is what you make of it…so why not make it the best it can be!

    • Hi Francisco, Thanks for sharing your experience! Traveling has a way of showing you what’s important in life and challenges you to grow a deeper appreciation for everything – even the “small” moments that seem insignificant. I would love to read about your experience in China! What a great learning experience to be completely immersed in another culture.

  2. I love number 2. Your versatility increases exponentially from having that experience. Still, I’m so uncomfortable being in a place where I don’t speak the language! 8 trips to france and I can say “merci”. Maybe that feeling of discomfort is a good thing.

    • Thanks for sharing, Eric! Cultural intelligence is a skill that is needed to thrive in business . It explains why diversity and inclusion is such a hot topic right now.

      It’s completely normal to be uncomfortable in a place where you can’t connect with others because of language barriers. The best advice for learning another language is to stay in a location for an extended period of time. This forces you to add more words to your vocabulary in order to navigate the foreign place. Finding a language buddy also helps. It’s all about practice. If you don’t use it, you quickly lose it.


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