We often speak of how traveling is capable of changing our lives in a heartbeat. We write articles about it and tell people that it will help them get out of their comfort zones. We tell them it will open their eyes to a world that they have never seen before, but what does all that really mean? We use all these big words without ever being able to convey the message of how traveling truly affects us. That, however, doesn’t have to be the case anymore. Because through these people’s answers we believe we could get a true grasp of what traveling does to people! We asked 11 Egyptians how traveling changed them and this is what they had to say:

1. “It’s a long answer, but the short version is that it made me want to be more independent.”

2. “I had never done anything for myself before I traveled for two months on my own. I think traveling taught me a lot of things but most of all, it taught me that everything I know was complete and utter bullshit. Traveling taught me to think even about the most trivial things. I no longer use stereotypical remarks hastily; I think about what I say. I know that when I see someone I shouldn’t “a3mel nafsi hendi” because Indians are smart and no matter how funny that remark is, it is racist. I think that this how traveling has changed me. It really taught me to think beyond what I’ve been taught and what was passed to me by my parents and grandparents.”

3. “It opened my eyes to so many different ideas, customs and people. It made me feel like my way of life isn’t the only way and that literally millions of people have struggles but still enjoy life. Also that people are genuinely nice.”

4. “I think traveling more than anything made me realize that it doesn’t matter which country any of us come from. At the end of the day, we all go through the same thing. We all get bullied at school, get sick or suffer from the same diseases. Depression is the same all around the globe, love too. I think traveling taught me that the concept of a nation is overrated. It taught me that we are all HUMAN. So you tell me, who benefits from the term “nation”? Because it’s definitely not us!”

5. “I learnt that there are completely different worlds out there. No matter how much you read, hear or see on the internet, there is always something striking about different cultures. People always say that reading takes you on trips to new places, even imaginary ones, but I never understood how could someone compare reading ink on paper (or words on a screen) with a traveling experience. The visuality, the smell and the feeling of being somewhere distant and unique is unmatched. People who walk by you have spent their entire lives in a different world. Realizing these differences gave me a great feeling of uncertainty of what is right and what is wrong, but it also gave me great consolation to what I think I did wrong. There is no one version of right and wrong, but rather 6 billion versions of it. I learnt to travel more, and if I can’t afford to travel then at least I should explore different people’s minds to learn new things from them and to always, always, be tolerant of difference.”

6. “Traveling made me more independent and taught me how to have my way around the world. You realize you can achieve a lot and go a long way with just some compassion; people just want love at the end of the day. Give it to them! The world is a better place for you and everybody else that way.”

7. “I think I would never have had a better chance to discover myself. Out there, you are outside your comfort zone where you are no longer bounded by family or society rules. You can choose to be anything you want and guess what, nobody really cares! You set your goals and reshape your personality because you are finally in-charge of your own fate. I have developed in the past 2 years, where I have been on my own abroad, more than I can ever imagine. More than any other time in my life.”

8. “I would say that traveling definitely changed me. It made me more mature and DEFINITELY more open minded and accepting of others.”

9. “Well! I hate to say it but it connected me to my home and family more than ever. I actually feel that my communication with my family has improved a lot just because I’m away. I’ve learnt to appreciate the company of my loved ones and despite the distance, I love how travelling makes you feel the need to connect.”

10. “Traveling taught me not to stress so much about the problems I face as it made me realize how big and huge our world is and how tiny my problems are.”

11. “I learned from traveling that the world is much bigger than I thought, and that there are more opportunities in life that I ever believed exist. I was able to look at my problems from a very different and new perspective, and I could discover more about myself. I learnt that the world is very beautiful and that I should explore it and be happy.”


So, have you traveled before? Was it everything you dreamed it would be? Did it turn you into a whole new person? Tell us in the comments below!