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6 ways to grow self-confidence through travel

A person holding a polaroid in front of a colorful wall to grow self-confidence.

My name is Lauren Miles and I am an ambassador for The Travel Project. I made it my mission to discover the ways in which travel boosts self-confidence and improves daily life, with the help of my fellow Contiki travellers.

Self-confidence affects us every single day and is important for our mental health, although achieving it can sometimes be challenging – societal pressures, stress, mistakes, relationships, physical health, mental illness and other factors can all impact how we feel about ourselves.

It requires you to speak up

Travel forces you to communicate with others, from holiday companions to locals. Whilst it may be nerve-wracking, this pressure inspires courage and enables the establishment of new friendships and connections; the more people you speak to the easier it gets, whether you join a conversation or initiate one yourself entirely!

This assists self-confidence by improving your ability to interact with strangers, speak publicly, be more outgoing and generate social networks.

Who knows, you may meet your new BFF! Or maybe a lowkey soulmate?

You’ll be a better navigator

Finding your way around foreign cities and countries is a must-have skill of any traveller; it requires a sense of direction, map knowledge and memory skills. Feeling like a lost puppy in unfamiliar places may trigger a lot of stress yet travelling, especially solo, teaches you how to recover from and assess such situations – for example stop, match street signs to your map and use this information to correct your direction. With added social skills, you’ll never be afraid to ask the locals for some further directions. Navigation benefits confidence by enhancing your problem-solving skills, attentiveness and initiative, which are greatly gained through travel.


You’ll try new activities outside of your comfort zone

Skydiving, bungee jumping and white-water rafting all seem terrifying, which means they’re perfect for bumping up your confidence level. These activities take guts and immense bravery, but because they seek thrills through fear they are subsequently encouraging a feeling of supremacy by pushing past your physical and psychological limitations. By conquering seemingly heavy risks, you are strengthening courage, overall character and overcoming common phobias! But don’t stress, it doesn’t necessarily have to be extreme activities that will help to boost your confidence, something small like eating deep-fried creepy crawlies in Asia could be enough to get you shaking in the knees.

Travel influences body image and lifestyle

Travel is a popular theme on social media and  influences self-image in several ways. A candid beachside Instagram pic could go either way – it could positively portray a self-accepting body image, or it may inspire physical transformations e.g. losing/gaining weight, better skin care and more. Travel also targets your health and fitness – hiking the Swiss Alps & climbing church towers are no effortless tasks! If you find these exhausting, you’ll be more determined to exercise more & eat a well-balanced diet. And it might just reveal unknown physical capabilities, like walking an extra 5,000 steps over your daily goal could redefine your perspective towards body image. A positive self-image & healthy lifestyle are enormous confidence boosters emphasized by travel!

You’ll become more independent

Being overseas, whether solo or accompanied, challenges you to independently make decisions, take initiative and understand your surroundings. Asking for nearby directions, catching the right train and managing a travel budget all become your sole responsibility and will only happen if you act upon them. Yeah sure, sometimes your awesome buddy will do them for you but preparation is your duty as a traveller.

Soon YOU’LL be making that dreaded doctor’s appointment, not mum!

You’ll feel the freedom to express who you really are

Fear not, for travel gives you the freedom of personal expression! Your adventure is the chance to unwind and have fun without judgement; party it up on a sailing boat in Croatia, sing your lungs out at a late-night karaoke bar in Florence, visit that awesome art museum in Warsaw which friends would find boring – the list is endless! As a traveller, you’ll discover new interests and understand the values of happiness and experiencing moments to their fullest.


Through the Community Contributor program, this lucky Aussie got to travel Eastern Europe with Contiki and you can too! If you’re a writer, photographer, videographer or a person with an awesome travel story to share, submit it and you too could be flying off to your dream destination as an official Travel Project ambassador! Find out more here.

You won’t feel held back- releasing bottled-up emotions becomes easier and always remember adventure rests at your fingertips.

Everyone is different and so is the way in which we achieve confidence. Whilst travel is exceptionally beneficial in building self-esteem, there are many other methods you can take to reach the same goal – no matter how you do it, never undermine the importance of your mental health.

Lauren travelled on Contiki’s Eastern Road trip as an official Travel Project ambassador as a result of submitting this article to six-two’s community contributor program. Do you fancy winning yourself a Contiki trip, anywhere in the world, through just sharing a story? Head here to find out how.