Real Talk

How does travel change you? 3000 millennials will tell you

‘Travel makes better humans’ – it’s a big claim we know. But it’s also something we know to be true. Why? Because every single year, on every trip Contiki runs, we get the pleasure of bearing witness to this change happening within people.

We get to see the shy introverts emerge from their shells. We get to see the people who have never left home before taking their first steps on European soil, tasting their first mussel fresh from the sea, or seeing snow for the very first time.

We get people suffering heartache, mental illness, physical disabilities, all pushing themselves past their comfort zone and emerging stronger on the other side.

We see these stories on the road constantly, but we want to go one step further than that – we want to prove the power travel can have on your life.


How? By interviewing 3000 18-35 years olds just like you, asking them how travel has impacted various aspects of their life. Want to know the results? These were some of the key takeaways:

#1 – Travel creates a sense of belief in yourself and what you can achieve

The numbers:

  • 75% of those interviewed indicated that they are more confident and can perform efficiently on a number of different tasks.
  • 43% also said they are more likely to be satisfied with their employment opportunities
  • 25% said they are more likely to set goals for themselves and regularly achieve them.
  • 14% said they are more likely to look for opportunities to develop new skills and knowledge.

The takeaway:

Travel increases self-confidence, both in yourself as a person and what you are capable of achieving.

Most first time Contiki travellers have the common panic that they won’t make any friends, then leave 21 days later devastated at the thought of leaving their travel family.

Travel forces you out of your shell and encourages you to do things you wouldn’t have imagined of yourself. Those who travel are more likely to set (and achieve) ambitious goals for themselves, be they personal or professional, and are also hungry to become more rounded human beings.


#2 – Travel helps our problem solving skills and willingness to take on new challenges

The numbers:

  • 73% of those interviewed indicated they are more likely to be willing to take risks or accept new challenges.
  • 71% indicated that travel has helped them learn to adapt and be resourceful.
  • 63% said that travel has helped their ability to problem solve.

The takeaway:

Travel can sometimes put you in tricky situations. You might get lost, lose your phone or luggage, or not know how to communicate in the local language. What do these experiences teach you? They teach you not to panic, to keep your cool and find a logical solution.

Problem solving and keeping calm in difficult situations are two of the most powerful skills you can have in your arsenal, so next time your luggage doesn’t turn up where it’s meant to, remember it’s all a character building experience.

#3 – Travel creates stronger connections to others

The numbers:

  • 42% of travellers said they are more likely to seek out new friendships.
  • 27% of travellers are more likely to feel a sense of responsibility for all people on planet earth.
  • 12% of those who travelled said they were more likely to understand friends better by imagining how things look from their perspective.
  • 10% of travellers are more likely to find great satisfaction in their close interpersonal; relationships (with family, partners etc).

The takeaway:

Travel takes you out of your comfort zone, away from the safety blanket of the friends you’ve had for years, and puts you out into the wild. You have two choices – make friends, or be lonely. And guess what? You make friends. Why? Because you already have one huge thing in common with all these strangers around you – you’re all away from home, in a new environment, equal parts excited and nervous. And guess what else? Being away from home actually makes you appreciate those at home even more, so really it’s win win.


#4 – Travel creates a powerful sense of citizenship

The numbers:

  • 46% of travellers voted in the last presidential/national election (compared to 37% non-travellers)
  • 63% of travellers indicate that travel has shaped their perspective on global politics (compared to 36% non-travellers)
  • 40% of travellers indicate that they participate in activities in their local community (compared to 31% non-travellers)

The takeaway:

Basically, travel makes you give a shit. Exploring outside of your own country, you see first-hand the social inequality and injustice other countries struggle with, making you more incited to fix the issues in your own country.

You meet people who have similar or very different opinions to your own, but whether you agree with them or not, the point is you’re opening yourself up to new ways of thinking and new conversations – you don’t just get stuck in a singular mindset.

You discover that you can make a difference, that your actions do count, and you feel a stronger sense of identity for your homeland.

Want to discover what else Contiki’s research study, The Power of Travel, uncovered? Head here to read the full piece…

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