Dubai, UAE

9 Reasons to Make Travelling an Essential Part of Your Personal Development

Personal development is fundamental to both success and happiness. If you want to achieve more, you need to become more. And if you want to be happy and fulfilled, research has shown you must continuously meet your need for growth. If personal development isn’t on your list of priorities right now, it should be. And so should travelling.

For those of you who haven’t seen my recent LinkedIn updates, I’ve just spent the last two weeks travelling around Bali. After my reflections during my Ramadan fast, I acknowledged the last two years have been completely about building my business and helping others. And not much else. Including travel. And I recognised this was something I wanted to change.

Weirdly, the next day, I received an email from Emirates Airlines advertising their latest deals. I opened the email, clicked on the link, and within 5 minutes I had booked a flight to Bali. Holiday sorted!

For me – the purpose of Bali was clear. To switch off from work and immerse myself in nature.

However, the vacation ended up being about so much more than that. Not only did I get to relax in some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. But I went on a journey of personal development that I could never have anticipated. And I can safely say it was one of the best experiences of my life.

I appreciate for many, spontaneous travel or travelling alone might be a challenge. So you might need to negotiate and compromise with your boss or spouse. You don’t need a huge amount of time. 3 days alone in nature had a huge impact on me. Explore ways you can combine work and personal travel. Or how you can incorporate “alone time” for each parent during the next family vacation. Maybe ask friends and family to help with babysitting duties. Because time alone won’t just benefit you. It will benefit those around you too.

And if money is the issue, travel doesn’t have to be expensive. There are lots of blog posts about how to keep travel expenses down to a minimum:

So, how can travelling help you boost your own personal development?

1) Self-discovery

Personal development starts with self-discovery. Until you really understand who you are. What you like and don’t like. Your strengths and “weaknesses”. When you’re brave and when you’re scared. Where you thrive and where you’re challenged. How you approach situations and react to them. Until you know all of that, you won’t know what needs to be developed so you can grow.

Travel provides plenty of opportunities for self-discovery. Which dramatically increases your level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. Not only enabling your personal development but also improving your relationships with those around you.

2) You’ll be pushed out of your comfort zone

While it might sound scary, it’s not. In fact, it’s liberating. Because you’ll realise all your boundaries are completely self-imposed. Meaning – you can remove them anytime. And once you remove them, this is when you get to really shine.

Stepping out of your comfort zone also has a positive impact on your CONFIDENCE. You get to see yourself do things you never thought you would. You see that you are capable. And in that process, you naturally become more confident.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Remember that.

3) Gratitude

Seeing people who have less than you living happily is beyond humbling. Nothing like being smacked in the face with a dose of reality to knock you off your pedestal of self-pity.

If you really want to experience growth as a human being, gratitude is a pivotal step. It’s the foundation of positive psychology – which in turn is the foundation of personal development, and a happy and successful life.

4) Connection with your emotions

When we’re living a life that isn’t fully aligned with our values, life becomes boring. Dull. Routine. And with that, we become numb. We forget what we love. What moves us. What makes us tick.

Travel, if you do it right, can revive the senses. Taking you to emotional heights that make you feel alive again. From the deep inner peace experienced watching the sunset over the paddy fields. To the freedom riding on the back of a moped at 70kph staring up at the stars in the clear night sky with the wind in your hair. Or the extreme elation and excitement of white water rafting in torrential rain through the jungle.

When we experience these emotions, we begin to remember who we are and what we love. Allowing us to assess what we want in life and how to obtain it.

5) It wakes you up AND shakes you up

Travelling makes you appreciate what is right in your life, and acknowledge what is “wrong”. The things you’ve been taking for granted. What you’ve been tolerating. Denying. Misbelieving. How you’ve been behaving. The stories you’ve sold yourself about who you are and what you want. And how all of that combined has created your current reality.

Travelling simply gives you CLARITY.

I had so many realisations about my work and my life that when I came back from Bali, I almost imploded. Bali shook me to my core.

And so now – I am taking the time to sit down and get clear on what I want my life to look like. The things I want to experience more of. Less of. What’s most important to me. And what I need to do to create this life I want to start living. Really living.

If you’re feeling stuck – travelling might just be exactly what the doctor ordered.

6) Variety / New experiences

According to Tony Robbins’ 6 human needs psychology – we all have a need for variety. If we don’t meet the need in a healthy way, such as going travelling, we will find other ways to meet it. Possibly with behaviours or habits that are more damaging than beneficial (excessive drinking, partying, recreational drugs, extramarital affairs, creating unnecessary drama in our lives etc.).

While in Bali, I chose to push boundaries and immerse myself in new experiences. Ranging from white water rafting to attending breathwork sessions and spiritual healing circles. (And for anyone who knows me, the latter was certainly breaking some new territory for me!) But I can safely say all were amazing experiences. Teaching me new skills and opening up parts of my soul I had been suppressing for quite some time.

7) Better emotional management

When you go travelling, unpredictable situations occur. The beauty of this is it teaches you to let go of the need for control. You learn to not panic when something unexpected happens. You adapt. Read any success or millionaire mindset book, and one word will come up religiously. Flexibility.

You also learn resilience and how to “suck it up”. You increase your problem-solving capabilities and become more creative in finding solutions. And even your leadership skills get a good work out. All in all, travelling is great for emotional mastery and soft skills development.

8) It inspires creativity and exploration

Bali is home to many entrepreneurs living the laptop lifestyle. And it’s virtually impossible to not get inspired by this. It made me revisit my own career and business goals and explore what I could be doing differently.

Since returning to Dubai, I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate travel and coaching. What other workshops would add value to individuals in Dubai and globally. Exploring partnerships and collaborations. I don’t know how much of it will come to fruition. But even just the thought of doing some of these things has renewed my motivation. And with motivation – anything is possible.

Travelling and meeting new people can send your mind shooting off in all sorts of directions. Generating exciting ideas, goals and dreams. Dreams for you. Your family, business and community. The world.

9) Enhanced Communication skills

Your communication is only as good as the message received. If people don’t understand you – it’s your communication that needs to change. Not them.

Talking to new people, some who might barely speak your language, forces you to challenge your communication style. You have to think, “How can I communicate this in such a way they will understand?”. This is the key to effective communication.

This trip was amazing on so many levels. And maybe even life-changing. What I will say is this. Shutting yourself away in your hotel room with a good book might be great for relaxing. But if you really want to grow from your travelling experience, it’s up to you to make the most of it.

How have your travel experiences positively impacted your personal development and growth? Please feel free to share your comments below!

If you’d like to discuss building or enhancing your own personal development plan, please visit or email me at

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About the Author

Zeta Yarwood is recognised as a leading Career Coach and NLP Life Coach in Dubai, helping individuals across the world to achieve success in all areas of their lives. With a degree in Psychology and over 10 years’ experience in coaching, management and recruitment – working for multinational companies and award-winning recruitment firms – Zeta is an expert in unlocking human potential. Passionate about helping people discover their strengths, talents and motivation, Zeta lives to inspire others to dream big and create the life and career they really want.

For further information and inspiration, please visit or follow on Twitter @zetayarwoodLinkedin or Facebook

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