People who genuinely love to travel usually have these 9 personality traits

A few years ago, I met a guy who told me that he absolutely hated traveling. It really boggled my mind because I love traveling and I can’t imagine a life where I never get to see a different place every so often. 

I shouldn’t have been surprised, though – after all, the world is filled with all kinds of people. But it got me thinking, why are some of us more inclined to travel than most? 

And I realized, it comes down to certain personality traits. 

People who genuinely love to travel – and by that, I mean they’re not in it just for the photos and the wow factor on social media – have particular qualities that make them want to book the next flight or road trip. 

Let’s take a look at those personality traits: 

1) They are curious 

First up, people who truly love to travel want to learn new things. About the world. About themselves. 

I mean, books and travel magazines are one way to go about that. But nothing can take the place of the real thing. 

An article on how Japanese people are so disciplined can fill your head with knowledge, but it won’t give you the same sense of wonder as when you see it in action. 

A romance novel set in Italy might have made you imagine the place, but it won’t be enough to prepare you for the eye-popping gorgeousness of, say, the Amalfi Coast. Nor can it give you a complete picture of the culture. 

People who genuinely love to travel are after immersion. It’s the best way to satisfy their curiosity about a place, a culture, and its people. 

2) They are open-minded and non-judgmental

And when they do get to learn about the culture, they make no judgments about it. 

I know people who’ve been to certain places and make statements like, “They’re so rude and this and that.” 

The thing is, travel requires us to leave our comfort zones, both physically and mentally.

It requires us to step into a world that may operate on entirely different principles than what we’re used to. 

As they say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Because what might seem rude to us could simply be the norm in that place. 

When you approach travel with a sense of entitlement or with only your own perspective, you miss an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the culture. 

That’s why people who genuinely love to travel set off eager not just to see but to embrace cultural differences. After all, that’s precisely what they’re curious about! 

3) They have an adventurous spirit

Obviously, travel involves adventure. So people who genuinely love to travel have that spirit in them. 

They have no qualms about leaving their comfort zone. In fact, stepping into the unknown is what energizes them. 

That’s how it is for me. At home, I’m all routine and business. I pride myself on being organized so I can get more done. 

But I always make sure to travel every year, every quarter even if possible. Because outside work, I love the unpredictable elements of travel. There’s so much I don’t know and have yet to explore! 

We work hard and play hard, so to speak. 

4) They are level-headed

Speaking of unpredictability, you really never know what’s going to happen on an adventure. 

That’s why people who genuinely love to travel know how to keep their wits about them. 

Lots of problems can crop up: flight delays, lost luggage, getting lost yourself, language barriers…

And if you don’t know how to stay calm and patient, then the trip is going to be a nightmare. 

This brings me to my next point…

5) They are resourceful

Like I said, there are too many unknowns that can happen when traveling. So, aside from having to be level-headed, people who love traveling also need to be resourceful. 

They’ll figure things out on the fly because the situation leaves them with no other choice. 

I remember when an airline broke my suitcase on a trip to Singapore. I got it from the conveyor belt with the hard case wrecked to the point that one big shard was missing and the inner lining was out there for the world to see. 

The problem was, I didn’t have the budget to buy a new suitcase. And in Singapore, one of the most expensive cities in the world, no less!

How in the world was I going to get my stuff back home? Well, I managed a quick fix – a cardboard box. 

Not exactly the definition of traveling in style, but I did get my things back home in one piece. (Except for the hapless suitcase, of course.) 

Aside from that, people who love traveling can figure out ways to travel even when they don’t exactly have enough saved up. 

I have a few friends who’ve managed to do that by applying for a work exchange program, like Workaway or Worldpackers

Some other friends take the lack of finances on as a challenge and design itineraries they can follow on a stringent budget. 

And you know what? By some miracle, they manage to do it!

Is it a miracle, really, though? Or just some good old-fashioned resourcefulness? 

6) They are adaptable

Level-headedness + resourcefulness = Adaptability. 

That formula above is what helps us enjoy a trip even if there may be a lot of problems along the way. 

Plus, it’s what helps us – people who genuinely love travel – adapt to new experiences, people, and ways of life. 

For instance, I’m a born and bred city girl. When I first visited an old friend who had moved away to become a farmer, I admit I found it challenging to stay for a month in a place where there were none of the conveniences I’m used to. 

But by the end of that month, I had adjusted to the slow pace of farm life. I’d even come to appreciate just how soothing and glorious nature can be.

In fact, when I got back to the city, I sometimes found myself longing for the quiet life back at the farm. 

7) They are independent

As you can see, travel builds so many skills related to independence. Emotion regulation, resourcefulness, adaptability…these are all traits that help us become more independent. 

And decisive. Think about it – from booking a flight and planning an itinerary to solving logistical challenges on the go, we need to be able to make quick decisions. 

Sometimes we even have to make those decisions with limited information in an unfamiliar place. 

That’s a nerve-wracking idea, right? But for people who genuinely love to travel, that’s a given. Even more so if they’re traveling solo. 

The beauty of that is, the more they travel, the more these skills get ingrained in them. They learn to trust themselves more with each new hurdle. Which is why…

8) They have higher self-esteem

Generally, people who genuinely love to travel are more confident. I’m not just talking about the high we get after having visited a new place. 

I’m talking about how we become more confident because travel helps us grow in every way. 

Think about it: 

We learn to plan and figure out the intricate and oftentimes confusing logistics of travel. 

We develop the social skills to talk to people from a different culture than ours. 

We discover that we can survive (maybe even thrive!) in situations we never thought we’d find ourselves in.  

You can’t deny that all of that adds up to a healthier sense of self in the end.

9) They have a sense of wonder

I believe that this is ultimately the main reason why people who genuinely love to travel have that wanderlust. 

This trait goes beyond mere curiosity. The way I see it, it goes deeper than  merely wanting to see tourist spots or historical and natural sites. 

It’s hard to encapsulate the sense of wonder in a few words, but I see it as a combination of understanding that we are all connected and an appreciation of both the small details and the largeness of…everything. 

And feeling awed by that. 

Every time I come home from a trip, I sit down and bask in that feeling of awe. Like I’d just witnessed something immeasurable, something larger than me. 

I think about the diversity I’ve seen and how, despite all the differences, I’ve still been able to connect with other people and these new experiences. 

Perhaps this is what lies at the heart of the desire to travel – we want new adventures, but we also want to challenge ourselves and discover the ways we can find home in an unfamiliar place. 

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