Travel has, in many ways, become laden with all sorts of expectations on what we must do, eat, or experience, that it can sometimes make us forget what we can actually take, on a more personal and less ‘physical’ level, from our travels.

5 Ways To Successfully Build Your Confidence Through Travel

Travel is, at its very essence, a tool – nothing more… nothing less. Broken down to its very essence, it becomes an instrument to fulfil our desires, attain new experiences and to discover a difference that is at least a step away from our local surroundings.

One thing that we can often forget is that travel also  has the added benefit of helping us build a pretty solid amount of confidence too, something that we all stand to benefit from in the long-term, in our own personal development.

Take a look at some of the best ways to develop your confidence, which can be learned whilst travelling.

1.) Be a positive force

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Whilst travelling, one of the biggest life-lessons we can learn is to be open, embracing and positive about experiences that are different from our own norms. Be positive about situations you wouldn’t normally be in, embrace that flight delay (grudgingly) to catch up with your travel buddy or significant other and be the person that sees the glass as half-full when travel gets tough.

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By embracing openness to new situations and places, you’ll cultivate a whole new mindset to grapple with a whole heap of challenges, making you more self-confident in our own abilities to cope when you lose control of your plans.

2.) Embrace strengths

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We all have different strengths, even if it feels like the opposite at times. Travelling is the perfect time to nurture these, by discovering what they actually are.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll struggle to roll off a list of your strengths with ease – we’ve become programmed to focus on our flaws so much that it can be hard to articulate the things we’re actually good at, this is where travel helps!

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Travel takes you away from familiarity; challenging yourself to find new things you not only love but also great at.

Yes, you’ll probably come across a few things you genuinely dislike (like mushrooms, yuk!) but have no doubt that you’ll be feeding that inner confidence monster that’s just waiting to come out!

3.) Acknowledge weakness

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Sometimes anxiety, fear of weakness, or appearing as if we don’t know what we’re doing can prohibit us from being who we want, or, who we see ourselves as. One of the biggest mistakes that we tend to make is to focus solely on our weakness, to the point that it can be detrimental to our own self-confidence.

Travel helps us confront these weaknesses in a productive way that’ll make you challenge yourself… most of the time, without you even knowing it!

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For instance, if you’re withdrawn from certain situations make sure you understand what actually makes you shy and less confident.

  • If  it’s to do with anxiety of meeting new people, could it possibly be the context, the amount of new people or fear of saying the wrong thing, or worse… nothing at all?
  • If it’s about being in unfamiliar places, could that be due to a love of familiarity (which can easily be a strength)?
  • If it’s beaches, is it because you have to almost take all your clothes off in public ( by the way, this is my kryptonite)?

The list goes on and on…

By acknowledging your weakness you’ll be able to manage it much better, either by actively choosing to confront it, or by figuring out what the actual causes of your lack of confidence are.

Ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to your weaknesses, knowledge of them is power and indeed, it’s the very first step to adequately dealing with your weaknesses and being the best person you can be!

Side bar: Remember – ‘weaknesses’ are relative. Don’t let anyone else define what your ‘weakness’ is. A weakness is only one if you (and you alone) feel like its not a true reflection of the person you are inside.

4.) Listen to your head AND Heart

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We all love to think of ourselves as relatively rational beings but honestly, we’re often much less rational than we think we are. The great thing about travel is that it’s often driven by our own desire (heart) to see new places or experience new cultures… even if it’s close to home.

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Thankfully, our desire alone isn’t going to get us to a far-flung destination that requires lots of logical thought and planning – this is where that beautiful brain of ours comes into play to give us that logical understanding of the hows, whats, wheres and whens to actually make things happen.

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Ultimately, travel makes us plan, prep and problem solve as a consequence from our desire to travel. This allows us to marry our logical and emotional self, which can only ever help build our confidence in handling everyday and even occasional stressful decision-making when we get back home to our regular lives.

 5.) Be an assertive traveller

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Being assertive nearly always breeds self-confidence, even if you have to fool yourself into thinking so at the very beginning. One of the greatest tips I was ever told was to always ‘jump before you’re pushed‘!

Okay, it sounds pretty sinister but by taking the first step, rather than a forced step, you’re not only able to choose your own path but you’re also able to ensure it’s through your own decision-making and hence, you’re making choices that are right for you.15 Things You Need To Know About Visiting Sintra In Portugal (13)

Travel forces us to be assertive, to make judgements fast and quickly, usually at times when we’re ill-prepared. By being as assertive to the challenges of travel, we’re able to teach ourselves coping strategies for various contexts that might affect our day-to-day life.

Tropical Island Life... In The Maldives (1)Ultimately, being assertive gives us the tools to consider (and even create) several options for ourselves, which in-turn makes us better informed people that can make the right decisions for any given situation. This, in turn, helps us build our own self-confidence in managing challenging situations that can affect our sense of self and well-being.

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    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much Isobel 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • aw <3

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Emmie 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Definitely need to embrace my strengths more and listen to my gut instincts!
    Jabeen x

    • HandLuggageOnly

      That’s my challenge too! 🙂

      Lloyd x

  • Great post Lloyd! I love the one about listening to your head and heart I had to do it in Thailand when I had a bit of a panic when scuba diving. My head was like “No this is too dangerous and unnatural!” but I couldn’t let myself give up because I would have been so disappointed in not getting my diver’s certificate. The certificate sits in my wallet now!

    Abigail Alice x

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much, Abigail! 🙂

      Exactly! We all need a little push in the right direction – so so glad it worked out with your diver’s certificate. I have to admit I’d be quite nervous doing it too!

      Lloyd x

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  • Taste of France

    Your writing is as inspirational as your photos.
    Surmounting the never-ending challenges during travel are part of what builds confidence. After going around the world, dropping into new cities/countries with nothing planned (and I did it before cell phones and Internet), I felt like I was capable of anything regular life could throw at me.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much! So so happy you like it! 🙂

      Exactly! You’re so right, it really is such a learning curve.. it’s funny how things have changed so much in the last decade. We can’t imagine travelling without phones or internet nowadays can we?

      Lloyd x

  • Fantastic post! I could definitely relate to most of the things you mentioned here because before I started travelling solo a few years ago, I was practically terrified of going anywhere by myself. I always thought that something bad would happen to me or that I’d get lost and wouldn’t know how to find my way back. The thing is, you don’t know until you TRY, do you? I’m super-glad I chose to “jump before I was pushed” back in 2013 because now travelling solo is my greatest pleasure in life 😀

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much Vanessa! 🙂

      So so happy to hear your account too, you’re so right – and it’s great to see you’ve been able to push yourself to travel… it really does affect our confidence in such a positive way.

      Thanks so much for sharing you’re own experience! Lloyd xx

  • YES TO NUMBER 4!! Listening to both HEAD and HEART! Because too much of one or the other never turns out well 😉


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    • HandLuggageOnly

      Exactly, Carina! So glad you agree too!

      Lloyd x