Traveling gives us the opportunity to explore the world and meet new people. It encourages and inspires us to see the beauty in everything and everyone around us, and most importantly, it helps us grow in knowledge, values, and experiences.
Here are 12 life lessons travel has taught me.
12 Life Lessons Travel Has Taught Me
1. I learned to live in the moment.
So many people go through life always looking at the next thing until life passes them by while some dwell on the past with despair. Everything always happens for a reason and will work out in the end. So relax, go ahead and have that beer, look into the sunset, and be content with your life, and appreciate everything in the present moment. Don’t question things too much or try to project into the future. That’s how life should be.
2. I learned to value experience over possessions.
Once you get addicted to the thrills of traveling and its absolute influence, you will realize that seeing the Trevi Fountain in Rome or enjoying the authentic Paella in Spain outvalues any merchandise you could ever possibly purchase. Instead of buying jewelry or those signature bags, you invest in what’s more important to you – seeing beautiful places you haven’t been to yet and immersing yourself in new cultures.
3. I learned to be more open to different ways of life.
Being exposed to many situations or meeting new people and learning about different cultures makes us more open-minded and tolerant. And, as we see the conditions in which other people live, we become more empathetic. Accepting diversity has allowed me to be more open to learning new concepts and values, leading to thinking deeper, more complex, and creative ways.
4. I learned to pack like a boss.
Yes, you are required to carry your own bag throughout your travel. So make it comfortable and light. The smaller it is the less it sticks out and the less vulnerable you feel. The closer you can stick to it and the less cumbersome it is the happier you will be.
5. I learned to pay it forward
For every time someone helps me or is kind, if I cannot return the favor straight away I pay it forward to someone else. It feels good to help others and it helps us focus on the positive things in our lives.
6. I learned that people are good in nature.
I believe that most people are good and friendly in general – it’s how they display those attributes and how we interpret them that vary quite a bit. When you travel you will find out that they aren’t the minority – the world is full of good, honest people.
7. I learned to be assertive.
Assertiveness is the quality of being self-assured and confident without being aggressive. It is expressing your thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and opinions in an honest and appropriate way. You know what you want and aren’t afraid to go get it.
8. I learned to be (more) adventurous.
The idea of jumping off a cliff is terrifying to many and exciting to a few. We are afraid that we might hurt ourselves. Like life, not everyone can be extraordinary, because not everyone has the guts to step out of the comfort zone, face the harsh realities, and make the necessary changes. Bravery perpetuates upon itself. Do something that scares you and in a year you’ll be doing things you thought were impossible.
9. I learned not to be cheap.
Being cheap can lead to a costly accident. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about being thrifty. But cheap? No thanks. I believe in getting what I really want, and sometimes that means spending the money and getting the best one for your buck. Buying the cheaper things, most often you end up with lesser quality and having to replace the item sooner.
10. And not to be wasteful.
You might be wasting your money on several little things without even realizing it. Save your resources for when they are truly needed. Also, don’t throw out perfectly usable supplies.
11. I learned to be more patient.
Patience is something that we see so little of these days. Everyone is in rush to do and go and see, that no one slows down long enough to appreciate the small things in life. Besides, everything of value takes time to grow and cultivate.
12. Most importantly, I learned to love myself more.
Learning to love yourself isn’t easy. We are, after all, our biggest critics. It’s so much simpler to rely on someone else to love us instead. I always thought I needed a million people around me to be happy, but I realized all I need is me. And that’s enough. Traveling brought me back to life.