Traveling several times per year leaves you with a lot of emotions. But what happens, when the initial excitement fades and there are only good memories left (and cool photos). Perhaps it’s time to analyze what you have seen, and most importantly – learned – during your trip. Visiting new places leaves a trace in your life. You are not the same person. You should not be. Getting out of your everyday life transform you, gives you a new perspective of life, allows you to see how life is beyond your own horizons.
I’ve had numerous conversations with my friends and family about the experiences I gained during those trips. Finally, I’m ready to write them down. Here is my own personal 20 Life lessons, that I learned from traveling.
- People are different. Some people are generally nice and friendly, others only appear to be so. It’s important to understand the difference.
- You can get help, if you simply ask. Simple, yet somehow a barrier for a lot of people. In the rise of social media people don’t communicate with each other anymore. Asking a stranger seems impossible, yet so crucial sometimes.
- Not everything shining is gold. You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s covers. Online photos can be easily misinterpreted. That’s why I never expect too much.
- Sometimes, keeping your mouth shut can save you from a lot of trouble. With so many different cultures out there, you can’t expect to be understood the same way everywhere you go.
- Traveling is probably the best way to test someone. Whether it’s your friend or potential life partner – there is no better way than go on a trip together. Especially if things start to go wrong, you can then see the person for who they really are.
- Consider the whole story before judging someone. We are all born the same. What makes us different are various life decisions we make. Sometimes life is hard on us. If a person is poorly dressed, it doesn’t mean they are lazy or have drinking problems.
- Smiling is the key to the hearts. Being polite, nice to people, will make them friendly towards you in any country, even if you don’t speak the language.
- You can meet amazing people in unexpected places. During my stay at a resort near Barcelona last year, we met a really nice girl (waitress) from a neighboring country. We ended up coming there every night and would sit together and talk the evenings away. (there were no other visitors as it was end of season)
- Not every museum is worth a visit. Wasting your day in the long line is just not worth it, if all you have is a few days. Consider a smaller, but less crowded museum instead.
- Sometimes you need to see once, rather than hear 100 times. Some World sights are worth experiencing for yourself, rather than enjoying the photos.
- No need to be scared of the unknown. Most people are, and that’s partly why they will never see better future, never fulfill their dreams.
- Walking is probably the best way to explore. It’s hard and exhausting. But that’s actually the best way to see a place. When you are driving, taking a tour, even riding a bike – you pass places far too quickly. To truly experience the life around you – take a walk. Take your time, stop, listen, smell. Inhale the life around you!
- Food can tell you a lot about culture. Always try to eat local food. Don’t go into places with waiters inviting you in – these are tourist traps. Instead, go online and find some valuable recommendations from the locals.
- Less can be MORE. If your time is limited, try to visit just a few spots. Pick the most exciting ones. Getting to know a few cool places, rather than rushing through most of them, will leave you with much better memories.
- Planning is everything. Plan carefully before each trip. Which bus to take, where is the nearby store, how to get to the correct airport terminal. All those little details will save you a lot of time and money.
- It’s okay to take your time. Sitting down by a river, having a coffee in the old town. Simply observing the town square and the people. Those little moments will form great memories and help you relax at the times of stress.
- Hot climate is overrated. People get crazy about Southern countries, especially if they live in the North and have to face long, cold and sunless months. The truth is, staying in the sun wears you down. You get tired easily, you need water and the radiation is bad for your skin. My absolute favorite times for visiting Mediterranean Coast are Spring and early Fall.
- It’s OK to FAIL! Whether it’s a wrong hotel booked or wrong tickets or any other event in your life – we need to learn getting used to failing. Failing is good! The more you fail, the better you are, once you recover. The experience is priceless. Failing often in a young age can lead to being a successful individual as an adult.
- Small changes in life lead to big improvements. Traveling can make you feel thoughtful about your life. The routine of everyday tasks will seem boring. I’ve seen people change their life completely after few weeks of being away. If moving away is not an option, there are other tricks, how to make you everyday habits more enjoyable. Reading good books can be almost as pleasant as traveling itself, because your imagination will take you places that don’t even exist.
- You should never stop being curious. Life can get boring and make you sad. Lack of sunshine and coldness can cause a lot of stress and depression. For me, the best way to get through those times is to plan my next trip. Even if it’s months away. I always try to have some plans for the next holiday. And there need to be small trips in between. Sometimes people are wondering, how I can afford so much travel. It’s pretty easy – I can afford it because I avoid unnecessary costs. There are things in life you can’t live without (obviously) – food, gas, rent. But other things are easily avoidable – such as parties, alcohol, entertainment etc.
- The world is exactly the way you want it to be. All you need to do is to wish for it. I know this because I found a way to balance my work-life with my travels and other hobbies. If your goals are too big at the moment, you need to make them small and start achieving them. Don’t wait for tomorrow – start today. And I promise, you will see how everything will be better very soon!
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