27 Things Travel Can Teach You

Journeys of an African Woman Photo

Not all who wander are lost – J.R.R Tolkien

Travel is an immensely powerful tool in life. So many people are trapped in the ordinary; in the life that is expected of them. To break free of these chains is the most liberating way you can live your life. Travel will teach you so many things about yourself, the world and the possibilities that your mind has previously been closed to. It will teach you how to actually live your life free from the constraints of the mundane and force you to question what you would do if you were not afraid? Open your mind, you will learn the lessons to live your life. By design we are strong. By your choices you are powerful.

1. Everyone has the same basic needs and wants. Everywhere you go in the world people want shelter, food, water and love. Although we are incredibly diverse and unique, in our human soul we are all the same.

2. Time is more valuable than money. If you lose money, you can always earn it back. Time is a finite resource. Once it’s over there’s no doing over – this life isn’t a dress rehearsal for the next one. So spend your money carefully but spend your time wisely.

3. The more you own, the more worries you have. The less you own, the less you are tied down to one life. Do not over complicate your life. Every minute you worry is a minute you could have spent happy or working on a solution. Simplify your life! Moments not materials will make you happy.

4. Pushing outside of your comfort zone creates growth. Change is the state of the world at any given moment.

5. Do not let the limitations of society or other people’s expectations stop you from living the life you want to live. If people shoot down your ideas and dreams they are only speaking from within their own confines. Understand that they are not free and ignore the negativity.  In 98% of situations, you can return to the life you were living. You will either succeed or learn if you follow dreams.  Go after them as if your life depends on them; it does.

6. Helping others creates a positive return you cannot place a value on. Assist others where you can along your journey to allow them the same rights and opportunities as you. You will always gain from this. Read Half the Sky.

7. You must listen to understand.

8. Take notice of someone’s body language. This can sometimes be far more important than words.

9. Kindness is a universal language. No matter how little of the local language you know, a friendly smile and wave will break any barrier.

10. Facing your fears is courageous. Not doing anything will ensure you don’t get anywhere, so do something. Do not let nothing be your choice. We constantly question who are we to be amazing, to fulfill our dreams, to be happy? Who are you not to? You have one life in this world; make it the brightest one possible.

11. A constant barrage of advertising corrupts your soul. Turn off the TV and live your life in the world outside your windows.

12. When you feel like you have nothing, know that someone else has far, far less. Be grateful for the life you do have and the choices you are free to make. If you do not like how you are living, change the way you live.

13. Let yourself feel your emotions. Tear down the walls you’ve put up to safeguard them. Feel sadness and understand it. Feel pure joy. To have feeling you can accept yourself and empathize with others even if you have never been in the same situation. Feel. It is the only way to truly experience life.

14. Weather patterns are changing. Speak to the locals and they will tell you. Even if you do not believe in global warming, do not harm the Earth, no good will come of that. Appreciate the majestic beauty nature has given us. There are countries in the developing world that recycle things we would not dream of. Live naturally and be creative! Read Eco Craft or 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse for beginners inspiration! 

15. You cannot live life through tight schedules and rules. Unexpected events always occur (Read The Black Swan). Sometimes plans unravel around you in order for better ones to come together. Try floating with the current rather than swimming upstream.

16. You can keep going long after you think you can’t. Don’t give up. Keep pushing.  Want it bad enough you won’t stop. You can overcome challenging and difficult situations. You are powerful. Read Around Africa on my Bicycle.

17. You will continue to learn until the day you die if you open your eyes and heart. Always have an open mind; it is what will make you grow.

18. Take responsibility for your actions, words and choices.  This is how you express your philosophy.

19. The saddening low points and the joyously high points are moments in life that will eventually pass. Remember this. Learn the lesson, be grateful for the happiness and let go when you need to.

20. Everyone is unique. Be independent. Be original. Be yourself. As Judy Garland said Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else. 

21. You are who you are because of the past but you are not who you were in your past.

22. Experiences and knowledge are not designed to be just for you. Share experiences with those you love or strangers you meet and share your knowledge with those around you.

23. There is never a perfect moment to make choices to live your life truly happy. Life exists only now so live it. Every day you spend miserable is a day you could have been happy. Make the choice. Do it now.

24. Perfectionism isn’t rewarded in reality. The real world rewards people who actually get things done. To get things done you need to be imperfect the majority of the time.

25. Giving up doesn’t always mean that you are weak. In some cases it simply means that you are smart enough to move on and recognize you will be happier.

26. When you are frustrated, take a deep breath, and speak slowly and calmly.  Stay in control of the situation. If you can’t, either have a breather or walk away and try peacefully again later if you must.

27. You do not need a lot of money to travel the world. You need belief.

5 thoughts on “27 Things Travel Can Teach You

  1. #27 is particularly true. You don’t need a lot of money, just “enough”.
    Some people think that those traveling RTW are rich or something… when in fact many of them (depending where they are traveling) might spend less on a day than many people leading their regular life in a 1st world country!
    I used to live in Dubai and spend less money a day traveling around Latin America right now. Savings can really go a long way! :)

    • Definitely! I am currently living off $25 a day and know a family of four travelling around the world on bicycles living on $35 per day. They even managed to do this through Europe which is notoriously expensive! When you put your mind to it and realise you don’t need the material goods and look after your money its amazing what experiences you can have without tens of thousands of dollars! Hope you are enjoying Latin America!

  2. 2. Time is more valuable than money. If you lose money, you can always earn it back. Time is a finite resource.

    Yes, but you have to spend time to “earn back” the money. Hence the phrase “time is money.” They truly are correlated. So, protect both.

    • Agreed – we should manage both! That said how you spend your time earning back that money is important. You can spend it 8-6 in an office five days a week doing a job you detest and living a life you wish you could change or you could find creative ways to earn money doing something you love (and supplement this with a part time job if you really require more money). If we work incredibly long hours doing something we don’t enjoy we should ask ourselves if that extra cash is worth the time (and potential experiences and values) we are losing to it?

  3. Pingback: Byteful Travel Blog Carnival #13 – 2012 July | Byteful Travel

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