Whether traveling for three weeks or three years, everyone will end up learning a lesson or two on the road. I would say it’s part of the travel creed to experience these at one time in your life and I’ve compiled a list that I feel is important to know and understand before you make that first big journey abroad. Life itself is one big lesson, and traveling itself is a big teacher. It’s what you do with those lessons learned that counts. Check out my lessons learned below:
1. Everything happens for a reason-
When you’re on the road, any experience can define your life at that moment. You don’t have anything to fall back on. You’ve put yourself out there and if something goes wrong, or even right, it changes the course of your entire trip. It doesn’t matter what situation has occurred, just know that there’s always something behind it. If you can process this, you will be well ahead of a lot of others.
2. Never underestimate the kindness of strangers-
Conversations start over sharing a Wi-Fi password, or just showing up at the same time to check-in at your hostel/hostel when you travel. The process to get to know someone is fast tracked to hours not days. With my experience, life leads you to the people you need to meet. This is where the kindness factor comes in. There’s been countless times on my travels I’ve met incredible people and have swapped hilarious stories, advice, and contact information within a matter of minutes. You have no reason to hold yourself back, and others get to see the real you. Through the kindness of strangers, I’ve been set up with a long list of thoughtful deeds. But most importantly, I was cared about by someone who knew me for five seconds. This is one of my biggest draws to travel. Majority of the time, everyone just wants to help each other out.
3. You will spend way more than anticipated-
There’s a lot to think about when you’re about to embark on your first trip abroad, especially if you plan on living in a new country. Sometimes thinking about the ways money can be wasted gets overlooked. I can say I have definitely done this. I found out the hard way that meat and cheese is astronomically overpriced, and alcoholic beverages were triple what I paid at home. Not to mention little things like deposits for hostel keys, phone credit, buying any ticket day of, and the random festival you decide to go and blow $300. There’s plenty of ways that your money can disappear in a flash.
4. Everything is emotional when you travel
This could be a follow-up to #2 where I mentioned meeting a person and a couple of hours later it’s like they’ve known you your whole life. This really happens. Why? Because you are not at home that’s why. Every situation is the first and could be the last. It’s exhilarating. It makes you seem like the world is behind you and against you all at the same time.
5. You will not come back the same person-
I repeat. You will not come back the same person. You realise what you want and don’t want, what type of people you like and don’t like, and what you will put up with and won’t.
The reason this happens is because you burst out of that bubble called home and comfort. You get to do whatever you want, when you want, and however much you feel like. There’s no one stopping you but yourself and you will learn along the way just how capable you really are. It’s inspiring and ground breaking and phenomenal. You are forced to become independent and responsible. The best part about this transformation is that you don’t even see it coming, and the time this change becomes noticeable is the moment you step foot back home.
What is the one lesson you have learned while traveling? Let us know in the comments below.