My first overseas trip was when I was 18-months old, and I haven’t stopped moving since. I’ve learnt a lot already, even in my on-the-big-scale-of-things-still-quite-young 26 years on this planet, and every time I travel I learn something new.
1 | Travel taught me to be flexible
You never quite know what you’re going to get when you visit a new place. Yes, you can make plans and set out a course of action for your day (something I do quite often), but inevitably things don’t quite go the way you plan. And that’s okay. You learn, over a few trips like this, to be a little flexible, and go with the flow. It might not be perfect, but it’ll make a great story later.
2 | Travel taught me to be ORGANISED
I’m an organised person, though my organisation tends to be more chaotic than others. But travel taught me to have everything ready to go, visas completed, passports updated, vaccinations jabbed; the whole shebang long before they needed to be. Ticking things off lists is something I live for, and with travel it pays to be all that more organised.
3 | Travel taught me to try new things
Growing up in a family who had done a lot of travelling before I was around, and who were immersed in so many fantastic cultures already, I was used eating food from other countries on a weekly basis. But when you cook ‘foreign’ food at home, I think you tend to Westernise it a bit, even if you don’t mean to. While I haven’t eaten anything too weird, I have tried things that I wouldn’t normally, and I’m up for trying anything once.
4 | Travel taught me about the world
There’s nothing quite like stepping into another culture, another city, another country, and soaking up everything about the place. The big difference between reading books on countries, or Pinning ‘top 10 tips for travelling to X’ is that you don’t get the whole experience. You can’t hear the sounds, smell the scents, taste the food while you’re a step removed. I may have known about Japanese culture, but I didn’t know first-hand until I went to Tokyo.
5 | Travel taught me about myself
People often say that you return home differently than when you set out. And it’s true. Every time you travel you leave a little piece of yourself behind when you return, but you take with you all the experiences you gathered while you were away. You learn who you are through the things that happen and the way you deal with things. Perhaps you learn that you don’t function that well under pressure, or that you’re superb at reading train systems in other languages. Perhaps you’re great a picking up key phrases and words, but not so great at reading signs. Maybe you’re passionate, but not that patient; laid-back but not structured; willing to try new things … within reason.
Every time you travel you pick up new things, you learn new things, come home a little different to when you left. But that’s one of the joys of travelling; it teaches you something, no matter how small, and if that’s all you take from your trip, then it was all worth it.
What have you learnt from your travelling?
Photo by Pete Bellis on Unsplash
2013 saw me headed to Amsterdam for 2 days. That’s it. 2 days. I was tagging along on a work trip, and we stayed in a youth hostel quite centrally. One of the things that the good people of the hostel offered was a free walking tour of the city. This was probably the highlight of trip.
Not only did it mean I got to hang out with about 20 of the other people from all over the world, but it meant that I saw a lot of things off the main roads, and things that I wouldn’t have seen had I done an official tour, or took myself off wandering. It was the best part of my trip, and I got to see a lot of things that not everyone would have seen. We went down alley ways into big garden squares, we wandered through a book street, and learnt about the quirky things of the city.
If you ever get to go on a walking tour, I highly recommend it. It’s definitely worth it.