Well, these are the best things I learned when I was travelling, nope not the whole world, not yet anyway, but south-east Asia and Australia.
I set off for Australia when I was just 18, with so many dreams and adventures waiting for me I was bursting with excitement. I had been wanting to travel and explore since I was little, now my dream was coming true and I couldn’t believe it. I learnt so much on this trip that has helped me in my life overall. I also learnt that I never want to stop travelling and finding new experiences.
I was 20 when I set off for Southeast Asia and it was a trip of a lifetime. This was a very different trip for me and involved more partying, friends and many different experiences out of my comfort zone, including swimming with sharks!!
The top five things I learnt when travelling around these places and many more in between
How to live simply- I learnt how to live simply and I think that everyone that backpacks and travels know this too. You realise you don’t need as many things and clothes to experience wonderful things in life. When I went to Australia I took so many things with me and didn’t use the majority of them. Like I literally took 5 pairs of shoes and only used two pairs (my flip flops and trainers) such a waste of space! One of the best tips for travelling and backpacking is less equals more. You don’t need a lot and trust me you will regret it when you are carrying your backpack from place to place. In fact, when you are moving from one place to the next if your bag is too heavy you’ll wish you only took the clothes on your back. So learning how to live simply is a huge thing you learn when travelling. This is also something that you will take with you through life. You learn that as long as you have good company you don’t need much. This makes holidays and trips much easier as you know what you don’t need and that you only need to take exactly what you use. It will also make your home life simpler as you know you don’t need to have everything you can have just the necessities. This has helped me live more of a minimalist lifestyle.
Try new things- Before I travelled I would never try new foods and would be scared of new activities, especially if it included the sea. I didn’t think that a few years later I would be swimming with sharks and jumping off cliffs. When you are travelling you need to throw yourself into every activity and everything you can. You will grow in confidence and will release so many things you don’t actually need to be scared off. I was terrified of the sea when I went to Australia to the point I couldn’t put my feet on the seafloor. I had to stand on my boyfriend’s feet, and I wouldn’t get in the sea unless he was next to me. But by the end of the trip I was going swimming alone, cliff jumping and overall not shitting myself at the thought of what was in the ocean. So try new things, try things that terrify you. This makes your trip so memorable and special. You will have so many fun memories and it will grow you as a person. You will carry this on when you stop travelling or just in your future, you will be scared to go for your dream job but if you go for it what’s to lose. New things help you grow into an amazing person with amazing memories.
Find beauty in everything- When travelling you plan out and try to do all of the amazing things that country or place has to offer which is great and you will love this but one thing that you will learn on your trip is that you can find beauty in everything and anything. The goodness in everything will come out and make the trip magical if you know how to see it. I picked up this skill when I was in Australia and I have kept it with me even in rainy old England. I find beauty in everything now and this makes life so much more enjoyable. From laughing in the rain to watching the clouds change. It’s like unlocking a new world full of beautiful and exciting things. Even when things go wrong and shit happens (which it will) try and find some happiness within it, try to laugh at the pain it’s causing you, smile when you want to cry. In daily life now I’m back home if I ever find myself in a funk when nothing is right and it’s an overall shit day, I smile. I smile at nothing, at the car the let me out, at the woman across the street and this makes me feel so much better. Forcing yourself to smile makes you overall smile inside and feel a little warmth and happiness. So even when life gets you down look for the beauty and you will find it. Which leads me on to my next point…
Shit happens! – Shit happens and it won’t stop happening, that’s just life. When your travelling and something goes wrong it might feel like the worst thing in the world and it will make you just want to fly home (well that’s what it made me want to do the first time). You need to remember that even though you’re in a magical place where your dreams are coming true, shit will still happen. For me, it was in the form of a broken van. In the middle of nowhere. Literally. The middle of the outback in Aus! We had brought a van about 3 weeks before with little to no experience with cars or vans. I had been driving for about a year and my boyfriend had only passed his test two weeks before we set off. But know that no matter where you are in the world and what you are doing, stuff will go wrong. You will grow from this and it will make you a better person. By dealing with things going wrong you are learning how to deal with different life situations and you will be more confident in knowing that you can either fix it or learn from it. This skill can be used in every situation and shit you will go through. You need to learn how to let things go and understand that sometimes things can’t be helped. If you want a happier overall life this is such a good thing to learn.
About myself- Lastly, I learned so so so much about myself! I learnt so many likes and dislikes as well as my personality. Learning about yourself might be one of the best things you can do in life. You will be able to learn, grow and improve yourself leading to a better and more fulfilling life. My time travelling has helped me figure out who I am and what I want to be. I now know where I want my life to go and this has helped me figure out my life situations. Leading to me being in such a good place in life as well as so so happy. Generally happy with my day to day life which might seem boring and not exciting for some, this might also be a little bit from my point earlier on finding beauty in everything. You should definitely travel to learn about yourself and figure things out. Try new things along the way and it will open your mind to a world of things you want to do and how you can make it happen. You will gain world knowledge which will help you in so many different ways. This is one of the main things my dad was worried about when I left the first time, that I didn’t have enough world knowledge. My words to him were ‘well how am I going to learn, you get knowledge from scaring yourself, from trying new things and from jumping in at the deep end even if the deep end is halfway across the world.
When you are travelling try to think of what you want to gain from your trip, which could just be to have fun or grow in confidence, experience new things or just fall in love with life. Whatever your reason remember it and when things get tough remind yourself why.
Travel and see the world with your own eyes and thoughts. Travelling helps you improve your problem-solving skill which is going to help you with everything in your life. It will help you be more creative and smarter in so many different ways. So if you need a sign or reason to travel here it is!
Start now, do more and collect moments along the way.
So, where are you going to go?