Bloggers Share What Life Lessons Travel Has Taught Them
It has been said that experience teaches us life’s greatest lessons. I believe the people who understand this the most are travelers. Experience gives us a first hand view of the world, and it’s not all pools and lounge chairs. The world is our classroom, and we are soaking up the knowledge! Here is what 13 travel bloggers have to say about what travel has taught them.
Andi – My Beautiful Adventures
“Over the years I have had extremely frustrating moments while traveling. To be honest, I let some of them consume me enough to ruin a trip or two. The more I traveled though, the more I realized that I needed to stop fighting things that were out of my control and to adopt the attitude of what will be will be.
Of course it was easier said than done, but now that I have almost mastered it, my trips have benefited greatly and I look at the change of plans as just another adventure. Being able to adapt to changing circumstances is the key to a successful trip!”
Chris Guillebeau – Art of Non-Conformity
“For me, travel is an addiction—hopefully a healthy one, but I’d be the first to say it’s a fine line between love and compulsion. I travel for the process of travel itself; it’s not so much about seeing new places or meeting new people, although that always happens with travel anyway.
I find everything about it simultaneously invigorating and exhausting. I come home for awhile and enjoy the rest… but then I’m eager to get on the road again.”
Kelly – Travel Bug Juice
“Above all else, travel has taught me to always believe in the good in people. I have seen that good, everywhere.. in every situation in which I’ve ever needed support–whether carrying my bags, helping me negotiate 27 terminal bus stations in a foreign language, or just in finding a friend to talk to–I have found that the beauty and kindness of human beings knows no geographical restriction.. and that, I think, is fricken awesome.”
Sofia & Nathan – As We Travel
“Don’t just blindly trust what other people, online forums, or guide books say about destinations. Make sure you go there, explore with an open mind and then form your own opinion. Otherwise you will miss out on so many magic moments, which might not have happened if you had just done what everyone else told you to do…”
Aracely and Jason – Two Backpackers
“Flexibility has been our greatest behavior while traveling long term. Flexibility gives us the ability to spend extra time with new friends we suddenly met. We can venture out to a new city or a new hike that we just learned of from other backpackers in the hostel.
Flexibility allows us to relax and wind down in a single place and put our travels on hold. Great experiences and friendships would have been missed had we not been flexible during our journeys.”
Amanda – A Dangerous Business
“Above all else, travel has taught me to just let go, and appreciate every situation and experience for what it is. In our everyday lives, we have so many things to worry and stress about — the rent that’s due, the job we dislike, relationships, family drama, what we’re going to make for dinner… But if we’re always stressing, how are we ever supposed to enjoy life?
Traveling around the world has helped me realize that, sometimes, it’s okay to just lose yourself in a place or experience or feeling. The small stuff isn’t worth sweating, because sometimes you just can’t control things. Flights get canceled, the weather is uncooperative, you get lost in a strange city… things happen. LIFE happens. And you learn to deal with it.
Travel has made me a stronger, more independent, and passionate person because it’s helped me realize the things in life that are most important to me. It has taught me tolerance, patience, and how to latch onto the things that make me happy. In short, travel has taught me how to enjoy life!”
Caz and Craig – Y Travel Blog
“One of the most important things I learned from traveling is that I am powerful beyond measure, as is everyone. Before I started traveling I was shy, insecure, and quite fearful of everything. Travel placed me in many situations where I was forced to step out of my comfort zones, situations had I been in my normal life I could have easily found a back door out of.
I realized after I survived, that it wasn’t that bad, and that I was capable of doing far more than I ever dreamed possible. I have grown and learned an incredible amount because of it, and now I have the confidence and belief in myself to know I can keep pushing those boundaries to do even more amazing things.”
Lorna – The Roamantics
“Like other travelers, I’ve learned some pretty amazing things from travel- about people, places, and myself. I’ve had my assumptions challenged, my limits tested, and felt the most alive I’ve ever felt. But I guess the one thing I had to learn in order to have all of those other learning experiences, is that travel doesn’t have to be monumentally difficult or expensive.
For so many years I postponed traveling abroad because I bought into that mindset. When my desire to do it finally trumped my concern about how I’d make it work and I took off, it was so much easier, I was so much more adaptable, and it cost less than taking a domestic vacation. Overcoming that hurdle changed my life and now this year I’m taking off on my round the world trip!”
Norbert – GloboTreks
“Keeping an open mentality always makes travel a learning experience. No matter when and where you go, there’s always something new to learn, absorb, explore, and admire — whether it is cultural, historical, or just the different lifestyle.”
Ayngelina – Bacon is Magic
“I spent most of 2010 traveling through Latin America and learned so much. I considered myself a pretty happy person but I realized that I was holding myself back from truly being happy because I often did what I thought I ‘should’ do rather than what I wanted to do.
In 2011 I’m taking a leap and getting rid of the shoulds.”
Jim – Holes in My Soles
“I’ve learnt to stop, listen, and buy CDs from street performers. Cape Town’s Waterfront could be any harbour shop and restaurant scene, but the live performers make it uniquely South Africa with the variety of music and singing groups playing there for free.
I picked up some incredibly powerful singing from a group called Shiba, singing on the streets of Swaziland’s capital Mbabane. Gypsy groups in Hungary, folksingers in Russia, Mascato Children’s Choir in Namibia, throat singers from Mongolia, Ethiopia performers from Habeesha 2,000, amputee groups at Angkor Wat.
I’ve collected over 100 CDs and they play in my worshop all day long- I’m mind travelling again. In many ways they’re better than photos, as they capture the soul of a country in a way that a photo never does. In the Royal Mile of Edinburgh last September, it was a delight for us to grab a coffee at a streetside cafe’ and just listen to the buskers and performers doing their best for a dollar. But sadly, none of the many performers had a CD for sale. Wake up guys- you’re missing a marketing opportunity to sell yourselves!”
Melvin – Travel Dudes
“What have I learned from travel? A lot and more than if I would have stayed at home!
What do you learn at home? In school you get all the theoretical stuff, some of it is even useful. Then there is also the media, where you get informations from and where you could learn from. I would recommend not to learn too much from it directly. Travel and learn that the media is just after making headlines and selling issues.
For example, we booked flights to Indochina and suddenly the bird flu broke out. The media loved that topic and everyone panicked! You could see on TV that people were running around with masks everywhere in Asia.
People canceled flights and some of us also got a bit scared. But we went for it and I was surprised that life was just as normal as I’ve seen it a year before. There were people with masks in Bangkok, but these were there the year before as well. They wore the masks against the smog and pollution in town.
I’m not saying that the bird flu was completely harmless. But it also wasn’t like, as what the media sold it.
The first days I didn’t eat any chicken, but that changed soon. Later I ate sooo much chicken and loved it. Was it bad? Did I get ill? The result was that Traveldudes.org was founded on that trip, It’s up to you to decide if the chicken flu infected me…
I’ve learned on my travels many times, that it’s better to see it for yourself and then make up your own mind.”
Nicole and Cameron – Traveling Canucks
“The most important thing that travel has taught us is that we are very fortunate people. Travel has taught us to be thankful, to be respectful, to be humble, to be compassionate, and to really focus on what is important – spending time together and enjoying the wonderful life we’ve been given. When in Jodhpur, India, we met a local man at our hostel rooftop restaurant.
The wise old man left us with powerful words that have since shaped our life. “Don’t seek worldly possessions, they will leave you unfulfilled and full of regret. Instead, seek worldly experiences and share them with the people you love”. I’m sure we could have discovered this philosophical truth in a book somewhere, but somehow I don’t think it would have had the same impact. Travel is the wise old man that teaches us what is important.”
What has travel taught you? Share your thoughts below.