10 Life Lessons You Will Learn From Traveling

Traveling the world has so many wonderful benefits – seeing the sights, meeting new friends, making memories and relaxing, to name but a few – but have you ever thought about the lessons you can learn from traveling? Not only will you experience new things each day, but you will learn things about yourself and the world that you will carry with you everywhere you go in the future. Things can be taken away from you in life, but nobody can ever withdraw your experiences from you.

Credit: Copyright 2018 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Allan Stephen

In this post, you’ll find out 10 life lessons you will learn when you are traveling the world. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

  1. Organization is key.

If you want to learn to be more organized, you should throw yourself in at the deep end and go traveling. Traveling without organization is not a lot of fun; you’ll wind up missing flights, spending money you don’t have, and losing out on fun experiences that could have been achieved through a little more preparation. 

Sometimes the best way to teach yourself a skill is to just go in all guns blazing. Booking a trip will force you to be more prepared and to learn how to organize yourself in an efficient, orderly way.

  1. Sometimes, it’s okay to be lost.

Traveling is often branded as something you do when you aren’t sure what else to do with your life. Well, why is that a bad thing? When traveling the world you will realize that most people are pretty lost; we are all just trying to find our way through this crazy life and work things out as we go. If you’re lost, that’s okay – admitting this is not a sign of weakness. 

Don’t expect traveling to reveal great truths to you that will allow you to “find yourself”. Traveling opens doors for your future and broadens your horizons; along the way, you might figure out what next steps to take in your life. 

  1. Wherever you go, you take yourself.

Many people use traveling as a vehicle for avoiding life’s problems. While there’s nothing wrong with kicking back and having fun for a while, don’t assume that when traveling you will forget all about the life you left behind. 

Ultimately, wherever you go, you take yourself; you will still be the same person, just in a new place, experiencing new things. If working on yourself is what you need, traveling might be the right thing – as long as you don’t expect to come back a brand new person, totally devoid of all the issues you held before you went away.

  1. Your best laid plans will never work out how you hoped.

If you have booked to visit a brand new place and are beginning to plan your trip of a lifetime, try not to over-plan this awesome getaway. While, of course, you want to be organized and maximize your enjoyment and time efficiency while on this trip, over-planning will only lead to disappointment down the line.

Let’s say you want to learn to scuba dive. In your head, things will go like this: you’ll arrive on the first day, and the weather will be beautiful, with low winds that make it easier to swim. You’ll begin diving, and straight away you’ll encounter dolphins, beautiful tropical fish, turtles and stunning coral. All in all, the day will look just like the pictures on the scuba diving company website. Right?

Wrong. It is likely that there will be a few bumps in the road – perhaps the weather won’t be perfect, or you might not spot your favourite species of tropical fish. Does that mean the whole experience was worthless? No! The best laid plans will never work out how you hoped, so don’t hang your hopes and dreams on your next travel experience. Instead, try to live in the moment and appreciate whatever life throws your way.

  1. Taking risks is essential for long term happiness.

Traveling involves taking risks, almost every day. Visiting new places in which you may not speak the native language; riding on planes and in taxis through unfamiliar cities; trying new activities you can’t do at home… All of these have one thing in common: they’re kind of risky.

This is a good thing! Taking (calculated) risks means you are doing life right. If you never take a leap of faith, you limit what you are capable of as a person, and shut yourself off to new opportunities. You might visit a new place and be super nervous, but you could love it so much that you wind up moving there! You never know how your life will work out, so make sure you are taking risks and pushing your comfort zone all the time.

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  1. You’ll never truly know yourself until you’re in an unfamiliar environment. 

Unfamiliar environments bring out the best, and worst, in everyone. You won’t truly know yourself as a person until you place yourself out of your comfort zone and into the unknown. Of course, you need to prioritize safety – throwing yourself into any uncomfortable situation as a life lesson is not a great idea in general – but pushing yourself to try new things and visit new places is a must. 

When traveling, you will meet new people and see new things that test what you previously thought you knew about your own personality. This is a great thing: it means you can grow, tackle issues that are holding you back, and ultimately be more self aware as you move through life. 

  1. You are braver than you think.

Bravery is at the heart of most of our choices in life. Deciding to move to a new place; fall in love; have children or buy a home all requires bravery in spades. When you decide to travel the world and experience something brand new, you are making a brave decision. 

When you arrive, each decision you make will test your bravery: should I climb this mountain? Should I eat this food? Should I leave my cell phone behind? Yes, yes, yes! Be brave, be bold; on the road, you realize just how brave you are as a person.

  1. The more you know about the world, the more you’ll realize how little you know.

As you accumulate travel experiences around the globe, you will begin to realize just how little of the world you have actually explored. Always staying in one place can make your world very small; it closes you off to empathy or knowledge about or for the wider world. 

If you travel, you will begin to broaden your horizons; and with it, will come the daunting realization that you have barely scratched the surface of this complex, beautiful, amazing world in which we all live. Swimming in the ocean will give you even an inkling of how much ocean there is out there yet to be experienced by anyone; climbing a mountain will give you the perspective you need in order to remember that as individuals we are very small, and the world is ever so large. 

  1. Being open to new experiences is a learned skill.

We are taught, throughout our lives, to accept our current circumstances and stay in our lane. This makes us closed off to all the phenomenal experiences that lie waiting for us in life; we are told to simply accept our lot and get on with it. By breaking that mold, you are actively learning a fundamental skill that will give you so much: the skill of being open to new experiences.

“Going with the flow” and being open to lots of new things in life can be tricky. It doesn’t come naturally to most of us; so don’t beat yourself if you find it hard to just let go and live in the moment. However, constantly pushing yourself to be more open to new things is a great way to live, and traveling will give you just that. When you return from your travels, you’ll be able to take on new challenges back home with a new sense of calm and groundedness. Being open to anything life throws at you is a hard skill to learn, but it’s worth the graft to find a more peaceful way of living. 

  1. Life is about accumulating small but meaningful experiences.

Many people, when embarking on a travel experience, expect it to change their life. They expect an a-ha moment that never comes; and with this, comes disappointment, or the feeling that they’re “doing traveling wrong”. Wrong! Travel, and life on the whole, is about accumulating small but meaningful experiences that will shape who you are as a person. Don’t expect a particularly special sunset or a wildlife safari to give you all the answers you are searching for; look for the answers in the small details and you’ll find them.

Final Thoughts

If you are yearning for travel and want to know what it will bring to your life, use this guide to help you figure out what to expect – and what not to expect – from a modern travel experience!

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