I can’t consider myself a “well traveled” person, but I’ve always loved going on roadtrips, camping trips and whatever felt like a good adventure, and ever since I graduated from college, I promised myself to make a big trip at least once a year. So far, I’ve kept my promise.
And even though I haven’t traveled that much, I believe I’ve learned quite a few things about myself, the world and life itself, and I want to share some of this knowledge with you.
You’ll find long lasting friendships
The great thing about traveling is that it forces you to open up and meet new people, whether you like it or not, and most of these people are going through the same things as you, share similar ideas and ways of viewing the world. And if they don’t, they might teach you something you never thought of or change the way you think for good.
It totally amazes me the friendships you can make while on the road. I believe it might be because you share a great deal of awesome things on such a small amount of time, that it creates a really strong bond between you. I’ve gotten great life lessons from the most unsuspected persons, I still exchange christmas cards with a korean friend I met in Cambodia, I’ve visited friends back in their home countries and some of them have visited me back and every time I receive and e-mail or a Facebook inbox, it feels like we never went our separate ways.
Beauty can be found in the most unexpected places
I understand that the cultural shock can be very strong for some people but you can’t let this drive the way you experience your travels. Even more, it should be the main factor that lets you appreciate those amazing colors inside a market you won’t find back home or that fascinating smile while riding a crazy busy train.
It is the best way to conquer all your fears
This is my reasoning behind the crazy things I like to do while traveling: “I’ve already conquered the fear of going to a totally unknown place! Most people can’t even do that. I bet I can jump from the top of that boat into the ocean and eat that crazy looking snake afterwards”.
And this comes from a guy that is scared to death of the ocean and all those evil watery-things.
Plus: look at that sunset! I just can’t say no to that.
You are tougher than you think
This goes along with the last point. You’ll be out of your comfort zone, maybe you won’t even understand the language and there’s no one else to solve your problems for you, and what do you do? You keep it together, take a deep breath and deal with whatever you find on your way. Knowing that you’re able to overcome any problem in front of you will give you confidence not only for your travels but for every other aspect of your life.
Believe me, that’s the only thing that got me through my first couple of days in India. And I loved it.
Traveling is not that expensive
I’ll never grow tired of saying this. Before I started traveling, I always said to myself that traveling was something only rich people did. Oh, how I want to slap my past self for thinking that.
Want to travel cheap? Study your destination (books, online forums, friends, whatever’s useful for you), discipline yourself, plan a realistic budget and schedule, buy your plane tickets in advance. Don’t wanna spend too much on lodging? Couchsurfing will be your best friend. Wanna work while traveling for free food, lodging and maybe a few bucks? Why don’t you try WWOOF? Really, there’s no excuse for not traveling but you have to do your homework first.
So what are you waiting for? Choose a date, take out your backpack and start planning your next adventure. This is the sign you were waiting for.Walking through the Great Wall
Beautiful town in Peru
The Taj Mahal seen from the jungle
Playing with a kid at a monk settlement in Cambodia