The world of travel is changing. More and more people are interested to explore off beaten paths during traveling than go ticking off a “Must Do” list. When “traveling” slowly turns into “exploring”, you sure would have come across these life’s lessons.
Here are the 10 lessons I learnt from traveling.
#1. Travel connects you to your inner self
Its very easy to lose track of time and even life perhaps with the routine that everybody’s is. The time in the Himalayas taught me that when you travel, you are free. Free to think, write, read, explore and do anything you want to. By freeing your mind and body from the monotony, you connect to your deeper self. Traveling is not just exploring the outer, it unknowingly makes you explore yourself.
#2. Traveling deepens the human bonding
When you travel with your partner, friends or family, you connect with them on a personal level. You get time to interact, share your thoughts, dreams, aspirations, fears and worries. The time spent and memories made has the ability to connect humans more than it would have in their routine lives. Go on road trips, cruises or backpacking across a place with someone. Sure, traveling solo is the best, but traveling with someone, connects.
#3. Meeting locals expands your knowledge of the place
Who has better knowledge of a place? People who live there or people who are new? Interact with the locals, listen to stories and share yours. This would expand one’s horizons that “seeing places” only can’t.
#4. You will learn to live a minimalist’s life
A backpack or a suitcase can’t possibly contain your whole house. Traveling quickly gets you adapted to a new life, with as minimal material things as possible. You will not only learn how to live with these hand-few things, you will also learn how to live without everything else! A life of minimalism. It will make you efficient. You will learn how to pack and what to pack quickly.
#5. You shouldn’t obsess over bucket lists
Having a bucket list is good, might even help you vision and plan. But don’t obsess over it. Because you will never know when it can turn into an obsession. That you HAVE to do something because its listed in your bucket list, not because you WANT to. You could have outgrown your bucket list in months/years to come. Adapting to a new time makes more sense than sticking onto old one just because you promised yourself that you WILL.
#6. Not everyone is friendly
Don’t expect people to be friendly and helpful. Don’t expect them to know your language. Embrace the difference and move on. Nobody is obliged to help the lost travelers out. Some do it, some don’t. You might even come across rude people, but its all part of an experience. Its easier said than done, I know, but we shouldn’t let one experience ruin everything, should we?
#7. Traveling requires planning
Yes, you can put on a backpack, hop on a train and just go someplace. But if you want to spend quality time exploring the place you need to do your homework. Research. Find out what kind of experiences are “your thing”. If you want to explore places near Bangalore, pour over the list and decide what you would actually like. If you love hiking, you would probably enjoy a place more if you hike a nearby hill, instead of going on city tours. If you like exploring new cuisines, you should probably find out the best eat outs than randomly picking out a restaurant that you see. This way you would definitely not miss an experience that could bring you ultimate joy.
#8. Getting out of comfort zone gets easy after a while
This is the most crucial lesson that I learnt during traveling. A new place, new culture and new language can quickly throw you out of balance. Its easier to spend the time in the hotel room or in the pool and just WATCH. But as you tend to travel more and more, you realize that meeting new people, seeing new places and learning a new language can be more fun. A whole another EXPERIENCE!
#9. Do not follow the herd. Do what your heart tells you to
There is totally no obligation to do the “must do” things while traveling. It is your choice and yours alone. You can choose to not wait for 4 hours in line to get on top of Eiffel Tower. Instead you can decide to hop onto a taller building and watch the beauty of Paris WITH Eiffel Tower! Just because everybody is doing it, you needn’t do it too. Listen to your heart, if you WANT to do it, go ahead.
#10. You shouldn’t travel to run away from your life, but to improve the quality of it
Lastly, travel shouldn’t be an option to run away from the miseries and troubles of your current life. Because you cannot run away from LIFE no matter how hard you try. Travel should broaden your thinking and aid in improving the quality of life. Once you learn these (and many more) lessons from traveling, you just cannot stop yourself from looking at life in a new way.