8 Important Life Lessons You Learn from Travel
Everything does not always go according to plan
This is one thing that all travelers, including us at Travel For Teens, have learned by now. A journey does not always go according to plan, but then neither does life. If you plan every second of every day, you may be disappointed when things don’t go as perfectly as expected. After 4 months of almost nonstop travel, this is one of the biggest improvements I have seen in myself personally. I am still very much a planner, but I no longer find myself getting as upset when a flight or train is delayed for hours, or the hostel shower doesn’t have hot water. Travel has taught me that when the going gets rough, always remember that you are still in a beautiful place, on an amazing journey, and the little bumps in the road don’t seem to matter as much.
Sometimes it’s worth the couple extra euros
Travel can be expensive, but there is rarely a time that you regret spending a couple extra bucks to experience amazing things. Why take a picture of the Colosseum from the outside, when you can fully immerse yourself by going in? One thing I always try to do is never hold back or cut corners when it comes to travel. There are so many things to see in each new city that it can sometimes be a little overwhelming, so definitely prioritize the things most important to you and don’t feel guilty about splurging once in awhile. Because yes, those strange pants you bought in Morocco might only be acceptable when you’re riding camels through the dessert, but it was totally worth it for the cool Instagram!
Travel allows you to make some of the greatest and most unique friends
Travelers are some of the most welcoming and friendly people you will ever meet in your life. Making new friends is one of the most exciting and fun parts of travel, and everyone is in the same boat so they are always super nice and interested in meeting new people. Travel allows you to get to know people who may be completely different from you and live hundreds of miles away, yet still have the love of travel in common. Plus, now you have someone to visit in different countries around the world! Don’t hesitate to chat up your hostel roommates or invite the solo traveler to sit with you at dinner, you’ll be surprised how many awesome people you can find with a little extra effort!
Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it
Sometimes we tend to lean towards doing or seeing what’s expected when we travel, hitting all the important landmarks and eating the cliche food. Unfortunately, it’s easier to be a tourist than a traveler, which is why we have to force ourselves to try new things or see places that we might not entirely know about. If someone says they are going to an obscure place, often others ask why? Travel teaches you instead to ask why not? Because you have no idea what it’s going to be like, but it could be the experience of a lifetime.
Patience is a virtue and flexibility is key
Just as everything does not go according to plan, travel requires an abundance of patience and flexibility. Sometimes the line for the ticket counter is wrapped around the corner and only one person is working, but complaining about it is not going to change anything. Not every country is as concerned about fast and superb customer service like the United States is and they may not work as fast to keep you happy, but we have to respect the different customs when traveling abroad. These situations definitely teach you to be more patient. Travel also instills a more flexible attribute in a person, as not everyone is okay with jumping on a plane or train with 2 hours notice, but it definitely makes the adventure that much more fun!
Doing something out of the ordinary can help you grow as a person
The real fun starts when you go out of your comfort zone to explore. Trying new things may be scary, but overcoming your fears is one of the most rewarding things about travel. Hiking that mountain will be worth it for the view and cliff jumping will be totally fun if you just close your eyes and go! Get out there and see the unfamiliarities of life, because doing something different for once can open your eyes to so many new and exciting things.
It’s about the journey, not the destination
Travel allows us to see many breathtaking places, enjoy once in a lifetime sunsets, and eat outstanding food on a regular basis. It also makes us want to stop and remember these things, because our memories are so important to always cherish the highlights of a travel experience. It is important to remember not to rush through everything without pausing to enjoy it. So sit for an hour after dinner and enjoy the company, people watch in a piazza for hours one day, and climb a mountain to spend all day appreciating the view. Time is precious when we travel, but not too precious to slow down every once in a awhile.
Don’t take anything for granted
As travelers, we are so lucky to have this opportunity to see the world. We are healthy, able, and financially stable enough to travel and that is something we should always be grateful for. No matter what obstacles we might encounter along the way, we can never lose sight of the fact that we are having a once in a lifetime experience. Being away from home also makes us realize how lucky we are to have loving family, friends, a job, an education, and many other things that some people or cultures we may discover along our journey do not. Always count your blessings that you get to do something you are passionate about, because travel is a special thing that allows us to learn so much about ourselves and others!
Ciao for now!