Travelling has taught me so much, and I believe it has made us a better person today. We always look forward to our next travel not because we need a break from Singapore or our hectic work schedule, but because we are so excited to embrace the new experiences, to meet fellow like-minded travelers, and to take in the sights of the beauty of a place that we’ve never been to. So here’s how traveling has changed our lives and the 8 life lessons learned from traveling.
1. Appreciate things more
Some of us may have heard the phrase, “once in a lifetime trip,” which implies that the odds of you redoing that trip is a little too impossible. I do not think that trips to certain locations have only happened once. I appreciate this experience because not many people have gotten opportunities to travel. I know many hard-working people who have never been outside of their state, let alone the country—some due to health and some due to financial challenges.
2. The little things you have are big to others
If you get the opportunity to travel, you might encounter locals who appreciate the life that is simplistic to some. They are not worried about the next generation phone, car, and so on. They are concerned about getting home safely and spent time with their loved ones. I once met a woman in Switzerland who worked all her life and never really traveled outside her homeland. She said that she sees a beauty no one can relate to. She pointed to areas where she had her first date, her first kiss, and more. The little things fulfilled her, which is different for certain cultures or for certain personas to understand.
3. Remain Humble
Travel offers an opportunity to see new things, but also to see old things in new ways. Some people will only see photos of beautiful places and will never get to see them. This should be a nudge to ensure when talking about your trip; you stick to the beautiful things you saw without pushing a person to go on a trip, especially if they cannot afford it or have other limitations.
4. Get out of your comfort zone
I am very social, but it honestly drains me because I like being alone or having small talk. Hard to believe for some, I know, but meeting new people allows you to be open, to understand what they are trying to say, and not to assume that you understand every experience they share. Zendeya, an American actress, said it best when she said she could come off cold to people because they did not know how to start a conversation. When I was in Europe, fellow tourists would try to talk to me, and to some, it was as easy as good morning, where you are going today, and some, it was like pulling teeth.
5. Patience is a virtue
Going back to point #2, Americans tends to have a pushy nature. We want things now, quickly and efficiently. In France, I heard a Frenchman say that he disliked Americans because they want everyone to know English, but some do not learn the language. Also, they [Americans] get frustrated quickly when they miss their cab – all things that made me smile because you can tell American tourists in certain counties. What I learned from people in other countries is that they present a calm, certain demeanor; to some, it may appear as if they do not have a care in the world.
6. Find beauty in small things
Many places worldwide have beautiful landmarks, humanmade architect, and rich history that plays a role in an object that you are overseeing. Nothing is quite simple as it seems; when you go with tour guides, you begin to learn how sculptures and architects added details to their masterpieces to tell a story, tell you something about that time frame, or even left consistent signatures to their work.
7. Remain curious, but be cautious
Have you ever gotten a little lost while reaching your destination? During some trips, I would explore the block, go to the malls, or find something to eat that might walk away. I remember a place with good food, but I had to go through an ally to enter the location. I had an early dinner to ensure that I left before it got dark, but the food was delicious. I would not normally go to places like that, especially without knowing the area or having a car, but my curiosity led me there, and it was worth it.
8. You don’t have to be rich to travel
In my early 20’s, I focused on school, and during my mid-20s, I was saving and trying to figure out finances. I came up with an Excel sheet that captured how I spent my money and made a travel plan. At the age of 29, I started my doctoral program and began accumulating my savings to have the luxury to travel and pay for school out of pocket. It was not easy, but I could plan and forecast expenses to ensure I did not come back to major bills