Each and everyone of us has been told the same thing since we were young: education is the most important above all. It’s the ticket to success, and it’s one thing instilled in us all and can never be taken away. From school to university, we sure have learned a lot. We are spoon fed information some of which we can only absorb until the final exam, while a few good things stick with us until old age.
Although this has their merits, beyond the four walls of a classroom is an entire world and reality we have yet to wander and learn from what it offers. School instructs us on almost everything, but traveling teaches us more. It reveals undeniable truths to you, and the reality itself provides you with invaluable knowledge that a lecture hall cannot.
The world isn’t a scary place
If people tell you that the world is big and scary, then they obviously haven’t experienced being out there. Bad and unfortunate things happen, that’s true; however, there aren’t always thieves trying to steal your belongings, or those who lurk behind you at ATMs. Bad things occur, but so do good things much more often.
The key is to be street-smart, wise and alert while traveling. Outsmart the thieves and don’t act like a tourist in every foreign land you set foot in. The world is a beautiful place, full of generous and equally beautiful people. Outweigh fear with love and trust.
You learn to trust yourself and others
Trusting oneself most especially applies to solo travelers. As you continue on your journey, there will be times when you’ll get lost or lose something; be in a bad mood, or put everything down until you figure out what to do next. This is the time when you put faith in yourself and trust yourself.
And about trusting others? How many times have you put your life in the hands of a taxi driver, or asked directions from a kind stranger? You won’t make new and remarkable friends and encounters without putting your trust in people. Take a leap of faith and see where it goes.
Be fiercely independent
Regardless if you’re traveling alone or with a group of friends, traveling will teach you to be independent. Often times, you still get lost or come across small issues even when in a group, and that’s where your independence is tested. Your mom’s nowhere in sight to tell you what the right way is or the next thing to do. You get to be the ‘mom’ now—step up.
And when you’re by yourself and sudden complications arise, you learn how to swiftly plan and execute what to do next single-handedly. You can always ask for help, but try to fix things on your own—surprise yourself.
You learn not to spoil yourself but to let traveling spoil you
Are you currently saving up for the next must-have smartphone? When you get yourself out there and travel before the most talked about gadget comes out on the market, purchasing it will be nowhere near the top of the list or on it at all. When you know that all you need fits in your backpack, then you realize that luxuries and materialism aren’t the real definition of happiness.
As you travel and meet people who are less fortunate than you, but live fully just as you do, you’ll learn how to be considerate and selfless to others. Traveling will open your eyes to value experiences more than the latest smartphone or fashion trends. Traveling will teach you to be content, pay it forward, complain less, and be more grateful.
Make a difference
Traveling can and will make a difference in you and you in others. It can be hard to see, but strangers, ordinary people like us, can make a difference in a world with a small gesture. These tiny yet kind tokens are meaningful and will always remain with the person.
No, you don’t have to help a whole village to make a mark on others’ lives. You may not even know it you’ve made an impact on someone, and that that’s the beauty of it—interacting and opening yourself to people around you.
Appreciate cultures, traditions, and histories
Sure, schools give lectures on the history, tradition, and culture of countries and their people, but those are only brief explanations. Learning about these is cool, but firsthand experiences are still what counts.
Strolling amid a destination’s architectural landmarks, appreciating art in museums, attending local events, and getting to know the locals in a village expose you to different lifestyles and cultures. There may be instances of culture shock, but that’s the wonder of it. Next thing you know, you’ll be already planning on returning one day in the future while you’re still visiting the place. Also, you won’t even notice that you’ve picked up the local customs and falling in love with the delicacies that get you tongue-tied when ordering them.
Most importantly, traveling teaches you how to enjoy and live your life as you want. If you’re in a rut, stuck in your life and career, or sick of your current status, take a break from your 9-to-5 corporate job and experience what life truly is.
You don’t want to wait until you’re weak and old to see the beauty of our world—live it now.
How about you, what has traveling taught your so far in life? Share it with us!
About author: Chie Suarez sails from the PH and enjoys travelling with her family and dog. She found her passion for travelling quite late, not to mention she writes for Kims Luxury Accomodation & Romantic Getaways in Toowoon Bay, NSW, Australia.