Have you ever wondered why people return so differently from their travels? Well, traveling teaches you a lot about life and yourself. It has great positive influence on your personality and character. It helps you be open-minded and see things from another perspective. It helps you live a happier life and improve as a person. And I want this positive change for you too. That’s why today I am sharing some of the life lessons I’ve learn trough my 4 years of continuous traveling. By sharing this positive impact of traveling I hope to motivate you to travel yourself and implement some of those life lessons to make your everyday a little happier. Ready? Okay let’s get to it.
First I quickly want to tell you about my relationship with traveling. I started traveling in 2015 and since then I more or less travelled non-stop. I’ve stayed in places for longer, for up to 6 months to be exact. However, since I first started traveling my wanderlust could never get satisfied. I just needed to travel more. Traveling to me has so many positive impacts and there’s so much I’ve learned through those years of being on the road. My unsatisfying wanderlust not only thought me a lot about traveling itself but also about myself and life in general. And all those life lessons I’ve learned have improved my life so much as that I can say I am much happier, wiser and closer to my dream life now than I was before I started traveling. It’s a wonderful thing to get your mind opened and learn about some important truths in life. The positive impact of traveling is just undeniable, that’s why I am sharing them with your today, so you can too experience the beauty of those life lessons and how they make your life happier.
Traveling to mostly cheap countries for us as Europeans showed me a lot that not everyone in the world has so much as we do. There are so many people in the world that don’t have the opportunities we have just because they grew up in a poorer, less developed country. However, it was just recently, during my Erasmus stay, when I discovered that poverty not only exists in countries like South Africa, Indonesia or Central America. Even European countries like Portugal have “townships” and really poor areas. I always assumed that every European country is as wealthy as Germany, but this assumption was wrong.
If you have the opportunity to travel the world and grew up with the chance to do what you love you can really count yourself lucky. There are so many people who don’t get that chance so make the best out of it.
I’ve always considered myself a free bird. I was never feeling connected to my home like many of my friends did. From a very young age I decided I will move to another country one day. Mostly because of the waves. However, although traveling is the best that has happened to me and I love being on the road, after all those years without a real home I figured that even the freest souls feel the desire for a place to call their home. Don’t get me wrong, I felt at home at many places, though it’s different to feel like you’re being at home and having a home for real. Humans need a place/way to feel grounded and settled. So, no matter how much you travel, it’s okay to feel homesick or sick for a place to call your home.
Like mentioned above, I’ve never had that deep admiration for my home. I would even say when I was younger I didn’t like home much because it is so far away from the ocean. Though now that I’ve seen so many different places in the world and experienced that even the most amazing ones are, to the people there, also just ordinary, I figured home is actually not that bad. There’s many awesome things about the place I grew up as well and sometimes you need to go away to see and learn to appreciate what you already have.
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In general, before I started traveling I took many things for granted, especially my family and friends. Though through seeing them so little over the last few years I got to value their existence so much more. They are playing a huge role in me staying connected to what is reality. It’s very easy to lose yourself while traveling or lose track of reality. It’s easy to get lost in exploring and just keep doing this until it’s too late to do something else. So, having them in my life is a constant reminder to stay a little bit connected to reality and helps me hugely to not lose myself while traveling the world.
This might also be more a struggle of being young and restless. Not that I’m old and grounded now. LOL. But seeing and experiencing different, new things every day for many years made me crave peace and calm much more. It’s not healthy to always keep going and force new experiences into your mind every day. You need time to step away, reflect and rest as well. You need to process all that happened to really take the most out of it and enjoy it. So, stop hustling for more and give yourself some rest every once in a while.
Especially with working out and nutrition I always thought there’s only one way to get this right. I have to go to the gym and workout x times a week for x hours. But also with my goals in life I assumed that there’s only one way, the way everyone is going. Silly, silly me to think that. But lucky traveling taught me better. Through traveling I was forced to find different ways to stay on track with my goals. I couldn’t do it the default way. However, as this might be scary for some cause if you go choose a path no one has gone before you don’t know where it leads, this was the best traveling has done for me. Because it showed me that it there are many ways to get what you want and you don’t necessarily have to do it like everyone does it. In fact, most of the time your own way is better than the common way.
The easiest life lesson I’ve learned through traveling. The world is smaller than you think and it is way less scary to try new things than you might assume.
In addition, it’s so much more possible for your dreams to come true even if they seem impossible because like I said, the world is small and nothing there’s probably someone out there who has exactly what you want.
Another truth that comes from knowing that the world is not as big as you think is that distance is also just another obstacle like everything else. No matter if it is friends, family or waves that are far away. The distance between you and what you want is just a hurdle to overcome and a plane ride away from you. It’s not even as scary or impossible as it might seem at first to get to where you want to be.
The last and probably most impactful thing traveling has thought me about life and myself is that there is no point in working towards the perfect. Besides the fact that there is no “perfect”, the “perfect” will come to you without you having to do anything. All you need to do to find the perfect is to be happy. And for being happy you need to find inner balance. Be grateful for what you have and stop wanting more and more. If you manage to do that, and traveling for sure will help you with it because just seeing and experiencing all those differences in the world is making you more grateful, you will get very close to what is perfect.
Just a little example here to make a point. And I’m not diving to deeply into it as I’m going to write an extra post about it soon, but before I stared traveling I strived for having the perfectly fit body. I wanted to be as fit and athletic as I could. And even though I was happy and close to what I wanted at that time, it was when I started to travel that I appreciated my body and my current fitness level. And now after traveling for a few years I even got more fit and healthy then I was before with about 10% of the effort I was giving before. Isn’t that great?!
As you can see there are many things you can learn from traveling, but the most impactful thing I guess is that it changes your perspective. It makes you question things, think differently about the way you perceived the world. It makes you more open minded and agile. It makes you think outside the box and that is something we can all need since this is what prevents us from being unhappy due to high expectations, misunderstandings, misjudging or other cruelty.
So, I hope those lessons about life that my wanderlust has thought me could bring a little value to your life and will help you improve it and become happier. If this was the case then feel free to share it and help me improve other people’s lives as well.
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