They say “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. This is me not working a day in my life. I consider myself one of the lucky ones being able to do my passions: seeing the world, trying out new cuisines and dabbling in photography through my job as a flight attendant. I consider myself even luckier learning from the people I meet along the way. The mistakes I made (and will continue to make) and the moments, no matter how insignificant they may seem at the time, can be life-changing.
As I share these lessons to my fellow wanderers and the would-be explorers, let this be a thank you to the kind souls who have touched my heart in more ways than one, wherever in the world they may be.
10 Life Lessons You Learn Traveling the World
10. Experiences trump material things.
It sounds cheesy and quite possibly the only statement you’ll agree with me on in this article, but our experiences in this world are far more precious than any worldly possessions.
Traveling makes you realize you don’t need much to survive in life. May it be sharing a toilet with five other people in a hostel, or planning a 30-day trip around Europe with just enough money for Euro Rail, you will see what matters most. Eliminate the unnecessary, invest in memories, pack your bags and go.
9. Being alone is totally cool.
Take my word for it, you might even enjoy it more. Walk around talking to your own thoughts (hopefully not out loud), no one calling out “I’m hungry” or “We took the wrong turn”. No, in this one, you are the master of your own ship. Eat when you want and take as many wrong turns as you want. As for the photos, if you’re worried about not having your own personal photographer: there’s always a selfie stick. If you have the dedication and the I-dont-care-what-others-think-of-me-attitude like yours truly, you can even bring a tripod.
8. Forget the plan.
Planning is good, especially for control freaks like me. I’m all about plans A, B and C. However, sometimes the best plan is no plan. When your plan crumbles – heavy rain, closed museum on a national holiday, a lost wallet – there’s no use moping around. Sure, it sucks, but suck it up. Your time is precious. Bounce back and think of alternatives. You might get that wallet back (though I hardly doubt it), but you can’t get back the time you lost if you dwell on the negatives.
7. We are all different, and that’s OK.
Our differences in language, religion, culture and beliefs make human beings beautiful, complicated creatures. The moment we start accepting that is the moment we can let go of our frustrations with what may seem unfamiliar to us. Instead, embrace each other’s differences, open your mind and learn from one another. Chances are, you’ll realize how much you have in common with the people you once thought were so different.
6. Trust your instincts.
Never underestimate the power of your gut feeling. When in doubt, follow what that little voice inside you is saying. May it be your bargaining skills being challenged, your taxi driver trying to rip you off, or those shady strangers at the bar offering you drinks, always remember your instinct usually is right.
Check out the next page for more!