Have you ever wondered why some of the great poets, thinkers, scientists, and philosophers travelled most of their lifetime? Well, the answer is quite simple. All of them believed that travelling is the best education one can ever get. As Prophet Mohammed said, “Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.”
I haven’t explored the world yet, but I have itchy feet. I have travelled quite a lot of places, and the more I travel, the more it sparks my wanderlust. Every place I have ever visited has taught me something new. It reinforced the idea in my mind that when you put your mind to it, there is nothing that we can’t explore.
Here are a few valuable life lessons that travelling has taught me.
You can survive in a lot less than you think
Since I have mostly travelled in India, many times I came across places where there are no mobile networks, internet, and electricity. And surprisingly, the absence of all these things did not really irk me. I am always busy enjoying the essence of a new place, and the company of new people. And, that’s when I realised that the advanced technology and gadgets that we are so accustomed to are not as important as we think.
Learn to rely on others
If you are backpacker like me and plan trips in a jiffy, then you must learn to trust and rely on others. I used to be very skeptical during my initial travels; what if someone shows me the wrong way? What if this person is a thug? But, eventually I learnt to trust people. If you are a traveller, you can’t really explore amazing places without asking localities, or people who know about the place.
P.S – I don’t mean to tell you that start trusting random strangers blindly.
You feel connected to the world
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Scott Cameron. When you realise that what a tiny place you occupy in the world, you would want to go out there, explore, and see what lies in store for you. When I don’t travel, I feel stuck at one place. And, the more I travel, the more I feel connected to the outside world.
The present really is all we have
“Live in the present” is something we keep hearing from people all the time. But, we all end up stressing over either our past or future. Let me narrate a small incident – once I was stuck in rain, and was waiting for my bus, which was, obviously, late. I didn’t have an umbrella, and I was supposed to wait for the bus on the highway outside a small village, so no shelter either. The only option I had at that time was to enjoy the showers, and the shivers of cold weather. That is when I actually lived in the present.
You learn to shun laziness
No matter how lazy you are, when you surrender yourself to the world, you are instilled with a unique energy you never felt before. And suddenly, you just want to wake up early in the morning to watch sunrises at different places, go on evening strolls, hike up a mountain, and walk some extra miles. The most interesting part is you don’t even realise that you have made an extra effort, and left your comfort zone. In fact, you are all the more ready for more travel adventures.
See things from a different perspective
Most of us live our life with fixed notions. And the reason we fail to see things from a different perspective is that we don’t travel enough, and know enough people. I always try to strike up a conversation with different people to know their objectives, ideas and perception about life. And, I learnt that there are not just two sides to every coin. There could be multiple sides to every coin.
The world is a beautiful place
This is one of the most beautiful lessons I have learnt from travelling. Every place has its own charm. If you are a true traveller, you will find something unique about every place you pay a visit to. And, of course, travelling helps you experience different cultures, and taste different foods. I believe that even a wise man can become dumb if he sticks to one place. So head out, and see how beautiful the world is.
Leave things behind and move on!
Remember Forrest Gump’s famous quote, “Life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.” Travelling helped me a lot to get rid of my clinginess, and thus, made me a free thinker. I have made so many good friends during my trips and adventures, but in the pursuit of finding more friends, and experiencing new places, I move to a new place.
Value the place you belong to
My travel adventures have taught me that every place has something unique to offer. This means, the place, where I live could be boring for me, but unique for some other person. When I come back home from my expeditions, I start to observe those beautiful things that I overlooked earlier.
You brace yourself for the best and the worst
Travelling is full of adventures and surprises. And let me tell you, it is not just about good surprises. Just imagine that you are on a road trip, and your bike breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Now, every person will tackle the situation differently, but if you manage to come back home, give yourself a pat on the back.
You get to know yourself
“You do not travel if you are afraid of the unknown; you travel for the unknown that reveals you with yourself.” – Ella Maillart. Ever wondered why we all long for a vacation after a monotonous routine? The main reason is that we lose connection with ourselves. We get so used to job stress and the daily grind that we don’t understand what exactly is wrong with our life. So, sometimes I take a vacation to understand what I hate about my life. It gives me time to think about myself. When I ponder over my experiences and anecdotes; like how I react to situations, and what fascinates, scares, or intrigues me the most? That is when I connect back with myself. So, the next time you come back from a trip, pen down all the things that you dislike about your life, and try to change them.
If you have learnt something new from your travel adventures, or just an ordinary trip, we are all ears. Feel free to leave your comments.