Advice / Lifestyle / Travel

14 Lessons I Learned Whilst Travelling In 2014

Lessons learned in 2014

It’s ok to not enjoy what other people enjoy.  When I began travelling I found myself questioning my character. At times it felt like I was the only backpacker in the entire hostel who didn’t want to get wasted on cheap alcohol and sleep for the whole of the following day. That wasn’t what I enjoyed but did that make me boring? Was I destined to spend my entire year alone?… Of course not!

It didn’t take long before I made friends with other backpackers who had similar interests to mine and I no longer felt boring or lonely.

Never spend your time doing what you think you ‘should be doing’ or pretend to enjoy what you think you’re ‘supposed to enjoy.’ Please yourself. Do what feels right for you. Your genuine interest and enthusiasm for what you love will naturally attract others.

Don’t wait for ‘someday.’  Someday I’ll have a job I enjoy. Someday I’ll take a travel around Europe.  Someday I’ll decorate my bedroom.  What are you waiting for?! Do it today!

Escape from your comfort zone.  It’s easy to stick to what you know and what you know makes you happy but you will be amazed at what you find you are capable of when you push yourself into the unknown!

People are a lot nicer than you expect.  Over the last year I really discovered how wonderful other humans can be. I met so many people who were so unconditionally generous with their time and knowledge. Give people a chance and they will surprise you.

Organisation and planning reduce stress enormously.  I admit it… I’ve always been messy and chaotic but when you’re travelling you can’t afford to misplace your passport or turn up late for your flight. Whilst I still won’t win any awards for organisation, I have started keeping a diary, filing paperwork, aiming to be early rather than on time, and putting things away as soon I’ve finished with them. Wow! What a difference!

No matter how long you go away for, real friends will still be your friends when you get back.

It’s ok not have a plan.  Some of the best times I had whilst travelling were completely unplanned or were very ‘last minute,’ at the least… I met a guy who travelled around Europe for 5 months, never knowing where he would be more than 3 days in future. He said he had never felt so free in all his life.

Sometimes you just have to let go and put your faith in the universe.

You are stronger than you could ever imagine.  Whilst travelling I found myself in situations I would have never thought I was able to cope with, but when you’re alone on the other side of the world, you just get on with it! I feel stronger today than ever before!

It’s ok to be alone.  For the majority of my life I have had a boyfriend and have always relied on my family and friends for support. Whilst I was travelling however, I really began to stand on my own two feet.   I learnt to enjoy my own company and I have a newfound faith in my own abilities. It’s easier than you think.

Do what makes you happy.  It’s pretty cliché, but at the end of the day, why spend your precious time doing anything that makes you miserable? Life isn’t about playing it safe or pleasing other people. Do what you love!

It’s ok to want nice, new things.  When I began travelling, I thought that by the end of my year abroad, I would be free from my material desires and my consumer ways. I was wrong. For a while I was so disappointed in myself but then as I grew more accepting of myself, my characteristics and my flaws, I stopped beating myself up about it. I love experimenting with clothes and make up and I thoroughly enjoy the experience of hunting for discarded treasures in charity shops. I love the feel and smell of glossy coffee table books and I’d choose my vinyl record collection over my itunes library any day. It’s who I am, it’s what I love, and that’s ok.

That said…

Money doesn’t buy happiness.  My favourite memories from travelling were ones I made whilst volunteering at a farm. I lived in a tent, earned and spent almost no money for 3 months, met the best people imaginable and grew enormously as a person.

What goes around really does come back around!  Karma, coincidence… call it what you like. If you’re a good person, good things will happen to you.

Everything always works out in the end!! Honest.


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