Top 10 Things I Learned While Traveling
I’ve been traveling since I was 6 years old. About two decades later I’ve learned so many things during my travels that have been both positive and negative. It’s so hard to narrow it down but today I am going to talk about the top 10 things I learned while traveling.
1. It’s Ok To Be Scared
I’ve mentioned this in my previous blog post on culture shock, but it is ok to experience feelings such as being scared. It seemed very weird to me at first, but I’ve learned that it is part of the process of processing and adapting to new environments or situations while traveling. Even all these years later, I still get scared when I travel but I know that it is ok to expect an emotion like this.
2. Expect The Unexpected
It’s pretty repetitive at this point, but you have to expect the unexpected. Just when you think things can’t get worse, they can and usually do. Even when you think you’re prepared and ready for anything, something will side sweep you off your feet leaving you short of breath. I’ve learned that things can and do happen when traveling, and I have to expect the unexpected even in optimal situations. You kinda have to hope for the best and expect the worst at the same time.
3. Be Flexible
I am more of an organized, have a planner, let’s lay out a schedule a week in advance type of person. The more organization I am while traveling, the better I feel and the less anxiety I have. However, we cannot control everything that happens and I’ve learned that sometimes you have to go with the flow. Even though at times it is very triggering, and I experience anxiety because of it, I’ve learned to be flexible in my schedule and the things I do while traveling.
4. Take Pictures
If you didn’t take a picture or a selfie then you can’t prove you’ve traveled somewhere, right? Even if it’s a picture of a pigeon (yes, I took pictures of pigeons in Rome and on the tube in London), I take pictures of various things while I’m traveling. A picture is worth a thousand words and each picture is a memory of a period of my life where I had a great time traveling.
5. Do Your Research
It is important to do your research when traveling. I have a whole blog post on it here. Although some trips I’ve taken, where I didn’t do any research were quite an experience, I’ve learned that the more research you do the better prepared you are for your trip.
6. Learning Experiences
You are going to have all sorts of learning experiences. There are going to be both positive and negative learning experiences. Not only are these experiences but these are lessons that I will carry with me, and apply to given situations, to avoid past mistakes. I am grateful for all of my experiences from the positives to the negatives as they have taught me numerous things and have made me the person I am today.
7. Conquer Your Fears
When you are passionate about doing something, but have fears, it is important to not give into those fears. I try not to let my fears and anxiety get the best of me; I will not let them deter me from experiencing new things or doing the things I love. When I’m traveling, as long as it’s not an unsafe situation or place, I try not to let fears or anxiety get the best of me. I don’t want to look back on anything and regret not doing it because I was afraid.
8. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
There are going to be activities, foods, places, and things that will make you feel uncomfortable. Not necessarily unsafe or scared, but just something that you’re not used to doing, having, or eating. I’m such a picky eater, and I didn’t do a good job when I was in Europe and the UK, but I try my best to get out of my comfort zone to try new things. It’s good to experience new and unusual things, because this is great for personal growth and a broader perspective of places.
9. Trust Your Gut
There are going to be situations or environments that don’t feel right. For a lack of a better saying, the vibes you feel are going to be off or downright bad. I’ve had a few of these instances and I’ve learned to trust my gut feeling. If something doesn’t look or feel right then go with your gut feeling!
10. Have Fun
The most important thing about traveling is to have fun! You’re traveling to a new place, or a place you’ve been to 100 times, and you’re doing something that you love. When you are doing something you love you know that fun comes along with it. No matter the situation I’m in, I always try to look at the positives and have as much fun as I possibly can!