Over the last two decades, I have traveled a lot. A large part of it is due to work but also because I can’t stand to be in one place for too long. There is this constant urge to see more and go further to explore and experience.
No matter where and how far you go, I believe travel changes you in a lot many ways. As Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness…” Yes, travel expands and enriches your experiences and life. The lessons that I have learnt from my travel are a lot, but here are 5 of them which are inspired by my years on the road.
Lesson #1: You’re more capable than you think – They say travel can transform you and I agree with it completely. I was an introvert, but travel has turned me into an outgoing introvert or an ambivert. When I look back, I realize that I have done a lot of things which seemed nearly impossible or uncharacteristic for me. I have travelled at all ungodly hours of the night alone, chatted away to glory with strangers, eaten alone at restaurants without a blink or care, dealt with eve-teasers and unruly behavior, handled unexpected mishaps and much more. I now know that I am capable of handling whatever is thrown at me, there might be mistakes but the challenge is taken heads on.
Lesson #2: You create your own stories through some priceless experiences – Life is about memories and not diamonds. Travel gives you some unusual and vivid experiences that last a lifetime. I can talk for hours about the various experiences I have had at various places. Shedding tears with a stranger as she shared her life and loss, listening to some amazing experiences of a cabbie, sitting quietly under a tree and soaking in the sounds and beauty of the nature, roaming the streets at night with a gang of friends and having some fun talks… are some of the experiences that I look back with smiles, always.
Lesson #3: You CAN survive without technology – I was at this remote resort in the hills where there was no mobile network. There was a landline at the resort though. The initial thoughts were anxiety and panic ridden. I soon realized that I must accept the reality. I cut my digital lifeline and soaked in the beauty and serenity around me. Going for walks in the woods, lounging in the sun and chatting with colleagues and participants of the workshop without the intrusion of texts and alerts from phones, re-learning to live in the moment felt positively luxurious. And when I was back in connectivity after 3 days, I realized that I had not missed anything. FOMO – the fear of missing out had turned into JOMO – the joy of missing out.
Lesson #4: You learn skills – Travelling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer in skills and learnings. I had a poor sense of direction and believed in traveling with luggage which would last me for two trips. Some mishaps made me learn to travel light and become a better traveler. Travel makes you good at time management, communication and social skills, adaptability along with decision-making skills as well.
Lesson #5: You are appreciative of your loved ones – Days and weeks away from your family would make you realize how important they are in your life. Traveling certainly makes you appreciate your family and friends more. And you realize that there’s no place like home.
What life lessons have your travels given you? Do share with me in the comment box.