Tuesday, April 7, 2015

50 Things Travel Has Taught Me About Life

Travel was always the form of education that made sense to me, and still does. I enjoyed school, I loved university, and I'm a passionate teacher, but there are some things that cannot be learned from a textbook. Personally, I started travelling because I was just sick of feeling ignorant about the world, of not knowing anything about so many countries. In an attempt to fill in what was essentially a mental blank map of the world for me, I ended up drastically changing the course of my life. What I wanted to share is what I've learned along the way. 

Perhaps some of it is too cliche or not original enough for you, but, one of the major things I learned while globetrotting is not to worry all that much about that. I can only hope that you enjoy looking over my thoughts, as much as I appreciated the opportunity to finally write them down. 

So, here are 50 things that travel has taught me about life. 

Manhattan, Atlantic Coast, Nicaragua

Çesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

1. Underestimate precisely nobody. 
2. Home is a place, but also an idea. 
3. The best souvenirs aren't found in tourist shops. 
4. Amazing food doesn't have to be expensive. 
5. No one likes the person who acts like they know everything already.
6. Beware, you can lose old friends chasing new experiences. 
7. Daydreaming serves a purpose. 
8. There's a gap between what we need and what we think we need.
9. You can be a hermit in a crowd.
10. Eat dessert, life is too short.

Ediburgh, Scotland

Angkor Archaeological Park, Cambodia
11. Fear can ruin everything.
12. There are incredible writers in every country.
13. Everything is truly interconnected.
14. Happiness is largely about attitude.
15. People are, mostly, good.
16. Though, some people are terribly bad.
17. Walk as much as you can.
18. You can do things you never dreamed of.
19. Making someone else's day can also make your day.
20. There is no such thing as a waste of time if you've got the right approach.

Nangyuan Island, Thailand 
San Miguel, Ecuador 


21. You can get used to the feeling of being lost.
22. If you're always worried about where you're going next, you'll never appreciate where you are.
23. We have instincts for a reason, trust them.
24. All we have is our memories.
25. There is a distinct difference between sharing stories and bragging.
26. Money, spent wisely, can go much further than you thought.
27. Everybody knows something you don't.
28. Wealth and happiness are not synonymous.
29. Never forget your family, they're always there, even when you're halfway across the world.
30. It's not realistic to think that you will be friends with everyone that you meet.

Istanbul, Turkey

Budapest, Hungary

31. Some who wander are lost.
32. Regret solves nothing.
33. If you can't control it, let someone else worry about it.
34. Don't forget to roll the dice.
35. There's always someone nearby who wouldn't mind making a fast buck off you.
36. You aren't better than anyone else.
37. I learned this one living in Norway - "There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing."
38. Do what makes you happy, not what makes other people happy for you.
39. Artificiality shines through.
40. Laugh. It's good for you.

Eating a "rundown" that my friend Jimmy made in the Pearl Cays, Nicaragua

Banaue, Philippines
41. Someone I met in Ecuador brought this to my attention - "Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Ian Maclaren
42. A gorgeous view can provide as much fodder for contemplation as a good book.
43. Routine can breed apathy.
44. Some travel, some go on vacation.
45. Be confident in your beliefs, but be willing to alter them.
46. You need to pencil time into your schedule for reflection.
47. Most of your preconceived notions about a country will be well off the mark.
48. When in doubt, say yes.
49. Any day can be the day that changes you.
50. Life is even better if you share it with someone you love.

Lombok, Indonesia (see #50 for more details.)