I am writing this post as I sit here and reminisce on a Euro trip I took in my early twenties with one of my best friends after graduation. It was a 5-week, 5-country journey – the longest I would ever be away from home, halfway across the world discovering places unknown.
From sipping on gourmet Americanos in local Parisian cafés to devouring authentic Italian cuisine on the isle of Capri, it was a trip that was absolutely life changing – one that sparked my appetite for further travels and seeing all the world has to offer. There is no doubt in my mind that traveling has affected every fiber of my being – right down to my core. I am definitely not the same person I was before I started to travel as it has taught me many valuable life lessons.
Here are 5 life lessons traveling teaches you when you’re young:
- Travel teaches you to be independent.
When you’re traveling solo you have no one to depend on but yourself. There will be instances when complications arise, such as taking the wrong subway route (I’ve done this one too many times) or having a delayed connecting flight (also a victim). But, you will learn quite quickly how to react to these situations by yourself. Of course, you can always ask for help, but knowing you are able to work through hurdles on your own is truly invaluable.
- Travel teaches you to laugh at yourself and to be accepting of failure.
There is no perfect way to travel. Plus, there are bound to be difficulties when visiting foreign countries with language barriers in the way. So if you make a fool of yourself while attempting to communicate in Italian or any other language for that matter (totally what I did), don’t take it too personally. Travel teaches you to embrace your mistakes and to accept them as learning experiences rather than as failures. Always try again!
- Travel teaches you to believe in yourself.
Let’s face it – for anyone who has ever planned a trip in his or her life, you know it can be a daunting task. Where to stay, what to do and how to get there are all things that need to be taken into consideration, yet can be frustrating. But, when you actually plan out your trip and follow though with it, you develop a sense of confidence and belief in your capabilities. You learn that you can do any task you set your mind to. The sky’s the limit.
- Travel teaches you how to budget.
I was never really good at managing my money – pay cheques would all be spent on clothes, clothes and more clothes. Fast-forward to my love and thirst for travel and this is no longer the case. Long term travel or traveling on a budget teaches you to account for every little penny because you learn to assess your priorities. Can you afford to stay in a fancy hotel? Or would you rather stay in a hostel and feast on some fancy food instead? Learning to manage your money while you’re young will set you on the right financial path for later on in life. You will be thankful.
- Travel teaches you to be more adventurous.
Before I started traveling I can definitely say I was a bit more reserved, but traveling has a way of taking you out of your comfort zone and forcing you to face your fears. It will bring a side out of you that you might have never known existed otherwise.
Once you start conquering some fears, you become less and less afraid of what is out there in the world. Traveling makes you open to trying new things and wanting to experience new adventures.
What life lesson has traveling taught you?