When people say travelling is a learning curve, they’re not being cliché and philosophical – travelling will change you as a person. Travelling teaches you about yourself and your capabilities. Travelling teaches you about the world, people, animals and environment around you. You spend every minute of every day learning on your travels. Here’s 97 things you learn while travelling:
1. You will learn to enjoy your own company.
2. You will be forced to face your demons on a long bus trip.
3. Keep your playlist updated. Those bus rides will be even more tedious and tiring without something to listen to.
4. Don’t miss the sunsets. It honestly is the best part of the day.
5. Wake up for sunrise. It might be difficult, but it’s always worth it.
6. Forget stranger danger – talk to strangers. It’s the only way to make new friends.
7. Want to learn more about the country you are travelling? Talk to a local.
8. Keep a roll of toilet paper or tissues in your handbag for emergencies.
9. Gastro pills are a necessity.
10. Drink. Drink. Drink. (Water that is, there’s nothing worse than being dehydrated when you’re busy!)
11. It will always cost more than you budget for. Emergency money is necessary.
12. Comfortable airport clothes. Comfortable temple clothes. Comfortable walking clothes. Forget the sparkles and pretty tops – you might look nice but you’ll be uncomfortable, and seriously no one cares what you look like when you’re travelling.
13. Never underestimate the usefulness of a scarf or sarong – works as a way to keep warm, a way to cover up in sensitive areas, as a towel, as a blanket, as just about anything you could need.
14. Pop a plain ring on your wedding finger, that way if someone becomes too forward you can pretend your husband is just around the corner.
15. Blue attracts mosquitoes.
16. Black attracts the heat.
17. White is dangerous in the rain!
18. You learn to accept being dirty, sweaty, stinky. Embrace the dirt!
19. Sometimes all you want to do it put on a nice dress and some make-up. Do it. You’ll feel so much better.
20. The rough times will turn into great stories and life experiences.
21. You can deal with whatever comes your way, believe in yourself.
22. Your limit is a lot higher than you’d ever image – keep pushing yourself.
23. Confidence will grow and you won’t even notice it.
24. Soothing lotion. You will inevitably be bitten by bed bugs and mosquitoes.
25. Keep your luggage light. You’re stuck with unnecessary stuff to lug around otherwise. And where will you put your souvenirs?
26. Local food is a must at least once.
27. So is local alcohol.
28. A fast drying, small towel will always be on your packing list.
29. Shower flip-flops. Always.
30. Buses, planes, trains are always freezing. Regardless how hot the climate is, always take a cardigan.
31. You will tire of living out of a backpack and it feels so good to spread your stuff all over the floor and repack.
32. Sometimes a few extras dollars a night is worth it for a really good quality hostel.
33. Spending money on once-in-a-lifetime experiences is so worth it. Spend your hard earned cash on experiences, not things.
34. Being respectful to locals and other travellers is so important! It’ll make your time more enjoyable too.
35. Big name tourist attractions are exactly that because, well, they are awesome! They might be expensive and crowded but don’t miss them. India without the Taj Mahal? Cambodia without Angkor Wat? Zimbabwe without the Victoria Falls?
36. Cities are great, chaotic fun, and an awesome place to meet people!
37. But getting away from the city is great to clear your head and destress.
38. Knowing a bit about the culture, language, history, religion and dress code before you arrive in a country is going to make your life so much easier.
39. There will be blood, sweat and tears. Quite literally.
40. You’ll probably only brush your hair once a week. But who cares?
41. Padlocks. Seriously.
42. Your passport is worth its weight in gold (plus a bit.) Guard it with your life.
43. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Don’t be ashamed – you can’t possibly do it all yourself.
44. Sometimes selfies are the only way.
45. Laundry days come up more often than you’d expect. You’ll be a pro at hand washing in no time. It’s a pity mum isn’t there to do it for you!
46. You will spend a lot of time waiting at airports, on buses, boats and trains. Enjoy your own company, or find someone to talk to pronto!
47. Other traveller’s reviews are the best way to get advice.
48. You learn to throw yourself out of your comfort zone. Skydiving anyone?
49. Not everyone understands dorm etiquette. Eye masks are rather handy.
50. You will have bad days. But the amazing days will make it worth it in the long run.
51. Ask before you drink the water. No one wants to spend their holiday in the loo.
52. Travel insurance. Enough said.
53. Sunglasses tan marks are a real thing.
54. You will feel on top of the world!
55. You’ll smile a lot. At the smallest of things.
56. Sharing a laugh with a child or a woman on the street can be more powerful than visiting a sacred site. You’ll remember moments like those.
57. You learn that everything in this great big world of ours is interdependent.
58. There are kind people in this world. If you get stuck, someone will help.
59. Travel makes you more trusting of everyone.
60. The world is so much safer and friendlier than people and the media report.
61. Your heart will constantly beat a little faster.
62. You’re on high alert all the time, and your senses go into overdrive!
63. There’s nothing like getting adrenaline rushing through your veins.
64. But sometimes a book and a coconut is a good way to spend the afternoon.
65. There’s beauty everywhere and you’ll learn to see it. The ants scurrying across the pavement become fascinating, the solo bird flying hurriedly makes you feel inspired, and you love the sound of the wind whipping the grass.
66. You realise you can do anything! (No cliché intended, I am dead serious.)
67. You’ll make friends for an hour, a day, a week or a lifetime.
68. You learn to appreciate your lot in life.
69. You will quite likely pick a favourite restaurant everywhere you go.
70. Internet is not a human right, it is a luxury. Enjoy it while you have it, but enjoy your experiences without being tied up on the interwebs all day.
71. Always have accommodation booked for the first night in a new place. There’s nothing worse than lugging your stuff around in a new city in the dark hoping you’ll find a bed before sun up.
72. Having a few US Dollars in your pocket is a great idea – just about anywhere will accept the mighty dollar.
73. Keep a small amount of local currency in your shoe – if someone robs you, they’ll look there first and hopefully they’ll feel content with $20 from your sock and leave you alone.
74. A handbag that you can sling across your chest is much safer than an over the shoulder one.
75. Free is a feeling.
76. You miss out on stunning scenery if you sleep in transit. Stay awake if you can!
77. You will look like a train wreck covered in bruises, cuts and scratches. The more bashed up you are the more fun you’ve had!
78. If it’s free, take it! Whether it be a sample shampoo, a new toothbrush in a hotel room or a meal.
79. Take a big sturdy drink bottle and refill it instead of constantly buying bottled water. The environment (and your bank balance) will love you for it.
80. Hostels with animals are always the best kind. When you’re feeling tired, a cat or a dog to cuddle is the best remedy.
81. Hand sanitizer or wet wipes are always a good idea. You don’t know when you might see soap next.
82. Download a map, currency converter, translator and compass app to your phone.
83. You will cry. Of sadness and desperation. Of laughter and joy.
84. You learn the world is an incredibly beautiful place.
85. But you also learn the world needs all the good you, as one person, can do.
86. You will lose or misplace things, regardless of how careful you are.
87. Being a foreigner is a sure-fire way to get charged tourist prices (*cough* ripped off!)
88. Sometimes you’re too tired to care, so you just pay it anyway.
89. Other days you will barter and argue until you get what you want at the local price.
90. Cuppa noodles and pringles are an acceptable form of meal.
91. You fall in love. With people, places and ways of life.
92. And sometimes it is very hard to leave the things you love.
93. Going home is hard. No one tells you that.
94. But going home is an adventure in itself because you can start to plan your next journey.
95. The travel bug is a real disease! You won’t be able to go back to the 9-5 after the adventure of a lifetime.
96. And when you get home people will swear you’ve changed. You have.
97. Travelling makes you grow, mature, love, learn, and soldier on. Travelling changes your mind set, makes you see the world differently – like seeing the world for the first time, and it’s absolutely breath taking.
What would you add to the list? Tell me in the comments.