The majority of people believe traveling is akin to pleasure – you’re essentially just having fun or relaxing. While that’s correct to a certain extent, the experiences you have on your journeys affect you in a much more profound way. You’re constantly learning, and hopefully becoming a better human being.
Of course, the way you travel will define how much you’re going to grow as a person – a booze-filled Full Moon Party week is very different from a volunteering experience in an orphanage. Still, whether you realize it or not, these adventures shape you and the things you learn will help you in your everyday life.
Many travelers coming back from a long-term trip, especially if they went alone, agree that they didn’t know they could achieve such a feat. They used to think they didn’t have it in them. But the moment they stepped out of a plane in a foreign country, they quickly had to figure out everything – from haggling with taxi drivers to checking in at the guest house in another language.
Each small task they overcame showed they could accomplish a lot more if they put in the effort. These travelers know that a job interview back home cannot be harder than finding – and using – a squat toilet in a crowded train station on a hot summer’s day!
2. Budgeting and frugality
First time travelers tend to carry a massive backpack and overpay for nearly everything. They’re impressed by the cheap beer, but don’t seem to understand that two (or five) drinks a day quickly adds up to the monthly budget. It gets to a point where they either adjust or start maxing out their credit cards.
Savvy travelers know they can easily carry all they need in a carry-on and know exactly how much they can spend in order to travel longer. When they go back home, more often than not, they tend to downsize and only buy the things they really need.
I wish I could tell you that traveling is always an amazing and enlightening experience, but it would be a lie. When you throw yourself into random daily adventures, bad things can happen too. Some are just bad – like having a weird allergic reaction – and others are worse, such as missing a flight or falling off a motorcycle.
However, when they happen – and they do – you quickly brush it off, learn the lesson and move on with your trip. Whining will definitely not help you. The same applies to the bad experiences back home. You can choose to whine all day long or understand what went wrong so you can overcome it the next time.