7 things Traveling Has Taught Me About Life

10:03 AM flaneur 3 Comments

When I passed my A-Levels I didn't have a plan about the route I would take from there on. All I knew was I had to make the most of the time I now had. So me and a friend seized the opportunity and started a 5 months Back-Packing trip around the globe. 
It had been 10 days into my 20. birthday when I hit the plane to not come back for a couple of months  and even though I had been scared as to what was lying ahead of me I knew I was going to take so much from this. And I did not get disappointed. 

I am only 22 years old now but I can wholeheartedly say those 5 months have taught me more about life than any class I had ever attended. It's funny looking back at it now, that its almost 2 years ago, because I feel like the true lessons I learned from this experience have really settled into my everyday life now. 

So here's a list of 7 things that travelling has taught me.

1. The way is the aim, not the plan
In the beginning of my travels I tried to plan out as much of it as I could so all I really had to do was stick to the plan and enjoy the view. But soon I realized that, whenever I had planned something, life just threw 10 other options my way. It's good to know where you start from and to lay out a rough idea of what you have and how far you might come with it (be it money, or language, or anything). It is also good to know roughly were you want to end up. Not necessarily only geographically but as a person. Do you want to become calmer? Do you want to find your spirituality? Do you want to overcome your fears or do you just want to gather some experiences?
I think making yourself a realistic overview over your starting point and the rough finish line is the most important. You can't control most of the way anyways and there are so many options you haven't considered. Be realistic and listen to yourself, but don't overthink and your good to go! And that applies to your whole life.

2. Don't judge a book by its cover
Before any big lonesome travel you will ask yourself wether you'll connect with other people right away. What I found is that it's not really a matter of the type of people that are around but a matter of how much you're willing to open up to people. The thing about meeting new people is you have no idea who they are and if you might connect with them or not. The most important part is to be open and step out of your comfort zone sometimes because what really brings people together are situations. So many times in life you find yourself in the same boat with a handful of other people that are probably just as worried as you and that's what makes you connect in the first place.

3. (Almost) Nothing is as scary as it seems

4. Anger is an option, not a solution
Oh boy. How often did I feel like smashing doors and stomping the ground of anger and fear. This may temporarily help you release tension but it's really not going to help you in the long run. What I needed to learn was that being angry, to a certain extend, is a decisions. Of course it's a feeling in the first place and a legit one after all. But the extend to which you let it take over the situation is an entirely inherit decision. You can be angry over something, breath in breath out, still be angry but try to make the best of it. There is a 100% chance this will get you to solve the problem a lot quicker than just being angry and letting it ruin your day will. Look at anger as an option but not a solution and you will find yourself a lot more zen in a lot more situations.

5. You make your decisions
Life will throw a lot of options your way all the time. From the question what to have for breakfast to your university major. When I was travelling I had to constantly think about where to go next, what to spend my money on and what experiences to make. And it was great. For one I learned that making decisions is very liberating. But also, it comes with the realization that you are the one to make your decisions. There are basically only two steps to the process. First, you need to honestly think about what you want regardless of other peoples opinions. Second, you need to find the courage to speak up for yourself and do what it is you want to do. Once I've realized that, I became a much happier and stronger person. Cheesy but true.

6. Questions are good
Over the course of a journey, and life for that matter, you will come across so many statements. Some resonate with you, some, you'll find, are plain bullshit. The funny things is it's different for everyone. I've heard people rant about one thing and find that it made sense and then heard others praise the same thing and it also made sense. The key is to honestly listen for yourself and weigh up pros and cons, ideals and urges and all that to ultimately decide for your own. If you find something that resonate with you completely, question it a little. If you find something that you hate all the way, question that as well.
Listen to other people and hear their stories and you'll find it just as enriching as travelling new places itself. After all, that's how characters evolve.

7. Life goes on
Always. It's not within your power to turn back time and change your history. The earth keeps turning and that's your biggest asset. Embrace it.


  1. Sehr schöner Artikel! <3
    Da bekomm ich richtig Fernweh...

    1. Danke :) Ja, mich zieht's auch schon wieder gen Sonne .. :D

  2. A wonderful post and I think it captures the true benefits of travelling perfectly :)

    nat | Dignifiable