I have always believed that travel teaches you without a scorecard. It enriches you gently. When you step out to see the world – meet people, get acquainted with different cultures, taste new cuisines or simply breathe in an unfamiliar city – you learn a lot!
It happens naturally – you don’t have to try too hard. It’s all about losing yourself into the arms of a new environment. You have to first shrug off the ‘safe’ and ‘tried and tested’ syndrome and delve into the unexplored with a free spirit.
Travel has taught me a lot. It has taught me so much that I am even keener to learn more through it. Let me share 10 things that I have learned from my travels so far.
Value little things
Travel has opened my eyes to small, ordinary things of life- things that are undervalued, but have great significance. Now I am more conscious towards waiters, chauffeurs, florists, vendors and any random person whom I come across on my vacations. I have a deeper sense of respect for them, because they are the ones who make our travels smooth for us. I often make it a point to interact with people, and that makes my travel experience even more rewarding.
Broadened my perspective
Now I have a much better perspective of life. I have come out of my shell where all I knew was my family, my relationships, my job, my struggles and my life. Travel has opened new doors for me – I can see different aspects of life. I can understand what is important and what can be sidelined. It has helped me think beyond the traditional mindset that there is more to life than the usual.
Mingle with people
I have learnt to mingle with people. Although I am a reserved person – I don’t speak much when I am around unfamiliar people, I have pretty much started interacting with people on my travels. Well, I am not saying that I befriend anybody and everybody, but I do initiate conversations with random fellow travelers. I believe if you don’t interact with your fellow travelers and the locals of your destination, you barely experience a place.
Boosted my confidence
I have always been as confident or as nervous as any other person, but travelling has instilled a new level of confidence in me. I am certainly more confident of myself as a person today than I ever was. When you travel, you have to manage so many things on your own – from booking accommodation to deciding where to eat and lots of other things that you do independently. At the end of the day, there is a sense of achievement that you have explored a destination on your own and that’s a big deal!
I know my priorities in life – I'm more confident of myself now.
Helped me prioritize things
Ever since I have started travelling, I know my priorities very well. I know that I want to travel as much as possible. I know what I have to save for, what makes me happy and what I have to seek in life. When I was not travelling, life was a usual rat-race. I didn’t know where I was going. I was clueless about my own ambition in life. Travel has given me a clear direction and purpose.
Shed my selfish side
It may sound funny, but travel has helped me shed my selfish side. I have always considered myself a self centered person. But travel has nudged me to look around and see life. Now I am able to view life in all its hues. I am able to relate to all kinds of people. I can think beyond my own challenges and realize the adversities faced by others. I'm able to look at others with compassion – everybody has challenges to deal with.
Given me variety
Travel has introduced me to various things – culture, people, food, architecture,landscape and so much more. I have learnt to appreciate the variety that life offers. We don’t understand it till the time we begin to travel. Now I wonder how some people get bored in their lives, when life has such wonderful things to enjoy. We just need to step out of our homes and discover the immense beauty out there.
Enhanced my creativity
Now I find myself more creative as a person. By creativity, I don’t mean that I have learnt some kind of art. I simply mean that I have become more creative in my day-to-day living. Travel opens our mind so much that we begin to see something interesting in everything – it could be something as simple as preparing a meal or arranging books on the shelf.
To complain less and be grateful
It’s human nature to grumble about things. But when we travel, we are able to negate such things with ease. I have realized that I have developed an attitude of gratitude. I am more excited and thankful about life than I ever was.
Made me more knowledgeable
Ever since I have started travelling and mainly started writing about my experiences, I have also been able to improve my world-wide knowledge. Now I read a lot about destinations, different cultures, traditions, cuisines and other things. Now I find myself more equipped with knowledge, which has eventually made me a wiser person.
So that was my ode to travel. But that’s not all – I am sure there is much more that I must have learnt! And I will continue to learn throughout my life.
How has travel changed you?
Renuka is a writer/photographer and a travel blogger from India. With her blog, Voyager For Life, she aims to inspire and awaken people to travel. She has been a native in four different cities in India and would not mind more city-hopping in the future. When she is not travelling, she likes to be a tourist in her own city.
Follow her at Her Travel Blog, Voyager for Life and read her related post 7 Excuses to Travel Often.