What I learned on my travels
I’m quite lucky. I’ve managed to travel around a fair bit. While I usually try to fit at least a month of travelling into every year, last year I was able to go around for a few months around South-East Asia, then a bit around Europe. Strangely, only a few months later have I realised how much I learned on this long expedition far away from home. Some say travels shape youth, but I think they form our future. All and all, travelling just makes us better human beings.
Around Asia, my bag on my back, I realised I didn’t need much to get around. My guide: a used up Lonely Planet, and tips from locals and tourists alike. I may have missed a few “must see” places, which I may have liked… but I realised, that’s ok! I loved everything I saw, and I let myself be carried by words, sights, smells, and wherever my feet seemed to take me.
I realise now that I should really integrate this philosophy into my daily life. I like having control, and tend to go all fuzzy monster when a bit of stress comes my way. Isn’t that odd, considering I’m so chill when I’m travelling? I think this means I should be more open to what life throws my way, and accept what I cannot change.
I was never much alone on my travels as I met people along the way, and reconnected with old friends living abroad. But at one point, while travelling Spain, I was alone for a few days. In Barcelona, even though I was starting to know the city, I suddenly started to feel… alone. I wanted, all at once, to see everything… and to do nothing. My only choice then was to calm down, and take the time to think about myself and what I wanted. Why did I want to leave so much, when I had anticipated this moment for months? For the first time in a while, I took the time to reconnect with myself, to think about my life, and who I wanted to become.
Once again, I only now realise how much listening to myself is important. I think I have missed many things because I had stopped listening to what I wanted and needed.
Meeting new people
We travel because we’re thirsty for adventures. A lot of times, this openness leads us to casually meet people we may never have approached in another context! And in these intense moments, we learn so much about ourselves. Inevitably, we face new ways of thinking, acting, and envisioning life… and that feels wonderful.
I realise now that once back home, I tend to forget this openness, this magnificent curiosity. Do I equate being home with climbing back into my cocoon and forgetting to look around me? Is it all just travel nostalgia? How can I invite adventurous me into my daily life? I think I have much left to learn. SO, who’s up for a little trip?