Travelling is a great eye opener. I’ve been travelling the world for most of my life, but now my gypsy heart is happy to live in Western Australia. I hope you enjoy these dreamy and quirky photos of Western Australia and some of the life skills that I think you can learn from travel – whether it’s near or far, short haul or long haul.
“Get out of the house!” That’s what my hubby is always telling me these days because I have a tendency to be glued to the computer keys and the inner world of my blog.
And I know he’s right. It’s almost as if I’ve found a new comfort zone after nearly 30 years of travelling the world as a trailing spouse. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved every minute of my travels, and I still love travelling, but even so the tendency to sit still and be a couch bum is there. It shouldn’t be, because travel teaches us so much, and very often you don’t realize how much you’ve learnt along the way until you look back in wonder.
Ah, hindsight is a wonderful science.
I’m not saying that you need to live as an expat all your life to learn significant skills and life lessons from travel. Perhaps you are taking a few weeks away, a backpacking tour, an overland trip, or an extended ‘glamping’ holiday of some sort or another. Or maybe, you are just going somewhere for the weekend.
Never fear. You will learn from the journey wherever it takes you.
I actually live in the South West of the vast State, Western Australia, and I’m still learning, yes seriously and constantly gleaning life lessons from our weekend trips away in the glorious south or longer trips to the north.
The general consensus in health circles is that getting out and about is good for you for a number of reasons, and here are some of the things that you may find travel helps you with as time goes along, no matter how old (or young) you are.
1. You’ll become a better communicator. When you travel you just have to talk to people, whether it’s to find things out, or because other people chat to you!
2. You’ll realize that everyone is different, and nobody is better/more confident/smarter than you, they are just different – and everyone has their own problems.
3. Travel teaches you that life is about the journey, not the destination, and as such we are on a continuous learning journey. It’s not all about the biggest house, the best car and the stable job, it’s about enjoying the process of life.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi
4. Travel will teach you to accept change and embrace it as a positive rather than a negative. It is after all the only true certainty in life.
5. Flung from the safety of your comfort zone and neighbourhood, you’ll soon find that you begin to make new friends. Travel teaches you how to build and nurture new relationships very quickly.
6. Perhaps you were never very good at budgeting? Once you’re on the road you’ll become your own financial advisor and soon you’ll learn to handle your personal finances like a pro.
7. You’ll learn how to go with the flow. Not all travel plans turn out as anticipated. A backpacking tour, an overland tour, a stint living abroad, can all be very different to how you anticipated. After a while you’ll learn not to fight your expectations, but to just go with the flow and enjoy being in the moment. (Having to be flexible has also happened to me on weekends away close to home, in Western Australia too) So Expect the Unexpected.
Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form — Rumi
8. Travel can teach you how to think. You begin to think about life differently, and you begin to question the status quo of your own existence and whether you want to go back to being who you once were, whether this is back to the same place or the same job. Travel, both near and far might make you rethink a once firmly held belief, or political stance or views about a certain person. Most importantly, any kind of travel makes you begin to think about world issues.
9. You’ll learn to be able to say No. So often in our daily lives we feel compelled to say Yes to everyone and everything. When you travel you’ll develop a better sense of worth and you’ll find that it becomes easier to say No – because you are removed from the shackles of friends’ and family expectations.
10. Travel will teach you not to judge. We judge everything, don’t we? All the time. Other people, trips, holidays, houses, you name it – it’s time consuming and it’s a waste of time because it actually doesn’t make you feel any better. Travelling is a great equalizer because everyone is in the same boat and you’ll find yourself beginning to judge people less, and accept people more.
Something so important that travel will probably teach you is to observe. Properly. You’ll take things in more, and perceive the world in all its glory.
A traveler without observation is a bird without wings – Sadi
What life skills have you learnt from travelling? This post is part of Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travellers Sandbox