101 Valuable Lessons I Learnt From Travelling For 5 Years

I’m firmly of the belief that travel is the best educator.

School and university teach you what they want you to learn, travel on the other hand, teaches you what you need to know.

I learnt from my years on the road, than I ever did in 16 years of schooling.

Before I went travelling, I had barely left my comfort zone at all. It’s safe to say I was aimlessly drifting through life.

I had no direction and no idea what I wanted to with my life.

It may sound cliche, but I do credit travelling with turning my life around. It gave me the belief to live my life the why I wanted to.

While I was on the road, I encountered n umber of different scenarios, met a bunch of people, had good times and had bad times too.

All of them taught me valuable lessons which I have been trying to put into practice ever since.

Below are 101 lessons that I learnt from travelling which helped me through the years, and which I believe can help you too.

  1. If you can’t look after yourself, you’re going to struggle. This is true in all aspects, but even more so when you’re travelling. Your support network is taken away rom you. It’s sink or swim.
  2. The world is bigger than you think. I knew New Zealand was far from the UK, but I didn’t realise just how far. 2 days by plane was a shock. What shocked me even more is that it takes 4 hours to fly from Auckland to Melbourne! Maps are deceptive!
  3. We are all human. No matter our may differences, we have more similarities.
  4. It’s the people that make the trip not the places.
  5. Sometimes, the journey there is more fun than the destination itself.
  6. You may have changed, but when you return things will largely remain the same.
  7. You need to take risks. No one ever achieved anything of note from their comfort zone. You have to step outside of it to get somewhere.
  8. It’s the unplanned places you visit that are often the best.
  9. New Zealand may be the most beautiful place on the planet!
  10. The people come and go, but the places always remain. One day we will be gone, but the places we visit shall remain long after us.
  11. Our rampant use of plastic is terrifying. No matter where you go, it’s everywhere. We need to do something about it, before it’s too late.
  12. Inequality is rife.
  13. Deferring your happiness until the future is a mistake. We have no guarantees about what might happen in the future. We only ever live in the present. If you want to do something, do it now.
  14. Destiny doesn’t exist. There are a lot of opportunities in the world. You have to go out and grasp, not hope they will appear in front of you.
  15. Nobody has all the answers. No matter where in the world you go, no one knows it all. We all have problems, whether it looks it or not.
  16. Your possessions own you. It’s only till you don’t have them, that you realise how much you don’t need most of them.
  17. Watching TV is a waste of time. All those hours could be better spent learning, exploring and living.
  18. If you can endure a 20 hour layover at an airport, you can endure anything!
  19. Connect with others. We are social creatures and need interaction. It’s nice to have time to ourselves, but we need to experience live with others. Get outside and meet people.
  20. First impressions aren’t always right. I made the mistake of judging people too quickly when I first met them. After a while, I realised they were good people. Don’t judge someone until you’ve had a decent conversation with them.
  21. Take your time. The world is moving at an ever increasing pace. We could all do with slowing down and appreciating what is around us every once in a while.
  22. Wear sunscreen. I learnt this to my cost when I landed in Australia and got burnt in my first few days. The sun is very strong. Protect your skin, you’ll regret it late in life if you don’t!
  23. Happiness is contagious. Smile, you make someone else’s day by doing so.
  24. Be grateful for what you have. Sleeping in a car for three nights taught me to appreciate the things we take for granted. You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Be thankful you have it better than others.
  25. Reality is often different from our expectations.
  26. We never stop learning.
  27. Fear is good. It’s good to be afraid, as long as we don’t let it consume us. Use that fear to push you to do the very things that scare you.
  28. Experiences outweigh possessions.
  29. Trust your gut instinct.
  30. You are never alone. You can make friends wherever you go. All you have to do is talk to people.
  31. Try new things. The thought of snowboarding never entertained me, until I actually did it. Now I love it! Life is about experimenting, so experiment!
  32. Get lost every once in a while. Every time I go to a new city, I always walk around for hours. Sometimes, I get lost, but I always find places I never would have encountered if I hadn’t lost. If you follow the same path as everyone else, you will only end up where the end up.
  33. Change is constant, stability is a myth.
  34. You can find joy in the simplest of things. Whether it’s swing in a hammock, relaxing at the beach, or watching a sunset, joy is to be found everywhere. You just need to look.
  35. The more you help others, the more you get in return.
  36. You are more powerful than you can imagine. It may sound cheesy, and I did steal this line from Star Wars, but it’s true. You don’t know what you’re capable of until you take yourself out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.
  37. Question everything. If you don’t understand something, ask questions until you do.
  38. There are no problems, only challenges to be met.
  39. You are no the centre of the universe. We are living on a small rock floating through the vast ocean of space. What we do has no significance in the grand scheme of things. Forgo your ego, and embrace how small you truly are.
  40. Spend time with people who pull you up, no those who pull you down.
  41. Your past does not matter. It is not define who you are today, and you are no longer the person you were back then.
  42. Problems will come and go. When something crops up that overwhelms you, remember, ‘This too shall pass.’
  43. You don’t have to be rich to travel the world.
  44. Excuses are limitations we place on ourselves. Let them go, and see what you can achieve.
  45. Live your life with an open mind. Allow your perspectives to be challenged. There is no one right way to see or do things.
  46. No decision is forever.
  47. Learning a new language will broaden your horizons.
  48. Comparing yourself to others will only make you feel miserable. There will always be someone who is better looking, more successful, and more intelligent than you. Accept this and focus on improving yourself.
  49. Don’t wait for someone to complete you. Work on yourself first and foremost.
  50. There is nothing wrong with being a little weird. It’s boring to be normal.
  51. There is always you will find you amazing for who you are.
  52. You are only as old as you feel. Age is just a number, never let it stop you from doing anything.
  53. Apologise when you are wrong. It’s not easy to do, but it’s the right thing to do.
  54. There is no such thing as an overnight success. It’s a long process that requires a lot of hard work.
  55. It’s better to live an interesting life full of mistakes than risk nothing and lead a safe life.
  56. Accept you won’t be perfect at everything in the beginning. No one starts off being excellent.
  57. No pain, no gain. To get the reward, first you must put in the work.
  58. You have to assert yourself. If you don’t, people will walk over you.
  59. You can have whatever you want if you put in the work.
  60. Fear of missing out, is just that, a fear. Don’t let it overwhelm you.
  61. Reading is one of the best habits you can acquire. A good book is the best companion.
  62. Most of what we stress over is trivial.
  63. It’s ok to return home. Sometimes, it’s what we need to recharge our batteries.
  64. It’s ok to change your mind. There is no weakness in going back on previous decisions.
  65. There are no limits on when something can be achieved. You don’t have to be married by 30. You don’t have to go to university to be a success. Life your live who you see fit, bot how other people lead theirs.
  66. Make time for play. We are all kids at heart. The moment we lose our desire to play is the moment we grow old.
  67. You don’t have to capture everything. Taking a moment to take in your surroundings is more important than getting the perfect shot for Instagram.
  68. Fast food is garbage.
  69. The ability to listen is one of the most underrated skills we can possess.
  70. Laughter is the best medicine.
  71. Alcohol is overrated. If you need alcohol to have fun, you’re in trouble.
  72. A life without passion is like a banquet without wine.
  73. No one else can make you happy. Happiness comes from within.
  74. Exercise every day. Your body is a tool and needs to be used. Remember, you only get one body, so take care of it. If you don’t, sooner or later, you will have to.
  75. Only ever lend what you can afford to lose.
  76. Don’t overthink things.
  77. Time is a finite resource. Make the most of your time, because you have a certain amount.
  78. Never be afraid to ask for help. We all need it every once in a while.
  79. We don’t have to do anything, we always have a choice. It may not feel like it at times, but there is always a choice to be made. Never feel pressured into anything you don’t want to.
  80. The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose. You need something to get you out of bed in the morning, otherwise life can be a struggle.
  81. Be grateful for the things you have that money can’t buy, for you are truly rich.
  82. Control is an illusion. Accept that certain things are out of your control and you will be happier.
  83. Something is impossible, until someone does it. As the Adidas adverts used to say, Impossible Is Nothing.
  84. Never regret. If it was good, it was worth it. If it was bad, chalk it up as an experience and move on.
  85. Nothing changes if nothing changes.
  86. Life is a gift. Don’t view yours as a burden, make the most of the precious time you have on this beautiful planet we call home.
  87. Obstacles are there to be overcome. No matter how great they may appear, there is always a way around them.
  88. Don’t be afraid to be alone. We spend all our lives with ourselves, so it’s good to spend time alone to get to know ourselves better.
  89. Things don’t always work out. Accept that this is the case and move on. It may hurt, but with time it will subside.
  90. You must respect yourself before others can respect you.
  91. Leave things in a better state than you found them. If we all did this the world would be a better place.
  92. If there is only one person you can count on, let it be yourself.
  93. Good friends will stick with you through thick and rain. They are rare to find, so cherish them when you do.
  94. Where there is a will, there is a way. If you want to do something you can find a way to do it. You just need to figure out how.
  95. It’s often the people with the least who are the happiest.
  96. If it won’t matter in a year, it’s not worth worrying about.
  97. People change. No one stays the same throughout their life. We are all shaped by what we experience.
  98. Rest. It’s easy to get carried away with doing, but rest is equally important. You can’t burn a candle at both ends and expect it to stay the same.
  99. Don’t expect anything from anyone.
  100. For there to be progress, there needs to be movement first.
  101. One day you will die. Make the most of your time here. The last thing you want to do is grow old and regret the things you didn’t do.

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