June 15, 2017 in Inspiration, Tips, Traveltips by Sunny Jansen

12 lessons I learned from traveling

June 15, 2017

There are so many amazing things about traveling: listening to the sound of surf on the beach, swimming in the ocean when it rains, watching the sea of stars in a desert night. And what is better than days filled with diving and sunset watching? But there are more good sides on traveling: the people I meet and the lessons I learn on the way. Lessons about myself, about others and about the world.

Life is full and busy and sometimes it can be overwhelming. There are moments you need to take a step back to see things clear again. Traveling is one of the best ways to remain psychologically grounded. Going to new, unfamiliar places gives you the space to listen to your own soul. While traveling it’s more easy to ignore the noise of the world and to find out what you want in life. And besides that, you learn a lot about yourself, specially when you choose to travel solo. To travel is to take a journey into yourself. You are a different person after travel. And with all the experiences and stories you have collected along the way, how could you not be?

Here are 12 lessons I learned from traveling, but that are also perfectly applicable to life in general.

1. Traveling means exploring and discovering. You want to see all, you want to do all, you want to experience all. Stop rushing. Be where you are. You are not missing anything somewhere else, only what’s in front of you right now. It’s the little things that give your travel (and your life) its magic. Don’t jam you trip with plans. Leave space. The best things happen unplanned.

2. Surround yourself with nature: solitude and silence are important. When you are quiet in a quiet place, you can hear your own thoughts and find your soul.

3. When you travel, people come and go in your life and that is okay. Not everyone is meant to stay. Connect with people and help others. Never regret helping someone or being a good person to the wrong people. Your behaviour says everything about you, their behaviour says enough about them. I learnt to gracefully walk way from drama and people and situations that threaten my peace of mind, self worth or self respect.

4. I don’t travel to escape my life. I travel for adventure. To meet the different and the unexpected. Don’t always stay on the safe side: life requires living. And adventure is everywhere. Even in daily life and in the small things.

5. Collect moments, not things. Feed your soul with memories. That’s the best investment you can do for living a happy life.

6. There is no destination without the journey. Pursue your goals and dreams while at the same time enjoying the journey of getting there. Be happy with what you have and where you are while working towards what you want or where you want to be.

7. We don’t stop dreaming and exploring because we grow old. We grow old because we stop dreaming and exploring.

8. Keep your eyes open for blessings in disguise. They are everywhere and most of the time in the most unexpected places and situations. You might not end up where you planned to be, but for sure you end up where you need to be.

9. Live the moment. Be truely present and enjoy it. If you could only recognise the beauty of a moment before it left you. Cherish happy moments: embrace and memorise every detail and relive precisely how it’s made you feel. Keep that personal and close to your heart. Share it with your loved ones. You don’t need to put everything on social media. Even when you are a travelblogger.

10. While traveling you are away from home and loved ones. Remind people that they matter. Stay connected.

11. Positive thinking isn’t about expecting the best to happen all the time. It’s about accepting what happens and making the best of it.

12. Learn to trust the journey, even when you don’t understand it. Sometimes what you never wanted, expected or planned for turns out to be exactly what you need. Or it takes you where you need to be. Let life surprise you.

These lessons I learned from traveling helped me to be more happy and more at peace with the routine of my every day life. It’s important to realise that happiness doesn’t start with a job, a relationship, money or that one great trip you really wish to make. It starts with your thinking and what you tell yourself today. Many people make themselves unhappy simply by finding it impossible to accept life just as it is presenting itself right now. Relax and live in the moment, whether you are traveling or at home. But I admit, that’s just so much easier done in a place with palm trees.

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