3 Lessons I learnt from travelling
We all know that someone or are that someone who took a life-changing trip.
Someone who went backpacking off the beaten track and ate exotic food and hiked up a mountain, all to take the perfect 10 pictures of the same view, then spam it all across Instagram. Sorry to say that person is me, and the hike was worth it.
Take a look. Not forgetting that selfie shot.
But putting my photography aside, exploring a new place can open up so much for you and help you learn a lot about yourself. Experiencing new things and going to new places is of course what we all love to do, but how you think and how you react in this new space, are the moments you remember and learn from the most.
To listen and take care of yourself
Taking some time to travel can help you really listen to yourself, for when you are alone and in a completely new area, you have no one to rely on but yourself.
In 2017, right in the New Year, I set off to New Zealand for an adventure. I had heard it to be a beautiful place, with so much to do and explore, but I was mostly by myself on these discoveries. Yet this allowed me to really think for myself and listen to myself. I had to plan my days and really think about it. And it was exciting to not have the distraction of someone else around, who may have an input on your decision, or you change your plans to suit them; I began to out myself and my needs first, which I had never out rightly done before.
Yeah I know so modest, but it actually is something not everyone can do. Well if you’re like me that is. But when we start to make our own decisions, we start to see what we like and what we don’t like and we learn about ourselves more. We are able to finally have time to really think upon our answers, or make a quick one depending on the moment.
Either way, it is liberating to make our own choice that can lead us to new things, or bad choices that we can learn from later. And what I found was the adventure of learning about myself, was so much more rewarding than any mountain top view or lake landscape could offer.
Making new friends and gaining new perspectives
Going out and exploring also brings with it the opportunity to make new friends, and they bring along with them their own perspective on things, which can blow our world wide open. Some you agree with and some you don’t and some you never even thought of, but the important thing is we begin to learn something new.
New friends can inspire our own personal growth, as we may learn something of ourselves by looking though another’s eyes. For me, I never thought myself as interesting but meeting new friends and swapping stories with them, they became interested in what I shared and what I said and were fascinated by it. I know kind of sad, but when you’re as awkward and as shy as me and someone says, ‘I love what you’re saying’ is such a wonderful thing to hear, and rally boots your confidence.
It may be that they see something we never saw in ourselves. We could be more confident where we were once shy, or more attentive where we once were distracted. And journeying to different places and meeting different people, can bring out so many different parts of ourselves. When we see the world through another’s eyes, we may just find the view to be even better, even of ourselves.
An adventure is just outside your doorstep
When we think of travelling, we assume it has to be somewhere so far away, but actually it can be closer to home than you think.
Having a life changing travel experience can start right form your front door. And those awe inspiring moments can happen right in the city you live in, or in the neighbourhood you grew up in. Going out into the city and walking around somewhere we’ve never been before can be an adventure in itself.
I have lived in London my whole life, but I have to admit, I don’t know any of the places or where anything is. Though after doing some temp jobs, which took me around London, I realised there is so much to discover. The city I have always lived in stretched out so much, and no two places were the same. I almost felt like a tourist, seeing all these different places for the first time, and each place had its own character to it, it was like I was somewhere else entirely.
So try walking into a store you normally would pass by, might bring you into a new world. Go around and learn about the place around you. We can see just as much right where we are, as we would on a mountain top looking out at a sunset.
And yes I have that picture too.
Have fun exploring.
By Kopnu Mung