Being a very curious person, the idea of staying in one place, knowing that there is so much more to see in the world always drove me crazy. A few years ago, I decided to start traveling more and to see as much of the world that I could.
The first trips that I did were life changing. From those adventures, I learn a lot about the world, but also about myself, and the way I picture life.
In this article, I will present 10 of the things that I earned from traveling around the world.
Independence and freedom
A little bit more than two years ago, I was procrastinating on my laptop and ended up buying a one-way ticket to Paris. At the end, that trip lasted a little bit less than four months. I spent a month in Europe and three months in Thailand.
During that trip, I had one night in the middle of the month of June 2016 when I was walking, alone, with my backpack at 4 AM, in Split, Croatia. I was on my way to catch the bus to the airport for my flight to Venice. I remember that moment as one of the happiest of my life.
That night, I realized how independent I became, and how much, at that moment, I needed nothing more than my backpack. I felt freedom for the first time. That moment makes you open your eyes about all the opportunities that are there for you and make you realize that you are capable of anything. You can be sure of one thing, you will always remember that moment!
Before I started travelling, I was in a long relationship. Those years were amazing, but I always felt like something was missing. The moment I decided to end it was the moment I really decided that I wanted to see more of the world.
My first backpacking trip was between Spain, Portugal and Morocco. That trip was a revelation to me. It made me realize that during all those years that I was in a relationship, I was giving my love and attention to one person, when there is so much more amazing people to meet out there.
I understood that by taking back my heart from one person, I open it to hundreds and thousand other people. Of course, the love that I felt for my ex boyfriend and the one that I felt and still feel for the people I meet while traveling is really different, but I understood that every person you meet makes you learn more about yourself and about the different ways you can love and give to others.
To have my own opinion
When I booked my trip to Jordan, most people didn’t really understand why I was going there.
Most people don't know that in Jordan has the best food that I had in my entire life, amazing historical sites, kilometres and kilometres of breathtaking desert and the lowest point on earth (the Dead Sea). The main reason for that is a lack of information. People, including me, get our information’s from the media and what we hear about Jordan is that it’s a country that has borders with Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Israel, and that it’s a dangerous zone.
Jordan was one of the most beautiful countries I saw, I had an amazing time there and always felt really safe. That’s when I realized that you can’t always listen to what others, you have to create your own opinion about things.
Understand the things I value
When you are on the road you have a lot of time to think. You are also far from your family and the people who matter to you. Those moments make you realize what you value the most and who are the most important people for you.
While travelling, I realized that nothing matters more to me than family. No matter where I was in the world, my family has always been there for me, accepting my choices, even if they were worried about them sometimes.
I also understood how important is education and knowledge to me. While abroad, you see all those things that you never saw and never heard of before. In my case, it started to make me wonder about a lot of things and allowed me to become a person who’s always trying to learn new things.
Friends all around the world
Meeting new people when you are travelling is inevitable. Last time that I planned a trip alone, I ended up spending a total of three days by myself, and the rest of it with all the amazing people that I’ve met.
Beside what you might think, the people that you meet while traveling aren’t all short-term friends. For me, they were the people that I was the most likely to travel with again. Those people, often, have the same vision, interest and lifestyle as you do. Travelling the world is an awesome thing, but the people you meet while doing it is what makes it beautiful.
Traveling is going out of your comfort zone and facing challenges that you don’t usually face back home. The only thing that you can be sure of is that you are going to find a way to deal with those challenges, no matter how small or big they are. Once you do, you realize that you can handle way more that you think and those challenges turns you to a more and more confident person.
For me, traveling is not a luxury of just vacations; it’s a lifestyle. While I am abroad, I always try to spend as much time as I can with the locals and try to adopt their lifestyle.
Often, the best way to do it is to volunteer or to Couchsurf. I had the chance to do both, but right now I’ll focus on the volunteering part. Volunteering has a lot of advantages. Beside the one that I talked about earlier, which is living like a local, it also allows you to see other work perspective in the world.
Additionally, most of the time you can get accommodation and sometimes food from your hosts, which makes you save a lot of money.
I had the chance to volunteer a few time thru Worldpackers and also thru others associations and those were some of the experiences I learn the most from. Having working experiences abroad was something that always impressed most companies that I applied for. Working or volunteering in different parts of the world is often shown to the person who’s interviewing you that you are a resourceful person and a person that can easily adapt.
Hope for the world
People often tell me that travelling alone as a girl is dangerous, and I am sure it can be sometimes, but so far, I never felt in danger and the people that I met while traveling were the nicest. A lot of people want to help, without asking for anything in return.
If you do Couchsurfing for example, most of the hosts are going to spend time with you, show you their cities and be there for everything you need. This aspect gave me a lot of hope, We, humans, tend to often focus on the bad, but there is so much more good going on in the world.
As an International Business student, finance management is primordial for me. Thru my traveling, I had to learn how to manage my finance back home, to be able to save money for my trips, and also to manage my finance abroad since I was travelling for a long time.
One thing that I also had to learn is to deal with different currencies. Most people that aren’t travelling, don’t think about this aspect, but when you are moving from a country to another you realize how important it is. Fees when you exchange currencies can be crazy expensive. Managing those fees can make you save a lot of money, and the more money you save, the more countries you can visit!
From nights staring at the stars in the Jordanian desert, to crazy parties in Thailand, to ending up in a hostel without AC in Morocco in the middle of July (in 40 degrees Celsius)…Those moments are the one that you are going to remember all your life. They might look good and fun or really bad and stressful at the moment when they happen, but when you are going to think about them later, all you are going to remember is amazing memories.