I am lucky enough to have been on some incredible trips in my life so far, from family holidays to Germany, to travelling solo to Thailand and enjoying the luxury of a villa (with a hot tub) in the south of France. Every trip teaches me something new, be it about travelling, my personal tastes or the wonderful world around me. I love to travel for so many reasons and I can’t wait for my next adventure. Here are just a few of the things that travelling has taught me…
1. You’re Braver Than You Think
I remember booking my first ever solo trip to Thailand where I would meet 18 strangers and travel with them for four weeks. As excited as I was, a few days before setting off I had a bit of a breakdown thinking that I couldn’t do it. I mean, my last solo trip away had been to Cornwall (I live in Devon so it really wasn’t far) and I rang my mum crying about an hour after I’d left because I thought that my connecting train had been cancelled. I was so nervous and unsure of everything that I thought I’d never go to Thailand, even though I’d spend almost £2,000 on the trip. The point is, I went and I had the most amazing time and realised that that everything would be fine, it was just the initial worry of something going wrong or missing out on something at home that had been holding me back!
2. You Can Travel on a Budget
For a long time I was always under the impression that to have a holiday or to go travelling you needed a vast amount of money behind you, and for some trips, that is true. However, I’ve also learnt that there are SO many trips you can take on a budget, and you shouldn’t let the money hold you back. Now, I’m not saying that if you don’t have any money you can still go away, but if you’re careful to plan and budget the little money you do have (a realistic little amount of money) then everything will be fine! My friend and I planned an island-hopping trip to Greece with very little money and still managed to stay in nice places and eat fantastic foods – a lot of the budget side of things depends on where you are travelling.
3. The World is Amazing
This might seem like a little bit of an obvious one, but I’m such a sceptic when it comes to seeing things in photos vs. in real life. For the longest time I thought that nothing could ever be or look as amazing in real life as it did in photos; in reality, quite the opposite is true. I’ve never taken a photo of a sunset that looked better than the real thing, and actually being there and experiencing things for yourself is so incredible. To be able to see an amazing photo and think “wow, I’ve been there” is such a warm feeling. Everywhere I’ve been offers something different and exciting and it fills me with excitement for planning my next trip even thinking about it! The World really is AMAZING.
4. Materialistic Things Aren’t as Good as Experiences
A few years ago, I was probably one of the most materialistic people you could meet. My entire life revolved around buying new clothes, make up, shoes, home accessories, food and anything else that I thought looked pretty. After a few trips away however, I realised how much more I valued the experiences over the objects. I no longer spend my time away looking for souvenirs to take home or clothes to buy, but instead simply enjoy the atmosphere and whatever is on offer. The photographs, ticket stumps and memories are more than enough to remind me of the trip – and do it so much better than a crummy miniature stature that cost 20 euro. I now would much rather save money for a trip than splashing out one something else.
(Disclaimer: I say that I would much rather save money, which I do, but not quite on the scale I’d like. I’m still a sucker for buying new clothes, and make up brushes, but I have dramatically cut down to fund my recent trips away!)
5. Money Can Buy Happiness
I know that this is the opposite of what we’ve all been taught to believe, however, the happiness that being on holiday brings is quite unlike any other! Don’t get me wrong, I love being at home, especially as Devon is such a beautiful place, but in the weeks leading up to a holiday with my other half, during the holiday and for a few weeks after, I find myself in a constant state of happiness and excitement that not much else can bring. Unfortunately, holidays cost money, but that money brings us both so much happiness that I couldn’t think of a better way to spend that cash! (The photo above is a stack of cash I won in the Monte Carlo Casino in just 3 spins on a roulette table – Disclaimer: always gamble responsibly.)
6. Confidence is Key
Having the confidence to say yes to opportunities and experiences really can change your life. The more you say yes and take new challenges, the more your confidence will grow. Sometimes things don’t go quite as planned, but you’ll always learn something from it. Have the confidence to go and chat to the locals, or get on that banana boat or to try a new food and you’ll soon find your experience to be incredibly rewarding! Just be careful about saying yes to things that you know you shouldn’t, and don’t be peer pressured into anything you don’t want to do, in that case, you need the confidence to say no.
7. Everyone is Different
Some people prefer one way of travel to another, I personally like a range of holidays, from a spontaneous trip on a budget, to a luxury planned holiday; they offer completely different experiences which are equally incredible. Some people like to travel for large chunks of time, while others prefer to travel little and often. Some like to travel far, some prefer to stay local. Some people don’t even want to travel at all, and as much as this baffles me, it has helped me to see that everyone is different, with different tastes, different thoughts and different feelings, and that is a good thing. It’s taught me that I can be different, and that having my own personal opinion and tastes makes life more enjoyable. It’s ok to be different and we should all embrace it!
What has travelling taught you? I’d love to hear!