For many, traveling the world is the ultimate life goal. Whether you choose to take a gap year or spend all of your work holidays traveling to different continents, there is so much to see, learn and experience on this glorious green and blue planet of ours.
And traveling won’t just leave you with life long memories and cute souvenirs (hello shell bracelets), it will also teach you some truly valuable life lessons. A gap year is a great way to set up for university or work life, but even if you are traveling during your vacations, you can learn some amazing things when discovering new places.
I wrote about five vital life lessons that you pick up while traveling. I have to say, most of them really applied for me.
1) How to balance a tight budget
No matter how you travel, you will most likely have a budget and if you don’t want to get stranded somewhere or end up eating dry crackers for your last few weeks of traveling (we’ve all been there), then you need to learn to budget.
When traveling there are plenty of opportunities to spend – once in a lifetime trips, excursions, tours, meals, and concerts are just some of the spending opportunities. And with the worry that you might not be back this way again in your life, spending can get out of hand. Setting a budget and sticking to it is a vital tool you can carry into the rest of your life.
You can also try and save a bit more. I am not saying you have to live on water and bread from now on. But there are a lot of ways to save a bit of money. By doing this, you will have a larger budget on your travel or you can go on two or even more holidays in a year!
2) Respecting others
If you travel to another country and indeed another continent, then you are likely to discover cultures which are very different from your own. Different religious beliefs, perspectives on gender, money and even manners can bring about a serious culture shock. But learning to live in a new culture and be respectful of local people at all times is an important life lesson no matter which career you go on to have.
You will also meet other tourist and travelers and it is possible to make friends for life. Traveling saved my life and learning how to respect others, yourself and meeting new people was an important part of that!
3) Dealing with unexpected events
While modern travel usually goes smoothly, things can go wrong. Dealing with flight delays or less than perfect hotel rooms is a great way to build resilience – a lesson that we all need to learn! It’s also good to learn to be prepared ahead of time. Staying protected when you travel is a really important way to take care of yourself.
You can get sick, get into an accident. Of course, I hope not! But it is possible. Travel insurance is very important. It can help and solve a lot, but we hope you don’t need it. Just don’t go on holiday without insurance!
You can also do some small things to make your travels safer. With these 10 tips to travel safer, it will be easy and you feel safer. If you feel safe, you will enjoy your trip more!
4) Learning another language
You might not learn the language of every place you visit but if you are staying somewhere for more than a few months, picking up a new language is a fantastic skill to have. It will make it easier to learn other new languages in the future and will help you to mix with locals. Also, studies have found that learning a language can reduce the chances of illnesses such as dementia in the future!
Spanish, German and Chinese are languages a lot of people speak. So if you speak a bit, a whole world will open for you. This is the reason I went to Spanish lessons in Spain. You can combine learning a new language with traveling!
5) Appreciating home
While travel may make you want to travel more and discover places off the beaten track, it will also make you appreciate home even more. For many, getting back to your home culture, your own bed and friends and family will be all the sweeter after time exploring a new country.
For me, it is my kitchen and food that makes me appreciate home a lot. There are some typical Dutch snacks, that I just love and you can not find it anywhere else. So that is always nice.
Life lessons you pick up while traveling
So here are five of the most important life lessons you pick up while traveling. There are a lot more things you can learn from traveling.
Some things are really easy, some are hard and some are more important than others. But everyone learns other things in other ways.
So let me know what life lesson you learned on your travels!
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