life lessons you learn from travel

10 Times Travel Taught Me Important Life Lessons I Brought Back Home

What I've learned from traveling that books could have never taught me.

Arushi Sachan

Indeed, getting away is so much fun, especially to surreal places that are very different from your hometown, but that is only one way to see it. Time and again, I wonder to myself: Whatever lessons I have accumulated through my travels, would I have ever learned them in school or at a library? Maybe, but not exactly.

You know the top-most part in Maslow's Hierarchy that we all are aching to achieve, the self-actualization? Precisely that is what traveling has given me, something schools never taught me- Lessons that give life a deeper meaning. Here are 10 times travel taught me what books never could:

1. Fear is just an illusion

The first time I had to travel solo to Austin, TX, it was because my friend had canceled on me, and my tickets were already booked. The first time I climbed a mountain in Nepal, it was because the team I traveled with was doing it, and I had no other option. My instructor literally had to push me for my first scuba dive stride because I was too afraid to do it in the deep. Believe me, I dreaded a lot of things before I started traveling. But because I was pushed out of my comfort zone each time, I realized that fear is just a conditioning that anyone can overcome. On the other side of fear is strength.

2. Your problems are smaller than they seem

Whether it is breathing in the air under a thick blanket of stars in Kenya, unharmed by the city lights or a 5-year-old homeless kid playing tag with his street-friends in India, experiences like these are bound to stir something within you. You become less greedy and come to appreciate what you already have a lot more.

3. There is a lot to be grateful for

I can't tell you the number of times I have come across people who haven't been able to travel because of health problems, affordability, life-long injury etc. It only made me realize how much of a privilege being able to travel is, and that not many of us realize that. To see nature's intricately woven wonders placed all around the world, all so different from one another, and to not feel a renewed appreciation for life is impossible.

4. Home isn't necessarily where you were born/where you spent your life

I learned early on that home is just a feeling and not a tangible place. Trotting around the world can make you feel 'at home' in the oddest of places, be it on the summit of a mountain amongst strangers that have bonded to become family-like over days of hiking, or in a 9-hour train from Milan to Rome just staring at the beam of the sun peeking through the scenic Apennine Range bordering the vast sunflower fields. It could be an indescribable nostalgia or the manifestation of your ideal home.

5. Travel isn't a solution for running away from your problems

"I need a vacation from this hideous work life!" or "I need a break from all this drama!" Are just a few reasons why people seek to buy plane tickets to paradise. Traveling isn't paradise, and it surely isn't the solution to your problems. Yeah, your problems do not chase you to a new destination (except in your head), but they do not resolve themselves back home. I used travel as a method of denial, and it surely showed me my place: neither were the problems I was running from solved nor was traveling all sugar and candies for me. If anything, over the years I learned to respect traveling and let it teach me what it has in store, instead of forcing the unnatural.

6. People are more alike than you think

Wherever I've gone, people have been very helpful. Whether or not you speak the same language, you are able to communicate through love and mutual respect. Little gestures like a smile, or a compliment goes a long way with strangers no matter where in the world and what cultural differences – it makes the world a smaller and a better place.

7. You are capable of a lot more than you give yourself credit for

Believe me when I tell you this, there are so many things you have absolutely no idea you are capable of doing right now. Travel made me realize that. I used to be a very shy person afraid to express my opinions and traveling alone pushed me to talk to strangers and build friendships around the world. Whether it was the time I didn't 'almost' miss a stop at Pisa because I was woken up by strangers in a train who I ended up seeing the whole city with, or the girl who I sat and talked for hours with in Manhattan and learned why she was homeless making money on a day-to-day basis, I opened up as a person. I see traveling as a portal you walk through, only to come out as a slightly or completely different person: a better one.

8. Don't judge a book by its cover

All Muslims are not terrorists, all blacks aren't criminals and all blondes aren't bimbos. Even I am guilty of this innate habit to categorize everything, something I do not understand why people tend to do. Reality is subjective and putting tags on our surroundings is unfair, especially when it comes to people we care about. Having traveled since I was few months old, I came to learn that nobody is perfect in this world, and instead of condemning each other for being in some sort of minority, we should look at it as an embraced strength and beauty. Traveling will make you uneasy and teach you how to accept everyone and everything just the way they are.

9. 'Alone' doesn't mean 'lonely'

Traveling solo has helped me learn how much I enjoy my own company. However, in telling others that I am on my own during my journeys, I noticed that people made that pitiful face and asked me if I wanted to join them on their so that I don't feel lonely. There is a fine line there: being lonely is a feeling of neglect, birthed from not having meaningful relationships, whereas being alone is an empowering feeling of having meaningful relationships, yet choosing to take a little regenerative self-time. I learned that people confuse the two all the time, even though they subconsciously know the meaning of it.

10. Self-reflection is so important

Immersed in a strive for what's to come, we often tend to overlook what's at hand. Being in a foreign land oftentimes forcefully brings our ever-wandering mind to the present situation as we experience new sensations and acknowledge their existence. Coming back from my travels to the fast-paced work environment only made me realize the importance of taking a few moments each day to self-reflect. Some people do this through meditation, others through journaling.

To read more about my journey as a traveler, check out my blog, ' Trot With Arushi'.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July — Without Fireworks Or Social Gatherings

We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.

With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.

For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.

Keep Reading... Show less

Carb And Cheese Lovers, Unite — These Are The Best Mac And Cheese Recipes On The Internet

Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.

My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.

With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Wore A Butt Mask Every Day For A Month, And It's Officially Essential In My Daily Self-Love Routine Now

Thirty days later, my booty's as smooth as a baby's.

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments