life lessons

16 life lessons learned when traveling

About life lessons.

Guys, Happy New Year!

It’s been ages since I did a post. No pressure 🙂

I don’t know if people still make New Year resolutions, but I have one this year – to travel more. This was inspired by the many life lessons I have learned since I took to the road. It’s amazing just to sit and think about them. Traveling is a skill I hope to master, and I think part of that requires that resonates with all the benefits of the same.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

No one is too poor to be helpful

I keep saying this but it can never be overemphasized. You don’t have to wait till you’re worth a million dollars to help others. You have time. Skills. A smile. There is so much that can be achieved if we all played our role. Identify a needy kids’ home. Walk there and volunteer. It will be very fulfilling in the end, yet it is possible to spend no money at all.

Patience. Everything gets better with time.

Anyone who has interacted with me in the past on a personal level can attest to the fact that I am one of the least patient people there are. Well, not anymore. I have learned to trust in the power of time to make things right. If it was meant to be it will certainly work out. Of course one has to be proactive, but don’t sweat it. There is only too much you can do.

Patience also really helps when it comes to dealing with others. We all have our shortcomings. While it might not seem like it, the waitress that took ages to serve you probably gave it her very best. This is one of the life lessons I’m still working on, and to overcome impatience entirely I will.

Be on time.

I just said patience. There are limits. It is really annoying to be on time then be delayed. Since I know how that feels, I always strive to be on time. By God that one minute delay could mean spending another night in a city you had not planned for. You could miss your flight. Everything could go wrong. Time is also money. Cliche much?

Don’t settle for less

I think all these life lessons are intertwined. Once one is patient enough to understand that everything will get better with time, they are less likely to settle for less. Don’t take the first job that comes your way if it is not what you’ve been hoping to land. Of course discretion is advised but you get the drift. Don’t be in a bad relationship because you are worried about being lonely – there are too many good people out there. Identify what you want and purpose to have it work. I’m a firm believer in the power of our thoughts; the universe does not fail. I think that’s how we get to travel. Where do you want to go next? How much will you need? Thinking about it is a very monumental step in making anything work. Try it.

life lessons

You can have fun without alcohol and drugs

Alcohol and drugs, according to me, are way overrated. You don’t have to be high to laugh. You don’t have to be drunk to try out something new. Life is too beautiful. People have lots of ideas- listen to them soberly. You save a lot of money too. This is not to mean that it is not okay to indulge once in a while.

You can be alone and not lonely

One of the main worries people have is being lonely on the road. If you’re like me, you’ve planned 101 trips with your friends (or not). Most of them never happened. I have trained myself to get rid of group mentality and go for whatever I want. This often involves booking a flight or bus to anywhere, alone. As it is, solo travel is one of the most fulfilling things there are out there. You walk among people who speak different languages. Experience kindness that cannot be summarized in a few words. Get lost. Once in a while you get discriminated against – let’s face it, every market has a mad man! At the end, it is totally worth it.

Case in point, someone else left their country alone because it had become impossible to plan a trip with their friends. They are just as scared as you are. That’s how people meet – that’s why you’ll never be lonely on the road.

Solitude is power

It is impossible to hear what your soul is saying when everyone else is talking. So you take that solo journey and you make friends at every corner. It is very important to find some time alone to stimulate your creative self and reflect. That is how you will find your next business idea. You will identify and understand your weaknesses. How we become better people. That’s the best way to grasp life lessons.

Enjoy transient relationships

You don’t have to exchange contacts with everyone you meet. Enjoy the moment. Live it, learn from it, and move on. There is too much power in the moment, don’t miss it trying to plan tomorrow. That may never come.

You are stronger than you can imagine

This should be on top of my list. There is so much comfort in strength. Traveling reveals a side of you that you never thought existed. You will know this when you try swimming in the freezing Atlantic ocean, hike a crazily steep hill (mountain), endure cold, sleep in a tent, eat new foods. You are that strong. It beats my imagination just how much potential we have lying around our comfort zones.

No place is as bad as the comfort zone

First, it is boring to do the same things over and over again. Also, it is dangerous. Try new things. Read a different genre of books, dance to unfamiliar beats, say hi to strangers. Whatever you do, don’t get used to it. That’s how we take things for granted. Being in the comfort zone will make you judgmental; trying new stuff teaches you empathy.

Fit is the new sexy

Uuuum yea. Work it out. There is nothing interesting in panting your way up any hike you undertake. You won’t know how unfit you are till you start hiking though so guess we are back at leaving the couch. Once you realize it was a struggle, hit the gym. Better still, start jogging. It’s a vicious cycle. You may need to wake up early for that, and that makes you productive in whatever else you do.

Getting lost is invaluable

Pack your bags and get lost. It may be scary at first, but it’s an indispensable experience. Wander with no guide, home will find you. You’ve probably heard it, but the best places are not in guide books. That is how you find yourself.

Ask questions; too many life lessons

You will very many like-minded people on the road. Ask them how business is done in their country. You will learn a new coding trick. A great photographer will show you how to take better pictures. Smile, then ask – you shall be answered.

You become more confident

After learning all those new things and traveling by yourself, there is no way you will remain that shy person. You will appreciate how resourceful you were and that streams down to your individuality.  After all, you connected multiple flights, ordered food, made it through a new experience and somehow made it alive.

life lessons

You learn empathy

There is one race – the human race. Cultures where people don’t like clothes. Children who survive on one meal a day. Countries where women are not allowed to drive. We are very different yet very similar. You think you have problems till you meet starving children. You take the liberties and peace in your country for granted till you enter war torn zones, or are prohibited entry for the same reason. Try walking in other people’s shoes, then judge. Traveling is one of the most certain ways to achieve that.

3 + 6 and 4 +5 equals 9

You don’t have to have everything figured out. Also, what works for me may not work for you. Define your path. Don’t allow pressure from others get to you. Opinions will always be there, but you get to choose how you want your life to unfold. Take a new class because you want to. Attend a party not because people say they need you there, but because it makes sense to you. It’s your life to live.

 

I could go on and on about the life lessons learned. It is impossible to describe them in black and white so get out there and experience them yourself. As I keep saying, traveling means going somewhere new. You can walk there, cycle there, or take a bus. It’s okay if you can’t buy a flight ticket, yet. There is so much that can be experienced almost free of charge. Also, you may need to take the trip alone. It might be impossible to have all your friends available at the same time. Count your blessings if you have travel buddies! Also, if it is entirely impossible for you to travel alone or a certain trip makes more sense if done with others, try finding them. You will find them in forums online, Google that. Traveling teaches you different life lessons. Be practical. Meet people. Be kind.

 

Would love to hear about your experiences. Write to me!

Cheers to 2017!

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3 Comments

  • lydia
    March 6, 2017 at 10:14 am

    i love this article.good job wachera

    • wachera
      March 9, 2017 at 6:55 am

      Glad you do! Thanks 🙂

  • Don
    April 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    What an informative piece, life sure is like an interesting book waiting to be opened.

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About Wachera

wachera

wachera

I can’t keep calm! That’s probably the worst tag line ever, but it’s true. I have tried finding fulfilment from settling down and focusing on one activity and place, but I failed terribly. Okay, I should probably start by telling you who I am. My name is Wachera, a daughter of the African soil. Just recently, I realized that Wachera is native for “the one who loves travelling” . Read more

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