It’s been exactly one year since my blog went live and I started sharing my travel experiences. Normally people will use the new year to reflect on the previous year, but it seems more appropriate to do a ‘one year on’ post.
What I have learned from travelling.
1. The world is amazing!
I want to see all of it, every corner. It’s my playground.
2. Keep an open mind.
From my time in Australia I thought I’d learnt a lot about travelling, it turns there’s still so much more to learn. My trip to South America taught me that. There isn’t just more to learn about travelling, there’s also more to learn about everything. There is always room for growth and learning, it doesn’t matter what age you are or what qualifications you have or what you think you know, you will never know everything and you will never stop learning.
3. There is never enough time to do everything.
It doesn’t matter if you plan every last detail of your trip and you think you’ll have everywhere covered, the truth is, you won’t. You will meet people just like you who enjoy travelling and they’ll tell about this cool place you’d never heard of or that you didn’t think of. Or there’ll be places you didn’t think would be worth seeing and so you’ll be skipping them on your route to wherever you’re going, then you’ll be told you’ll be missing out big time if you don’t go.
4. The cost of living in a country is directly related to how much weight you will gain/lose when there.
This might not apply to everyone, as everyone’s eating habits are different, but in Australia, as public transport was expensive, as was food and drink and the general cost of living, I didn’t actually gain any weight there. I walked to most places and cooked for myself a lot. In South America, however, keeping roughly within my budget, I discovered eating out was just as cheap as cooking for myself. I ate out most of the time because I could, I had an excessive amount of Caipirhnas in Brazil, took the metro a lot in Buenos Aires and gained a bit of weight.
5. Your ‘last trip’ is never your last trip.
Before going to South America I’d been looking at possible careers and jobs I could do for when I came back. I even sent off a few applications too. I had every intention of making that trip my last ‘big trip’. (The problems I encountered on my way there also felt like an omen to make it the last big trip.) I returned home with a different view- that was just the start, the tip of the iceberg. I realised that there is still so much more to see.
6. There is no such thing as a ‘comfort zone’.
At least I don’t believe there is. The whole ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone’ stuff, I don’t buy it. Life begins when you stop worrying, when you let go of the stuff holding you back. That’s not comfort, that’s fear. The past couple of years (going back to my pre-blogging times, in Australia), I don’t think I’ve ever felt more comfortable. Travelling is well and truly within my comfort zone, and I feel like my life is in full swing, I’m not wasting time dreaming about the things I want to do, I’m living them, I’m doing them.
7. Sometimes, being second-language illiterate can work in your favour.
I discovered this when in Brazil and I crossed a road that I shouldn’t have because I ignored the signs in Portuguese saying ‘Do not cross’, before being approached by someone who I was convinced was going to give me a hefty fine for breaking the rules. Or the numerous times I tell Medicos sin fronteras or street sellers that I can’t speak Spanish just because I don’t want to donate to them/buy their tat. I am however a big believer in languages being important to get through life, so despite this I do still consider it highly important to learn at least one other language. Especially if you’re going to travel the world.
8. Money really isn’t everything.
You really don’t need money to make you happy, it’s the experiences that make the happiness.
9. Weeing outdoors isn’t as difficult as I thought it might be.
Of course I had to mention toilets. I have a number of blog posts where I talk about toilets. Weeing in a hole in the ground wasn’t as bad as I imagined. I still prefer a regular toilet where I can sit down, but at least now I know I can wee outside if the need ever arises again. And without the aide of a she-wee.
10. Dorothy was right- there really is no place like home.
That doesn’t mean I’m ready to give up my nomadic life just yet to resume a ‘settled’ life there.
I have also learnt about what is important to me, what I can live without and what I absolutely cannot live without.
1. My family.
I absolutely love my family and I don’t think that it would be possible for me to play in the world if it weren’t for their love and support.
2. My passport.
It’s my access key to everywhere.
3. My friends.
They’re my second family.
4. A suitcase or a backpack.
Well no one can be expected to just carry all their possessions in a plastic carrier bag, right?
5. A camera.
To capture the moments/perfect pictures that you never want to forget about.
Well that pretty much sums up my year. 5 important things in my life I can’t live without, 10 of the most important things I learnt this past year. Of course I learnt a lot more than what it says above, I just don’t want to bore you all with the details.