10 lessons I've learnt from travelSaturday, January 25, 2014
It's been quite a few years since I first left New Zealand for other shores and the travel bug firmly took hold. Since then I've managed to live in four countries and travel to over 48 (last count).
So I thought today I would share with you the top 10 lessons I've learnt from travel...
mid may through 5-months backpacking in Central America.
- Pack light
No matter where you're going, don't take more than what you can personally carry on your back. Travel is so much more enjoyable and easy when you don't have to lug gear everywhere with you. If you forget something important nine times out of ten you can always buy that item wherever you're headed.
- But don't forget your 3 essentials - hand sanitiser, ear plugs and tissues
These are my three travel essentials for keeping healthy, sleeping in noisy or unusual environments and going to the bathroom without worry.
- Always try the local coffee
Coffee is one of those delights that every place and country has their own unique spin on - and in general it's always enjoyable. Find somewhere with a beautiful view or that's great for people watching and enjoy. I've had amazing coffee in Bali, Japan, Honduras, Italy... and so on.
- If a local smiles and mentions words similar to "food challenge" be scared
This has happened to me in numerous countries and it's usually when that person wants you to eat the most disgusting thing they can find. It happened to me a lot while living in Japan - and half the time I didn't know what I was putting in my mouth, but these occasions make great travel stories later. Make sure you take photos!
- The world is a beautiful place
Oh my goodness is it ever! Get out there and explore. I've seen breathtaking beauty across the globe, and in places I never would have guessed. And don't forget your camera.
- I was lucky to grow up in NZ
Too often I catch myself complaining that NZ is too far away from everywhere, it has limited work opportunities, and it's too small. Maybe these things are true (in my eyes), but I was damn lucky to be born and grow up in a country where education is free, and compulsory, we have one of the least corrupt governments in the world, people can choose their own religion - or not have a religion at all, free thought and speech is encouraged, and in general the population is pretty well cared for.
- The less you have the happier you are
The most content and happy people I've met during travel are the people that have very little. It's a very humbling experience.
- We are all essentially the same
Everyone in the world wants the same things in life - to be happy, healthy, somewhere to sleep, enough to eat and drink. The more I've travelled the more I think the world is the same all over.
- Experiences make you rich, not money
Travel doesn't have to be expensive. To get the most out of travel get off that tour bus and walk among the locals. Eat at local places. Talk to people. Try a few words in their language - you'll be amazed at the doors that will open for you.
- And finally, look after the planet
Something that we hear a lot of these days, but it's important. And we can all do our part. Think more sustainable. Every little thing helps.
"In the cathedral of the wild, we get to see the best parts of ourselves reflected back to us."