“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St.Augustine.
Classrooms and textbooks can never teach you enough, what traveling can do. As you take the step out of your comfort zone and explore the larger world, you would be amazed to see things that no book ever told you about.
There’s a popular saying which mentions that you never return the same as you were when you had left – and you’ll realize how true these words are when you finally start traveling, not to crowded touristy places to click selfies for social media but to far off lands where people seldom visit.
There’s a lot that you can learn through your journeys. With time, you’ll realize that you’ve grown up silently, and inculcated some good habits without even knowing. You start feeling good about yourself, about the way you deal with situations, about the way you converse with people, and most important, about the way you will look at yourself. And to assure you, these are the lessons you’ll never forget.
1. You learn to be patient.
When you set out for a journey, you slowly realize that things will never happen at your pace. Buses will run late, trains will inevitably get delayed, hotels will often get overbooked, and flights might get canceled – there can be thousand reasons for you to lose your calm, but that’s when you need to gather yourself and learn to be patient.
Introspect your thought and realize the fact that you didn’t come this far to get frustrated and turn around. You came to see the world – so relax and be patient.
2. You learn to live a simpler life.
Coming from an urban background where everything is readily available and parents often crossed the line to shower with luxuries, you never realize how much fun simple living can be, till you start traveling alone. The first lesson is to pack light, and take only that what is essentially required. That way you’ll know that half the things you use in your daily life aren’t much required. You’ll realize that living with a host family gives much more warmth than a 5-star hotel room.
3. You learn to appreciate the beauty in small things.
When you take a trip, you realize that you don’t really need expensive gadgets or diamonds to be happy. Seeing the sky bathed in splendid colors during dusk will keep you drooling even after it gets dark and the moon shines. A smile from a stranger might make your day, or a piece of chocolate shared by your fellow passenger might fetch you a friend for life. It’s really the small things that can give us joy in life and they’re usually free. Traveling will help you appreciate the beauty of those small things.
4. You learn new languages.
Most people will understand English to an extent that you can survive, but you always have the scope to learn a new language while traveling. For example, while volunteering in Sri Lanka, you can stay at an elephant camp where the mahouts would only speak broken English. You can always take a language course in your city, but that wouldn’t be much fun if compared to learning from the locals.
5. You learn about the past and the present of land in details.
Traveling to an unknown destination gives you a new perspective that’s completely different from something that you develop by just hearing or reading about the place. The fact of being somewhere new allows you to fully immerse yourself and appreciate that new place – starting from the people, the language, the clothing, and everything in between. You get to know about the historical events and how it had shaped the lives of the people. You learn about their social norms, political and economic scenario as well as what the people feel about their land and where they see themselves in the globe.
6. You acquire new skills.
Every journey teaches you something and adds to your skill set. Whether it is learning to pet the elephants in Sri Lanka, trekking through the snow clad mountains in Nepal or cooking delicious noodles in Thailand – you will experience plenty of new things during your journeys.
You also get to learn quick hacks – sometimes all by yourself, sometimes from others!
7. You learn to be compassionate for others.
When you’ll travel extensively, you will realize that in spite of all the differences, all human beings are same somewhere deep down in our hearts. All your prejudices based on race, color and nationality will subside eventually.
A trip will make you humble and compassionate to feel other people’s sufferings. No matter how much you read about the poverty and dearth of essentials in the lives of the people in African countries like Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, you can never really understand how bad their conditions are in reality, unless you travel to those parts of the world.
8. While traveling, you learn to be independent.
Your journey will force you to be independent. When you’ll travel alone, there will be no choice but to make decisions and take initiatives completely by yourself as you don’t have anyone to tell you what to do nor anyone you can outsource the task too.
Independence is a fundamental goal of education. While institutional education is necessary to bless us with financial independence, traveling will definitely bestow you with intellectual and emotional independence.
9. You realize the value of ‘home’.
We often take things for granted and one such is the place which we call ‘home’. During your journey, there might be times when you’ll have to use your rucksack as your headrest and you’ll miss your pillow, or times when you’ll miss mom’s coffee while shivering in cold at a trekking camp. It is all for good and when you’ll return back to that known den of yours, you’ll know the true value of home.
10. You get to know yourself in a much better way.
You will realize your true potentials, about your strengths and weaknesses, about your likings and about the person who you truly are. There were so many things you never knew you could do, till you actually did them.
There’s a video by Ethereal in which they said: “For once in your life, you embrace the happiness of not knowing what lies ahead. And you realize that rulebooks are for shelves – Life is right there – Out in the open!”
If you haven’t really decided what you are going to do with this life of yours or what you want to be in future, traveling extensively and preferably to places you have never heard of before, is the best way to help you make a decision.
You’ll never regret taking this decision, ever in your life!