Travelling has taught us so much and i believe, it has made us a better person today. We always look forward to our next travel not because we need a break from Singapore or from our hectic work schedule, but because we are so excited to embrace the new experiences, to meet fellow like minded travellers and to take in the sights of the beauty of a place that we’ve never been to. So here’s how travelling has changed our lives and the 8 life lessons learnt from travelling.
1. Be more appreciative
We’ve learnt to be more appreciative of the little blessings in our lives. We were so touched by the simplicity of life in the villages in Myanmar where we did home stay at one of the villager’s house. The children there were full of smiles and there was this girl who was overjoyed at her little toy which was just a yellow balloon. Be thankful for your loved ones, you don’t know how much longer they will be around. While they’re still here, take a minute of your time to send a message to your family and loved ones and let them know how much you appreciate and love them.
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff
We’ve learnt to let it go and to accept that c’est la vie. Yes, the train will be 2 hours late, you might get cheated by the locals, your belongings might get stolen, the fried rice that you’ve ordered is not up to your standard, your bicycle tires decide to puncture on your return journey. But it’s okay…Why let all these get you down when you are supposed to be having the time of your life? A million and one things can happen but it’s okay, because this is exactly what makes travelling so spontaneous and fun! You never know what’s going to happen next and the best you can do is to just take it in your stride and enjoy the journey. Because time is so precious and there’s no time in life to waste sweating over the small stuff 🙂
3. Be humble
As we stood at the summit of Mount Kinabalu, our breath was taken away by the sheer beauty of Mother Nature. It was indeed a humbling moment for us. The world out there is just so big and there are still so many things that we’ve yet to experience. This only urges us to take a step further and to experience as much of this amazing world with whatever limited time that we have in our lives. We can’t wait for our 1 year travel Footprints Across Asia!
4. Get out of your comfort zone
That’s one thing scary about travelling. You don’t get to have your favourite bolster with you at night when you sleep, you don’t get to have indulge in your favourite food, you will have to get used to toilets without a toilet bowl/seat or soap. Or you’re thankful that there’s even a toilet in the first place. Travel allows you to experience living in conditions that you never thought you could survive. But you will. That’s the awesome part of travel! Only when you step out of your comfort zone, then can you really push yourself to your limits and discover what you can achieve.
Keep going, never give up. When travelling, there’ll bound to be setbacks that might hinder your journey. Don’t stop, persevere and you will eventually reach your destination. Bus broke down? Train delayed? Road block? Severe food poisoning? Lost your way? It’s okay, slow down and find an alternative way out, but never stay stagnant. Baby steps will eventually take you to your destination. In the meantime, why not sit back, relax and embrace the moment?
6. Keep an open mind
This is one of the most important points to follow. When travelling, there will be so many new and interesting experiences that you will encounter. You never know what might happen or whom you might meet next! And that’s the beauty of travelling…so always keep an open mind and be receptive towards trying new things!
7. Be cautious, but not overly cautious
As quoted by J.K. Rowling, “[If] you live so cautiously [then] you might as well not have lived at all”. Can’t agree more with this statement. There are plenty of good people out there, people who genuinely want to help you. Learn to trust in the good of people and that not everybody expects something in return after doing good. But having said that, it’s of course still mandatory to take the necessary basic precautions when travelling and to be smart. For example when taking overnight public trains, always keep your important belongings (passport, cash, credit cards, etc) close to you. Learnt so much after living a year in Vietnam, it’s definitely better to be safe than to be sorry!
8. You don’t have to be rich to travel
Anybody can travel. When we tell others of our 1 year plan to travel, usually their first response will be “Wah, you all very rich hor”. But really, that is such a misconception! You really don’t need much to travel. You can couch surf, homestay, work along the way, eat simply, take public transport, etc. These are just some ways to minimise our spending. The bus ride in the picture above probably cost us $3 only. Set a budget and keep to it.