This last year, my family traveled to 17 countries. We started in New Zealand after living there for 2 years and then made our way back to the United States. As glamorous as traveling the world sounds, it takes a lot of work and planning and patience and flexibility. And you can’t experience visiting that many places without learning and growing and changing. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned while traveling the world that have made me a better person and most likely would change you too.
I Learned that it’s Ok to Be Different & Do Things Differently
Not every country we visited was an English speaking or nicely developed country. Some places had huts for homes, bikes or scooters to get around, high rises to live in, huge malls to shop in, small corner stores to get your groceries, lots of different religions to practice, a quiet town or a busy city. And the more places we visited and the more that we saw, I realized how different every culture and every city is. And that’s ok. I learned to recognize the differences and embrace them. I learned to find joy in those differences and observe how people do things uniquely. I loved getting to know the people in the different areas and hearing their stories. I loved seeing how they live and seeing that you can be happy whether you live in a small hut or a big building. There is more than one right way to live and that’s ok!
I Learned to Be Flexible
As we traveled around, we stayed in Airbnb homes all over. And sometimes our homes would have a nicely stocked kitchen and linens and sometimes they wouldn’t! We had to be flexible! If the kitchen only had one pot and one pan to cook with to feed my family of 6, then I adapted to that and made simple meals. If we only had a few beds to sleep on, then we had to learn to share or sleep on the couch. If our home didn’t have a washing machine, then I had to wash our clothes by hand or hire someone to help. If our home didn’t have hot or filtered water, then I boiled it. I learned to be more flexible, to go with the flow.
I Learned to Be Patient
Traveling gives you lots of opportunities to be patient! We had to wait in lots of airport or train or car rental or bus lines. We had to figure out where to go and figure out the nearest grocery stores or restaurants. We had to learn to sit still and wait and watch and not rush. Sometimes things don’t go the way you planned and that takes major patience! And there’s no sense in getting frustrated or angry because it gets you nowhere! So I had to learn to take a deep breath and just wait until it’s figured out. Because it always gets figured out, one way or another…
I Learned to Love All Types of Terrain
We’ve seen beaches, desert, mountains, country, green rolling hills, bustling city life and I’ve learned to love all types of terrain! Even though the beach is my fave, I fell in love with just about every other type of terrain there is. There is beauty all around the world, even in your own backyard.
I learned countless lessons as I traveled the world and hope to continue to learn tons more as we keep on traveling. Traveling changes you. Traveling teaches you. Traveling opens your eyes and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world!
You can read about how to stay healthy when traveling HERE.