Four Lessons That Travel Teaches Us

Travel can teach us many lessons, if we’re open to learning.

“Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself.” – Unknown

Most of us get caught up in this routine called life. We wake up with the sunrise, push ourselves through our workday, race through our all of our errands, and jump into bed when the first free second presents itself.

Although hard work is quintessential for success, is this really how we are meant to live our lives?

When we get caught up in this routine called life, we lose ourselves. We lose our sense of importance for recognizing the beauty around us, and our inner lust for adventure that lies somewhere deep within us all.

If you happen to be stuck in this routine called life, which we all experience from time to time, my suggestion for you would be to stand up for yourself and break this cycle. Search for the life that you have always dreamed of.

“If not now, when?”- Hillel The Elder

Whether it’s for two days, two weeks, or if you’re lucky, two months, you should buy that plane ticket for the destination that has always been on your bucket list and put this routine called life on hold.

I truly believe that travel is the cure for the weary and the recipe for reinvention. However, if you still need some extra convincing, here are four of the greatest lessons that travel teaches us. They all ultimately bring us back to ourselves in the most honest and pure way possible.

1. To become a child again.

“Never Lose Your Sense of Wonder”- Unknown

When we drop ourselves off in a new country, we have no choice but to instantly become a child again. Everything you see is new and this brings out your inner explorer. You will find yourself pointing at iconic structures that you thought you would only come across in magazines. You may stumble across an old beaten-path that leads to the most breathtaking waterfall. Your senses will come alive. Whether it’s touring the perfume gardens in France or taking your first bite of an Italian pizza, these new experiences will capture your heart in a way that you forgot existed.

2. Confidence

“The traveler’s rush’ that hits you upon arrival to a new place is like a drug. And like a drug, the more you expose yourself to the more you want it”. – Clayton B. Cornell

When we travel to a new place, we are unfamiliar with our surroundings to say the least. From the second you step off that plane you may experience situations that you make you feel uncomfortable or nervous. You will experience everything from language barriers to your cab driver taking you to your hotel on the “wrong” side of the road. Although being unfamiliar with your surrounds may seem daunting, when you are able to grasp the values of a particular culture it is extremely rewarding. You have another place to call home.

Sometimes it helps to get a fresh perspective.
Sometimes it helps to get a fresh perspective.

3. To get a new perspective

“Travel doesn’t become adventure until you leave yourself behind” – Marty Rubin

When we travel we quickly move from being the majority to the minority. Therefore, to function in this new society, we need to place our values on the backburner in order to truly gain a new perspective on life. Whether it’s an unfamiliar religion or a new way of dress, each culture’s history has uniquely shaped their current belief system. Traveling is not about replacing our current belief system with theirs, but it is instead about collecting new perspectives on life that make our own more universal and whole.

4. To be appreciative of what we had all along

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving” – Lao Tzu

When we travel we come across people who are much less fortunate than ourselves. Maybe you meet someone who did not have a fair chance at success due to his or her country’s education system. Or it is very possible that you will come across individuals struggling to bike to and from work each day because they cannot afford a motor vehicle, or even a place to call home.

When we arrive home from our trip, our journey comes full circle. We realize that maybe our troubles weren’t so bad all along.

If we come home from our trip with a greater knowledge of how to actually live life each day, instead of watching it pass by, then travel has done its job. It has performed its lesson that no other teacher can teach.

“If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.” Elizabeth Gilbert

Author Bio: Samantha Kofsky has definitely been bit by the travel bug and has no desire of getting rid of the symptoms. Ever since she studied English and world religions abroad at Regent’s University London, her life just hasn’t been the same. Since her semester abroad she has spent time in twenty-two countries and believes that the world is the greatest classroom. Whether she is traveling by plane, car, or boat, Samantha has the urge to travel to new places in order to learn about new cultures, to experience new ways of living, and to learn how to live in the moment, which she believes travel teaches best.




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