Lessons I’ve learned from travel

Several weeks ago, I invited a group of travel bloggers and world travellers to describe the most important thing that travel has taught them. The result was a post, published last week, composed of little pearls of wisdom that will hopefully inspire people to travel and experience this grand world we live in. The success of this post spurred me to publish a Part 2 with more insights from other travel bloggers. Read their stories. And be inspired! 🙂

Beverly Gallagher, Nomadic Narrative, @nomadictweets10
Travel has taught me empathy. By experiencing the many different ways people interpret what it means to be human, I’ve been able to reflect on and shape my own vision of life. I’ve learned that there are multiple ways of being in the world, and that we are all struggling to survive. In this struggle, I’ve noticed there are far more people eager to lend a helping hand than to cut one off. Kindness can prevail. These revelations have helped me become a more tolerant and compassionate person. Humanity is one; and we all share a delicate planet.

Jeff Jung, Career Break Secrets, @careerbrksecret45
One of the most important things I’ve learned traveling is to SLOW DOWN. Every time I rush to see a big list I have in my head, I rarely enjoy the travel experience. I’ve learned that seeing less is more: more depth of experience, more connections, and more conversations with the people around you. The best example in my travels was in Turkey. I had many cups of apple tea around the country. I still saw what I came to see but I left with a great connection to the country. And, when I think back about that trip, it’s those chats over tea and the people I remember most.

Abigail King, Inside The Travel Lab, @insidetravellab51
Travel has taught me:

  • That there is more to see and do than can ever be seen or done in a lifetime
  • That humanity knows no limits when it comes to creating food, shelter, dance and drink, yet seems constrained by the snow globe when it comes to souvenirs
  • That a little courtesy and kindness goes a very long way
  • That carrying toilet paper is a good idea
  • That it’s not for everyone
  • That it’s definitely for me

Gwen McCauley, Algarve Experiences, @gwenmccauley41
Travel has taught me to not be blinded by the obvious, to explore and discover the rich life behind and beside famous sites, to turn around and see what delights are available in another direction.

Beauty and interesting people exist profusely in off-the-beaten-track and less known places. They are alive and vibrant, not relics frozen in time. Crowds, high prices and congestion are less likely this way and I am seldom disappointed. I experience beauty and delight that many others never notice, having learned to not be seduced by the obvious. Life feels much richer because I’ve learned this invaluable lesson.

Arwa Lokhandwala, Orange Splaash, @arwalokhandwala26
Travel has taught me to Learn, Unlearn and Relearn. In other words, do away with prejudices, be ready to think and feel with an open mind.

Nico Crisafulli, AirTreks, @AirTreks52
They had a group of huts built around a central cooking pit, a pot of food steaming over an open fire with a small group of folks enjoying what was probably a daily routine: one kitchen, five families, just before dinnertime. I couldn’t help but notice how content they looked. Kids playing and running around, adults laughing and patting the cow on its behind.

I think of that scene when I’m at home in my fancy kitchen with my coffeemaker and Frigidaire, I awe at the fact that I need such things. Those folks that day were enjoying the richness of their life right in the face of their scarcity, showing me just how absurd it is to need such things.

Peggy Coonley, Serendipity Traveler, @peggycoonley15
The most important lesson traveling has taught me is to follow serendipity while trusting God’s grace. I have learned to let go of expectations whilst welcoming the purity of the unexpected; confident that there are no coincidences in God’s incomprehensible plan.

On life’s journeys, my most cherished moments tend to be spontaneous and spiritual. Travel provides endless opportunities to acquire indelible impressions to hold in my heart. Traveling in the present moment, savouring smiles around the world, inhaling distinctive aromas, listening to the world’s music, experiencing native art, and tasting a kaleidoscope of cuisines affords experiencing the essence and goodwill of humankind everywhere.

What travel has taught me

Two years ago, I embarked on a five-month round-the-world trip. The lessons I learned during that trip had a profound impact on myself and my outlook on life. When I returned home, I knew my life wouldn’t be the same again. I wrote an ebook called “Travelations: The Trip That Opened My Eyes” as a reminder to myself of these lessons and, hopefully, as a source of inspiration to others.

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8 Responses to “Lessons I’ve learned from travel”

  1. Helen 23/11/2010 5:41 pm
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    Gorgeous post! I agree about slowing down…it’s so easy to get caught up in what you feel you have to see; without slowing down to see where you actually are.

  2. LeslieTravel 21/11/2010 3:56 pm
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    Great post! It’s interesting to hear what other travelers value about the experience. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Alexane 21/11/2010 3:24 pm
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    Thank you for this heartfelt, in depth, and inspiring post from a variety of life experiences. I’m currently feeling these emotions as a beginning traveler and learning these important values as I go about. Looking forward to checking back for more and definitely reading eceryone’s sites.

  4. retrotraveller 20/11/2010 12:41 pm
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    Nice article and some great insights from seasoned travellers – particularly from @insidetravellab … in particular… never forget to carry emergency toilet paper!!

  5. Sarah Wu 20/11/2010 7:31 am
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    Great inspiring posts. Nice put together.

  6. velvet 19/11/2010 11:43 am
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    Thanks Marsha. Glad you like the post! Have a lovely Friday & a fab weekend!

    Cheers,
    Keith

  7. Marsha 19/11/2010 11:16 am
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    Great list of insights and a few new travel bloggers to follow. Thanks for the list, Keith!

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    […] of Velvet Escape, some inspiring thoughts by seasoned travelers about lessons learned while traveling. My favorite?  “…humanity knows no […]

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