What Traveling Has Taught Me

What Travel has Taught Me

Throughout the years I have been on several adventures and through it all, I have had some up’s and down’s and learned a lot. So I thought I could share with you five important lessons on what traveling has taught me.

It doesn’t matter what others think of you…

Go out, get drunk, skinny dip, be loud, do whatever you see fit! No, you don’t want to be an obnoxious tourist, but you also don’t want to shy away from things just because you are worried what other people may think of you.

You’re on an adventure! Don’t let your insecurities hold you back because if we were all being honest, we never care about what others around us are doing. We’re more concerned about if they’re judging us. I am nobody special, believe me, but I cannot tell you how many times I’ve shied away from things because I was afraid people around me would judge. It has taken me some time to realize I am not important to them. And if I do make a fool out of myself, at least I was giving them some entertainment!

Just go, be on your adventure, only care about having fun.

Don’t let only the big cities draw you in…

I think everyone is guilty of this. I even use to be guilty of this! But please go off the beaten path! The moment someone catches the travel bug and decides they’re going to go on an adventure, they start researching the big name cities; Paris, NYC, Sydney, Rome, and London (to name a few). And while these are all great destinations, sometimes you’re only drawn there by the bright lights.

If I could give you any advice, I’d tell you to search for those smaller towns; I promise that they have just as much to offer. After years of traveling, and everything I’ve seen, I am no longer a traveler for the glitz and glam of a big city. I myself love Paris, but I cherish and adore, Strasbourg.
Rome was fantastic, but I liked Naples just as much… if not a little more. Yes, the city is dirty, no they haven’t adapted to tourist, and when you try to talk to them in English they will bat their eyes at you and speak very slowly in Italian. You will find crazier drivers there than anywhere else in Italy, and the streets are lined with graffiti. But you know what? That’s the true character of their city. They bare it all for you and don’t care what you think!

Be as flexible as possible…

This is something I am still trying to teach my husband. Just so you know, he hasn’t made any progress!

Aside from him I also struggle with flexibility. I am the “perfect” mixture of a stubborn and control freak. I am the girl who wants what she wants when she wants it (are you still following me? That was a bit of a tongue twister).But that’s what happens when you’re a go-getter who’s fiercely independent, or that’s what happens when you’re self-centered. For me, planning a trip is absolutely thrilling! I get out my laptop and spend hours, days, weeks, and months searching for a perfect destination, new adventures, and flight deals.

I’ll have the perfect trip planned, but then life happens. Edward will say that a trip at the moment just isn’t realistic. He can’t get himself away from the office right now. Hearing this always outrages me! Why is his job pinning me down? How could he choose work over an adventure? I eventually calm down and remember that his job helps fund these wonderful adventures we go on. I then always realize that waiting an extra two months for our adventure isn’t the end of the world!Other times I will get a specific destination in mind, but the prices just aren’t realistic at the moment and I have to put that dream on the back burner. Yes, I wanted to spend an all inclusive week in Fiji. No, I don’t want to come home and find out we’ve been evicted because I’ve spent all our money and we can’t pay the bills. Bottom line, just chill out and go with the flow!

Be willing to get out of your comfort zone…

You really only live once! It’s always scary to push your boundaries, but I promise that if you do you’ll discover a lot about yourself!

Years ago, the thought of being in a foreign country away from everyone I knew would have frightened me, but then I got out of my head. I realized the world had so much more to offer than what was outside my front door. There were so many people I could meet and I couldn’t use shyness as a crutch for the rest of my life. The second I pushed myself was when I really started living.

Don’t let anyone dictate your life or your travels…

Don’t: let relationships overtake your life.
Don’t: settle for someone who doesn’t have the same passions as you.
Don’t: let your parent’s guilt trip you for having your own life.
Don’t: let anyone tell you your dreams of travel are stupid, or for that matter that any of your dreams are stupid!
Do: find friends and a significant other who have the same passions as you!
Do: whatever you need to follow those passion!
Do: spend time on those trips trying to figure out who you are.

 

Travel has a way of turning you into a new person. It has a way of enriching your life! So get out there and adventure! What has traveling taught you?

Comments

Ashley Espinoza

I love what you say about not letting your parents guilt trip you into not going. My mom does that a lot. And not just about trips but about everything I do with or without my family. But I just brush it off and do it anyway.

Valerie Earnest

Great thoughts! I would love to travel more but the few times I have have been amazing!

Shane Prather

Love this! Especially the last point. Traveling is the time to be “selfish”!

    Alexandria

    Thanks! Traveling is about experiences, it’s a time to be selfish and and have all the necessary experiences to enrich your life.

Nathana Clay

Traveling has taught me so much about other cultures, even subcultures here in America. I have also learned that when traveling to balance “soaking it all in” and “seeing it all” because sometimes sipping coffee in a little local coffee shop can be far more interesting than seeing every museum and tourist trap!

    Alexandria

    That is so true and it took me a long time to realize the same thing. On my last international trip I found myself spending less time at tourist traps and more time walking around discovering the cities.

Rachel G

I think flexibility is definitely something that is taught through travel. I’m not a naturally ‘flexible’ person…I like plans, but in recent years, I’ve found contentment in being laid back and appreciating what happens!

    Alexandria

    I am the same. Edward had to teach me to calm down, which wasn’t an easy thing at all. But we’re both learning!

Maegan Dockery

I absolutely love to travel and have been blessed to go on some awesome adventures! I still have so many other places I’d like to see, and I love this post so much!! Thanks for sharing!

    Alexandria

    You’re welcome! What is the best adventure that you have been on?

      Maegan Dockery

      I studied abroad in Ireland, Scotland, and England in college, and that was just such a blast. I saw places I never thought I’d get to visit and had experiences that I will treasure forever. I would LOVE to go back to Europe soon!

        Alexandria

        I also studied abroad and traveled throughout Europe (focusing on France, Germany, and Belgium). Hopefully you’ll find your way back one day.

Chelsea

YES!!!!! I actually wrote a blog post about this exact thing!! 10 Best Lessons Traveling Taught Me…I believe we have a similar list!! http://inspirationindulgence.com/2015/03/31/10-best-lessons-traveling-taught-me/

Leslie Sleigh

Found your blog today via Peony, and I’m glad! I have always loved travel but haven’t done it as much as I would’ve liked. (My hubby did just get me a 3-month subscription to Escape Monthly, though, so I’m excited to experience it like that!) Looking forward to seeing your travels.

    Alexandria

    I am so excited you found your way here! It can sometimes be hard to travel, I love having subscriptions to help get me excited. I am subscribed to National geographic travels. They send you booklets on all kinds of trip you can take with them around the world. They even have some very reasonable prices.

Roots and Wings Family Travel

I think I’ve found another long-lost-sister!

I also feel like the smaller cities often have much more to offer, plus you are likely to have a more personal experience with the locals! We just visited Italy last year and similar to you, Rome was amazing for its history but we absolutely LOVED Florence. It was smaller, more intimate, and easier to get around.

I am also a major planner (although I can go with the flow as well). I think that I don’t mind plans changing because that means I get to make another plan! I don’t know if y’all have kids, but I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old and changing plans is really our reality when we travel with them now. Don’t let having children stop you from traveling! We’ve taken our kids to Ireland and Italy so far. They really open your eyes and make you slow down – which is great when in a new country. You can see things happening around you more than when you were rushing from museum to monument BK (before kids). Kids also make it more economical to stay in local apartments rather than in hotels…just another reason to fit in with the locals.

Enjoy your travels! Where are y’all planning to move in 2016?

    Alexandria

    Well Hello! Smaller cities give you a homey feel and you do get to meet the sweetest people I agree with all of that. I haven’t had the chance to make it Florence but I had Naples. We do not have kids but I would have to say my husband has the mentality of a 5 year old and does not like change. But when we have children we really want to take them around the world. We have even contemplated having them abroad.

    We are looking at various places, in reality we have to go where our jobs take up, but we would like to find ourselves in Germany!

Rachel G

I definitely enjoy visiting small, random cities and places–I just posted about our big adventure on our Hong Kong trip, which was visiting an island that I’ve never seen listed on any of the big “What to do in Hong Kong” lists. Sometimes those obscure things can be the coolest, but they’re hard to find.

    Alexandria

    Me too! They are so quaint! I read that article, it was wonderful! We’ve found some really interesting things before by just getting lost on our travels.

Kelly Marie

As an expat in tanzania I loved this post! I’ve met so many awesome people while living here, whether expat or just passing through. So many people always put travel on their “I wish” list when reality is that it’s totally possible!

    Alexandria

    I’m honored you enjoyed it! It really is possible, you just have to make it a priority!

Bailey

I love traveling! I traveled by myself for the first time 2 years ago, and it was such a great experience.

    Alexandria

    That’s awesome! I’m sure that was an amazing experience!

Cindy

I love traveling, these are great advice. I agree sometimes its better to go off the beaten path. I often do this and find the most amazing adventure.

    Alexandria

    Thank you! I really think it is, you get to see so much more or what I would consider the true city.

Henar

These are so important things to remember not only while travelling but in life in general! But sometimes may be hard to keep them in mind. Which brings me to one more thing I’d add to your list. Remember to stop and enjoy life. It’s always easy to get lost in the busy coming and goings of our times but sometimes we have to stop or we’ll miss the details, and those make all the difference 🙂 Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Alexandria

    First off my love, I am so sorry for taking forever to respond- I took a little summer break. Second, you are right, they are important things to remember for your daily life. Strangely enough i get in my own way more on a day to day basis than travel, I should really work on that. I didn’t even think to add stop and enjoy life.. I find I enjoy a lot of things after they’ve already happened. Should work on that as well. I hope you’re having a fantastic summer!

      Henar

      I’m sorry too for the ages late response to your response! See you took your own advice…a summer break 🙂

seekthemysteries

I confess, I always worry about what people think of me and it’s stopped me countless times from doing something I wanted to. I’m learning though and trying to overcome this. Before I began travelling, I let all my silly worries prevent me from going anywhere but now I try and push myself out of my comfort zone. Again, I’m improving but I’ve still got a long way to go! X

mikkel

Great post! I agree – I love smaller towns. And don’t let any relationship – with a partner, friends or parents, hold you back!

Sydney

What a great post! I have yet to travel ouTside of the country but i will definitely rememebr to explore those “un-TOURISTY” loCations.thank you for sharing the lessons you’ve learned. P.s. Your site is beaUtiful!

Tilley Hanson

These are amazing tips! Pinning this for my next trip because life is short and we gotta make the best of travels!

Amy

Ahhh Flexibility the thing I am learning more and more about after each and every vacation!
Great list lady!

Allie

“we never care about what others around us are doing. We’re more concerned about if they’re judging us.” – I love this! That’s so true and such a good reminder. I think i’ve most learned from traveling that i’m more confident than I think I can be! It makes me nervous to strike up conversations, ask for directions or try someplace new, but it’s always worth it and knowing I’ve done it before makes me confident the next time, too. 🙂

Samantha | The Life You Love Blog

Yes yes and yes! I always find that smaller cities and towns have so much charm that you miss if you only go to big cities.

Maegan Clark

I LOVE traveling so much! all of these things are so true.

Abi

I’ve often said that ‘there’s a reason it’s a tourist spot” – there’s something special to see or do and you shouldn’t be ashamed or even care that someone calls you a tourist!

And flexible…. yes! Not how I’m wired but so true. I do have an easier time being FLEXIBLE though when I’m more outdoor exploring than city exploring.

Allison

I love these! I need to travel more!

tori

The last lesson is so important! I remember in high school i went to germany for 3 weeks on an exchange program, and spent the whole time trying to find wifi to talk to my high school boyfriend. we broke up a couple months later too. it’s one of my biggest regrets!

tori

rachel

so well-said, girl! obviously the big cities have the most going on and are the most talked about, but i totally agree about spending more time off the beaten path in smaller places. something i really want to work on doing more of!

Cameron - Diary of a Southern Millennial

Love this! I definitely prefer to visit those small towns, and traveling can teach you so much about yourself!

Anna

YES to all of these! My traveling experiences have definitely shaped my life, and I like that you mentioned that it’s not all about the big cities!

Christina @ Hugs and Lattes

my husband and i have spent so much of our first year traveling. It’s been eye opening and amazing to see how traveling pushes us to go outside of our comfort zones. I love learning more about each other, myself, and hte world through traveling.

Elizabeth Mayberry

Yes! i used to be more AFRAID to take my camera out and take pictures in public, but you know what? I had to stop caring! I wanted those photos and really other people didn’t care. Even if they stop to ask they are excited and kind not rude! haha. Also doing what you love and are passionate about it worth it every time!

the southern thing

I really like how you mentioned to get out of your comfort zone. those types of adventures always seem to bring the best MEMORIES!

Grace

Definitely looking up to you in terms of traveling. love that you said to try to explore outside of the big cities, you can really find some cities!

Chelsea Godfrey

Oh how I want to travel often!My husband is currently in an MBA program and we have so many plans to travel. First on our list is Italy. You are so right about the smaller towns and areas tucked away. Love your thoughts on traveling.

Susannah

I ABSOLUTELY love this! Travel is AMAZING and I learn so much about the world (obviously) and myself when I travel! <3

Jordyn Sifferman

Love your point about visiting smaller (and lesser known areas) as well. This summer I visited a smaller town in the alps and found it so much more charming than the big city.

Erica @ Coming up Roses

We can learn so much by getting out the comfort of our home and explore different towns/cities. Lovelovelove all these lessons, especially exploring some of the smaller cities in addition to the big ones. They have just as much to offer and are so beautiful!

Trecee Hutchinson

traveling has definitely help me get out of my comfort zone. I also agree with dos and don’ts. You have to surround yourself with people who have the same passions.

Nicole Flint

I love TRAVELING! I have been so blessed to be able to travel alone, with friends and family! Great post.

the sophia diaries

these are amazing lessons to learn FOR sure!!! Especially the part about not letting anyone dictate the way you want to travel!

Amanda

All of these are so good and insightful, especially on being flexible. I feel like most of us try to plan out every little thing for our trips– its fun to have a little spontaneity in there and try other things that you didn’t necessarily plan for,

Sydney Power

Great post!! i really like your perspective in life. Let’s enjoy our life in traveling, because life is short. so we must enjoy it.

Jiawun | Beauty Nerd By Night

Great post, Alexandria! My boyfriend and I love travelling too! I’m guilty of wanting to visit cities, but an Adventurous holiday sounds amazing too!

Paige

Love this advice! I travel a lot for work (not voluntary adventures, but adventures nonetheless) and it’s taught me a lot about myself and about what i can and can’t handle! It’s been so enlightening.

xoxo, Paige
http://www.thedailypaigeblog.com

Macarena Ferreira

I love this post! I agree with the part about the big citiie. I always fall in love with the quaint little towns!

xo // http://www.thematerialgirl.co

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