The first time I handed my passport over to the border security official I never even fathomed how significantly I would change as a person. I mean, yea sure people are always changing in good ways every single day. And I knew as I grew older I would change, and hopefully for the better.
But little did I know that travel would teach me the most important life lessons that most people will never even know. Not only that, but at a rate much more rapid than those who are less likely to gallivant globally.
On a solo hike along the Great Wall, taking a break before sun down
From my earlier years I spent about 12 years in mandatory education, after which 10 years of self-education followed, with 6 of those years being from travel. Now I can confidently say that backpacking helped me to have the best education I will ever have, and the best part about it is, it’s a continuous thing I can and want to invest in as much as possible. It’s a certain type of education where each and every place I go I learn something new and generally it’s always fun!
I say this because you do also on the occasion learn things that are a little tougher to comprehend. Like about world wars, the un-developed countries, along with their problems and struggles, or how unfair a lot of places are in the world for how in-humane people and governments treat their own.
These kids around the block when I was living in Dahab, Egypt
However this is a vital type of education I believe we should all have as it helps us to understand why the world is the way it is today. Instead of turning a blind eye to it all by getting entrenched with micro managing our lives between the extravagant amount of meaningless distractions like TV, Social Media and video games to name a minuscule select few.
Not that I don’t like to relax watching a decent movie every so often because we all need our down time. Although doing this on the reg is when you create a bad habit of burning valuable time, time in your life you will never get back!
But what I am saying is, travelling will change your life in ways that your wildest sub conscious state wouldn’t even be able to conjure up through your dreams. It will guide you into a mind frame where your opinion on the world will be dramatically changed for the better. This type of education that you will learn, is something that will allow you to appreciate even the tiniest of things in day-to-day life.
One of my mates way back in 2010 who invited my on a trip to Central America, chilling in Utila, Honduras
What was most alarming for me though, was noticing people every time I come back home and what they hold valuable and invaluable. What matters to them most and what doesn’t. Which really worried me when I discovered my feelings, beliefs and desires were almost completely opposite to most. And I know it’s not that they have changed, but more so I have myself. Which is the case every time I go away. I tend to learn more lessons, accumulate different insights and come back home all to realise what really is most important in life.
I realized that it wasn’t about having fancy crap like a good car, nice clothes, a reputable job that allows me some sort of stature or even something a simple as exercising to look physically attractive. I noticed that the people who care about all those sorts of things are the same type of people who will put you down and judge you for not having any of it anyway.
In Petra, Jordan taking it all in
What backpacking helped me to learn was that I don’t need a nice car, expensive clothes a job that is reputable or to look physically fit to attract the opposite sex and have more friends. Because to be honest that is not going to make me happy, sure It may make some people happy, but does it really?
This is a question I want to ask you to answer honestly. Have you travelled, and how has it shaped you as a person? What would you say is the most valuable thing you have learnt from travelling?