11 Life-Changing Experiences You Only Get From Travelling
Travel changes you. It’s a clichéd line, sure, but definitely true.
When travelling, you’re given the opportunity to experience something and meet someone new every time you step outside your guesthouse. You’ll do things that make your heart sing, and could end up re-defining what makes you happy.
Here are just 11 ways in which travelling will change your life:
1. You’ll surprise yourself.
Don’t think you could possibly kayak down a river in full flow, help someone in abject poverty, or spend three nights camping in a rainforest? Of course you can!
Get out of your comfort zone and scare yourself a little – you’ll be rewarded with incredible experiences. Say yes!
2. You’ll enjoy sharing your showers.
Geckos are all over Asia and love to hang out in the shower. They cling silently to the wall, unblinkingly staring at your junk / hump / lovely lady lumps. Unnerving at first, but pretty cute after a while.
3. You’ll be able to make friends with anyone, anywhere…
Travellers are a friendly bunch who want to make friends with people from all over the world. That means they’re all interested in meeting you.
Yep, they really do want to hear all about the time you taught that Indian desert guide how to make mango chutney! Don’t be afraid, just say hello – it could be a lifelong friend in the making.
4. And feel comfortable ditching the losers.
Sadly, exceptions exist. Some people say you aren’t a real traveller if you don’t wear fisherman pants, visit all the temples in Thailand, or if you like to dive into McDonald’s to gorge on comfort food occasionally.
They can be equally dismissive whether you want to party every night, or never want to drink another whiskey bucket again in your life. Such individuals aren’t worth your time – it’s your trip, not theirs, so travel exactly how you want to.
5. You’ll see insects as food.
Fried scorpion on a stick? A bag of crispy cicadas? A handful of worm-things, moreishly crunchy on the outside and disgustingly bitter and marshmallow-ey on the inside? You’ll get plenty of opportunities to eat crawly things in Asia.
6. You’ll need less stuff.
Living out of a backpack for a few months will open your eyes to how much stuff you have at home, and how much of it is somewhat unnecessary. After spending some time on the road you won’t even miss it!
7. You’ll be assured that people are good eggs.
If you stay safe and sensible, you’ll find that most people are genuinely friendly. Be cautious rather than mistrustful and you’ll be much more likely to form meaningful friendships abroad.
8. You’ll discover the magic of buckets.
Buckets aren’t just for soil, sand and clearing up after a messy night out. They can be the catalyst for a messy night, too. In Asia, whiskey, beer and even mojitos come in buckets. Enjoy.
9. You’ll be shocked by poverty.
When you’ve seen people struggling to find clean water or living on a mountainous rubbish pile, you’ll really appreciate living in a safe, warm house with clean water on and electricity.
10. You’ll see that modernisation is not the same as Westernisation.
Most countries in the world are modernising, but you should leave any ‘West is Best’ preconceptions behind. “This would never happen in England!” is a tired complaint.
Try to adapt to different cultures and have an open mind – who knows what you’ll learn.
11. You might discover a side of you that you never knew existed
You might get bitten by the travel bug, and the resulting travel fever could be life-changing. It may inspire you to swap 9-5 office toil for the excitement of long term travel – plenty of people do.
If nothing else you’ll return home with a heightened awareness of the world and yourself, which can only be a good thing.