World Teachers’ Day: 7 Travel Lessons That Will Make You A Wanderer And Wiser
Travel is more than just a journey between destinations. It is a journey with yourself, into yourself, for only travel will bring out aspects of you that are otherwise buried deep between the rigors of daily life. Travel is known to change people because it is only when you step out of your comfort zone that you put whatever you have read or learnt about the world, into practise. How do you deal with situations that you have never experienced before? Can you carry an interesting conversation with someone who does not speak your language? If you are travelling solo for the first time, or are a solo woman traveller, how do you know whom to trust or not.
Whatever the destination you visit, whichever mode of transportation you travel, whomever you travel with – whether it is in a group, with family, or alone - travel teaches us important lessons. The question is, how much are you willing to learn?
Just as everything in life needs a plan to be successful, so does travel, especially if you have a limited duration and budget. Here is where you will learn the importance of prioritisation. When you land at a new place, everything seems interesting and you want to make sure you do not miss out on anything. The best way to do this is by preparing a daily itinerary that includes sightseeing, local travel, food allowance and nearby attractions. This way, you’ll be able to stretch both your time and your money and not miss out on the things you want to do the most.
The world is kind to tourists. Solo travellers, especially, are always on the lookout for human interaction and will always be willing to share insights about the place. Similarly, locals are as eager to learn about the world as you are about their destination. This way, you’ll be able to find places, restaurants and experiences that are off the beaten track and not included in typical guide books or websites. And new and different experiences mean interesting stories to share with family and friends back home.
Remember all those boring history lessons in school? Seeing them come alive in front of you and standing on the same spot where major events or revolutions have taken place is a whole new feeling. By visiting prominent sites and museums, you can get a first-hand insight into a place which will only enrich your understanding even further.
In your hometown, you know how things work. But in a different city or country, it can be challenging. Whether it’s asking for directions in a different language, exchanging money at the bank, or dealing with local authorities or regulations, things may be difficult or time-consuming but dealing with them in a cool manner is what will teach you how to be more patient.
While we spoke about the importance of planning, travel does not mean ticking off a checklist. To truly grasp the soul of the place, it is equally important to live in the moment. Set your camera aside, put the itinerary in your pocket, find a quiet corner, and immerse yourself in your surroundings. You never know what secrets it might whisper in your ear.
At home, we are all in our comfort zone, especially with our food culture. But stepping out opens a whole new world to us. Rather than be intimated or scared by the thought, change the perception and open yourself to new culinary experiences. Certain tastes and flavours might seem alien at first but there is every chance that you may grow to enjoy them later. And even if you don’t, seek other cuisines that are closer to home. They may not be the best option but at least you won’t go hungry and you can boast about being experimental with your food.
The one rule you must never compromise on when you travel, is safety. No matter how friendly a place or a local, if something does not seem right, follow your instinct. Strangely enough, when we travel, our instincts become sharper and we watch for clues that we would’ve otherwise ignored. Also, make sure that the place where you’re staying or people back home are always aware of your whereabouts.
These are just a few lessons that travel teaches us. How about embarking on your own journey and sharing some of yours with us?
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