“5 things travel taught me about myself” is a new series on The Yogi Wanderer featuring travelers from around the world sharing their personal insights and self-discovery lessons from a life of wandering and/or living abroad. Today Maria Lewis, from the site Travel Bliss, shares a bit of her story with us.
I would like to thank Vanda for starting this awesome series, and giving me a chance to provide my own personal insight of how traveling has made me evolve as a person and taught me a lot of things.
Let me quickly introduce myself: I am Maria Lewis, from Travel Bliss, and have recently started traveling. I am a part-time traveler and make it a point to travel to a different country every year.
My favorite part about travelling is searching, exploring and going on the unexplored path, and finding out my way, things, and places for myself. This process of finding out the unknown in a completely new destination gives me a thrill and a sense of fulfillment.
Through my blog, I am able to document my travels and share my personal experience, and in turn learn from others.
In keeping with Vanda’s series, I would like to share with you 5 things travel taught me about myself, and still continues to teach me:
#1 I became independent and a prompt decision-maker
During my solo travel experience, travel has taught me to be independent, in the sense that I have begun to take decisions and act independently.
For instance, if plan A fails, I automatically come up with an alternative plan B to salvage the situation. At such a time, I have no choice, but to take stock of the situation in its complete perspective, and act.
Once I missed my connecting flight from Istanbul to Mumbai, due to a technical glitch in the flight from London to Istanbul. As a result, I had to stay put at Istanbul airport for 22 hours, as the next flight to Mumbai was only after 24 hours.
I did not panic. I realized that I had no choice. I had landed in Istanbul late in the night and would need to take a transit visa, to get out of the airport. I didn’t want to risk stepping out in the night with no clue where to stay.
Scary as it may seem, I made a decision to stay put at the airport, as that way I would be aware of the happenings at the airport. I was able to make a couple of friends from Africa and Bangladesh in the resting room at the airport.
It was an experience that made me calm and composed. It was an experience that taught me not to panic and act calmly in a trying situation.
#2 I realized nothing in life is permanent
Travel has taught me that we are just pilgrims, journeying through this life and world. Whatever difficult situation I may face in life, I always remember the phrase “This too will pass”, and wait for that phase to pass and move on to the next.
When we die, we will not have anything to call our own. All that we own, all that we possess will be gone in a jiffy. We are just nomads in this world, so let us enjoy every moment of our lives. We must strive to live our life, before we die, and not just exist.
Nothing is permanent in this world, so all the more I will strive to make my life more meaningful and purposeful. I will not take life for granted. I will respect life and all that it holds.
#3 I’m more compassionate, kind and tolerant
Travel has taught me that life is too short to be wasted in holding grudges and holding on to pain. It has taught me to forgive and move on in life. When we no longer take any person or situation in our life for granted, life is automatically very beautiful.
When travelling around the world, and encountering various situations, people and circumstances, I realized the importance of “Live and Let Live”. When sharing rooms with friends or strangers, I have realized that I cannot expect others to behave or do things my way. I have learnt to be more accommodating and tolerant in such times.
Traveling has also taught me to be appreciative of others customs and traditions.
#4 I learnt how to save and spend wisely
Ever since I got the wanderlust, I have been trying to find ways and means to make more money, so that I can use that money to travel. When I realized that I was not able to make additional money for my travels, I decided to cut-down on my unwanted expenses, and the money saved went into creating a fund for my travels.
Travel has taught me to prioritize my expenses and save accordingly. I have cut-down on my shopping for dresses, because I found that I was keener to spend this money on travel.
Travel gives me a thrill and a sense of achievement and fulfillment that none of the dresses in the world can give me.
#5 I always return a new person
Every time I have traveled, I have returned a new person.
Travel has changed my whole outlook towards life. Travel has made me evolve as a person, continues to inspire me, and keeps me awestruck. The more I travel, the more I yearn to see the beautiful creation of God.
To many people back home, it may seem that I am blowing up my hard earned money on my yearly trips abroad, but, for me, traveling the world is a treasure trove of knowledge that no school on earth can teach.
Travel has taught me to break all my barriers. Travel has helped me to come out of my comfort zone, to no longer remain complacent, and to see the world in all its beauty and splendor.
That is how I am following my bliss.
Image credits: Maria Lewis
What’s the best self-discovery lesson traveling has taught you? Share in the comments section below.
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