14 things I’ve learned while travelling

“Travel is still the most intense mode of learning” Kevin Kelly

  1. Friends aren’t rare to find:

No matter where you go in the world, you will meet people. In the last 18 months, I’ve traveled a lot of Australia and I’ve made a lot of friends. You learn while travelling that there are different types of friends, some are just for a day, some are friends for a certain part of your travelling experience, and others you know you will keep for a long time. I have fond memories of all of the people I’ve met along the way, no matter how long I was friends with them for, because they’re now a part of my travels.

2. Being small has never been so convenient:

I’m a bit on the vertically challenged side, but it’s definitely been handy on a lot of occasions. For instance, overnight coach journeys. I can sleep horizontally across two seats if I need to … need I say more?

3. It’s not a holiday:

My photos may look like I’m on holiday, and sometimes it may feel like I’m on holiday, but the reality is I’m not. I don’t have an endless amount of money in the bank (I wish I did!) so I do have to work a lot in order to travel more. On more than one occasion I’ve had to remind myself to calm the f*&! down when I’m getting close to $0 in my account, because money really doesn’t grow on trees (I’m starting to use phrases that my parents use too).

4. I can still live like a student:

I don’t mean going out every single night … I’ve proved to myself that I definitely CANT do that anymore… but I mean generally living like a student. I’ve lived in more than my fair share of dumps, aka hostels, I’ve resorted back to noodles or peanut butter and jam sandwiches when I can’t afford nutritious food …. I even got to the point where I couldn’t afford to pay to rent cutlery and crockery from a hostel and I ended up having to buy plastic stuff from the supermarket.

5. Everywhere I go, there are Instagram-worthy photos:

Whether it’s a beautiful beach, a building, an event, or even a train station … the photographs you get while travelling are sometimes breathtaking. I’m not a first class photographer, but some photos I’ve captured I would happily pay for.

6. Dating doesn’t get easier:

You’d think that travelling would make it easier to date; you can be whoever you want to be, you’re constantly meeting people, tinder follows you everywhere … but it’s actually just as hard travelling as it is back at home. Maybe harder. I always ask myself the question, is there a point in trying to meet someone out here, because I’m going to leave at some point, they might not be travelers, they might not want to do what I want to do, so why bother? Or I meet great people, but I end up spending so much time with them, that they just become friends and I don’t see them as anything else. I guess dating is never easy though is it? When I meet the right person, I meet the right person … don’t get me wrong, I definitely want to meet someone, but I’m not in as much of a rush as I once was.

7. Free WiFi is one of the best things in the world:

When looking for places to stay, one of the first things you look for is free WiFi … because it is bloody expensive otherwise. I’ve definitely gone to McDonald’s to face time my friends before, no shame.

8. My independence at University was nothing compared to my independence in another country:

At University I was washing my own clothes, and paying bills. Out here, I’m stretching money much further than I ever have, and I’m managing to transport myself from one place I’ve never been to before, to another place I’ve never been to before, and then living there.

9. It never goes according to plan:

If you want to be spontaneous, you can’t have a plan. If you want to know what general direction you want to go in, you need a plan. You have to find a happy medium, where you can veer off if you fancy dropping in to somewhere you haven’t heard of before, but also have a backup plan if things go wrong. And no matter what, even your back up plan won’t go to plan. It’s just a part of travelling.

10. Job hunting is hard work:

Unless you’re happy with a call centre job or a fundraising job, it’s pretty hard to find work. Employers look at travelers like unreliable employees that could drop them at any second, which sometimes we are. I’ve done it. You can go weeks or even months before you find something, and it might not be something you even want to do at the end. But at the end of the day, a job’s a job, & it’s money to keep your travelling dream alive.

11. I will never stop pinching myself:

I honestly keep forgetting how far I’ve come, and where I actually am in the world. I get those moments sometimes, I can be anywhere … on the train, or sitting on a beach and I’ll just be like … I’m actually here, living in Australia. I still can’t believe it.

12. The travel bug is real:

I can feel it. I’ve only traveled to different parts of Australia, but I already know I want to travel so much more. I want to backpack Europe, I want to travel America, Canada, South East Asia, New Zealand … the whole world.

13. A good book makes a great travel companion:

I love reading, I always have. Sometimes I’ve spent whole days lying on a beach or in a hammock engrossed in a good book. I’ve read more books here than I have in my entire life … books kept me company when I was feeling lonely in the outback, or when I had ridiculously long journeys across the country. And one of the best things about travelling is that you can always find a library nearby, or even better, a book swap cafe where you don’t need to spend any money to get a great read.

But the main thing I’ve learned (number 14 on my list) – and I’ll never stop telling people this – is that travelling is the most important thing that you can do, you learn so much more from travelling than you do in a classroom. And it’s true what they say, travelling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

image

Drinking & chatting on a little island in the middle of the Whitsundays

 

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