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What is the biggest lesson you've learned from traveling?

We travel in order to explore ourselves and to find new ways of living life. We travel to penetrate the deepest feeling we can ever think of. Travel teaches us new lesson everytime we embark on a journey, so my question is, what is the biggest teaching you have gotten from traveling?

11 Answers

top answer by
Chiara from San Francisco

Traveling keeps your curiosity going. It's like going back to be children and see the world for the first time! At least that's the way I feel!

Visit my Travel Blog for more travel tips!

3 thanks

answered first by
Joanna from Oakland

Hard to say the biggest lessons, but here are some I've learned-

- It's the people, not necessarily the place, that make the experience. Good company can turn an empty room into your favorite travel destination. 

- Choose your travel partners wisely. It's your time and money, so make sure you enjoy yourself. 

- Know your travel style. Are you a "checklist" person who needs to see every single site? Or are you fine seeing 1 or 2 things while seeing what else the day brings. 

- Time is money. Know when to splurge and when not to. 

- Traveling opens us to different cultures and ways of life. But the more people I meet, the more I realize how similar we are really are. Languages, culture, and geography may separate us, but the human heart and condition binds us. 

3 thanks

answered by
John V from New York City

Culture Shock is Like an Adrenaline Sport

Most humans don’t actively seek the high of adrenaline coursing through their blood. As its a response to stress, increased heart rate, pulse rate, and blood pressure caused by fear, stimulation and or too much excitement – symptoms of culture shock. Symptoms that a select few find gratifying and thrilling like extreme sports enthusiasts. 

Because culture shock is a thrill ride.

Ever since I started to embrace the "shocks" of experiencing new cultures,  it has become the most intense learning, self improving and fascinating experiences in my travels.

2 thanks

answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

This is a great question! I'd say the biggest thing I've learned is that you've got to take a risk every now and then. Like all travelers, there have been sooooo many times when I wasn't sure if I should go to a certain place, go somewhere by myself, go at the spur of the moment, go when I didn't really have the money, go when people told me not to, etc., etc. Most of the time I went anyway and I can honestly say that even if the trips weren't spectacular or weren't what I thought they would be, I've never, ever regretted taking them. 

2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Brenda from Long Beach

Traveling is for the mind and soul what exercise and diet are for the body; a ticket to aging without fear! It's not about the destination...just jump and wait to be filled with joy and create memories you will replay for the rest of your life, especially when you go solo.

1 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Marybeth from Oregon

Be flexible....things don't always go as planned but the more you have a "go with the flow" kind of attitude the better your experience will be.  I would also suggest to try the most "local" things you can.  Some of our best experiences when traveling were meeting locals and eating where they eat and not the touristy areas.  We have even been invited into locals homes for meals and they are some of our favorite memories!

1 thanks

answered by
Arti from Mumbai

Great question and also a bit tricky as it's hard to figure out the 'biggest' of them all. But, still if I had to pick one I would go with - humility. Travel taught me to be humble and see myself (and the world) in a different perspective. Travel has helped peel layers of insulation I had piled while at home, off from my being and made me realize how infinitesimally small a being I am in the entire cosmos of life.

1 thanks

answered by
Kax from Barcelona

Be flexible - sometimes the things that you planned on doing won't happen (weather won't cooperate, you run out of money, etc), but if you let it, this can still open you up to better experiences. Just keep an open mind.

When in <insert place here> do as the <insert people here> - do what the locals do. eat what the locals eat. it's just more fun that way.

Engage in conversation - sometimes in random places, people will come up to you and just start a conversation. don't shy away from it. it's amazing how much you can learn from a random person sitting beside you while you're in a pub. 

I guess to sum it all up: Be open! To anything that could happen. :)

1 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Jae from Singapore

Travelling tends to strip away just enough of the stuff you find familiar that is around you, so that you can see yourself the way you really are a bit more easily. After the initial novelty of travelling to different places has worn off, you'll find that it's just YOU in another place.

But travelling is different for everyone- so this is just my opinion. The right answer to this question is the one you come up with after you've travelled.

answered by
Andy from San Francisco

The biggest lesson I learned was not to judge other people based on your own experiences and biases.

I saw a lot of foreigners ridicule and make fun of local customs because to them it was bizarre or strange. This happened most frequently with exotic foods. The typical reaction was "Ew! That's disgusting. I would never eat that!" But what they fail to realize is that if they grew up in that particular culture, eating the "exotic" food is as normal as eating a hotdog filled with chemicals and questionable "meat". 

I'd eat foreign "exotic" food over a factory produced hotdog any day of the week. 

My main guiding principle when it comes to travel is "First seek to understand, then form your opinion." 

answered by
varun from India

This is for the first time for me that I am giving answer to the question which I have put up to ask. It sounds crazy but looking at the wonderful responses it actually pushed me to give an answer to it. Traveling has changed me a lot. What I am today is because of traveling. Traveling has made me to respect feeling of each and every one. It has exposed me to unique opinions of the people. It has made be soft from inside. This is beauty of traveling as you start seeing things from different point of view every time you come back home from traveling. It makes you more mature. COLLECT MEMORIES NOT THINGS.  

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