What greatest gift can we make ourselves than the gift of travelling? Travelling brings memories and experiences and those are the only things that we take with us, in the end. As you grow older you realise that the things you truly care about is not the money and how much you have on your bank account, even though having a stable and decent bank account is a good thing to have... you realise the things that matter the most are the experiences and the moments that you can take with you, wherever you will go. When you will go down, when you will die, you will not be able to take with you the brand new apartment you bought, nor that fancy car and not even that fat bank account. The only things that will remain with us in the afterlife are the memories, the experiences and the love we have found in the people we met and the places we have seen. I have met people who have travelled the world, left their footprints on each continent... I have not yet done that, but I dearly wish one day I shall :) and I have met people that never travelled beyond their homeland. To me that is a sad thing, never to experience what the world has to offer, it's beauties, it's magical sights. It is also true that some people are born to travel and they have an opening to the world's vibrations, and on the other hand there are people who feel comfortable as they are. That's why God made us so unique and different from one another :)
- Travel opens your eyes - When you are no longer locked in your comfort zone you start understanding more about yourself but also about the world you live in. You start seeing beyond your comfortable place and start exploring different cultures; you will start asking yourself and others questions you have never thought until then and you will maybe try to understand how other people think and react according to their own culture and environment. You will understand that we are all human beings but at the same time we have differences that should be respected not stepped over and dragged into mud... Travel opens your eyes to a world you might have only known through documentaries or atlas books.
- Travel teaches you more about who you are, than anyone/anything else can! - When you start travelling you start pushing yourself out of the comfort zone, and only outside the comfort zone can we truly learn something new. Travelling brings you opportunities (and sometimes even threats) at every step that you make, so you will learn how to make the right decisions and to learn more about yourself. You will see what is your travelling style: if you like backpacking, couchsurfing, being layed back in an all inclusive option or just going with the flow. You will also see how you can handle things in a setup trip vs. an impromptu one, travelling with a huge group or with friends vs. travelling on your own. There are so many options - so many learning opportunities to find yourself! :)
- Travel develops skills you forgot you had or you never thought you have! - Remember when you were little and you were watching Sailor Moon (and other anime) dubbed in Italian language? That's pretty much how I learned Italian, the kids brains are like sponges... so when I went to Rome I thought that I would handle it all in English... tough luck! They really like their own language so you should know at least a bit of it and be able to understand Latin languages. Bare in mind that Romanian is a Latin language so I was more than happy to find out that I can understand almost everything that they were saying + I could reply back with basic words. The smile on their faces brought a smile on mine and I was fascinated to see how we still hold skills in ourself that we know nothing of, until they are activated :)
- Travel will teach you more about cuisine than any other cooking channel - and you will also figure out what you like and what you love to eat vs. what you will never try. I have been offered to eat crickets and ants and I think I will always draw a line at that! But I most enjoyed the food I had in Greece - the fresh Greek salad with loads of olives and feta cheese + the amazing hot and delicious meaty mousaka = Heaven, for me :) Second best will always be the amazingly huge English Breakfast that I had in London + the egg crest sandwiches from Pret a Manger... my mouth waters ;))) You will also learn how countries have some dishes in common, even though they will always say they are "typically xyz" (xyz - insert country).
- Travel makes you more social - Let's face it, even with all the technology, information points/spots and all the maps in the world, you will probably get lost once or you will need to ask for some directions... and you will have to make human contact ;) so once more you will have to step out of your comfort zone, take a deep breath, and engage - make contact - with other human beings. As all human beings, some will not answer, some will just pass you by, some will tell you that they don't understand you nor speak the language... but don't discourage! You will find that person who will help you + sometimes give you even extra tips for free ;) restoring your faith in humankind ;)))
- Travel will give you amazing stories and memories - that you will be able to share and re-share over and over again, to your family/friends and when you are older to your children... grandchildren... who knows?! :) I will always remember the time when I went with friends to the Niagara Falls and we did not check that we had it setup for the Canadian side, not the USA one... so we ended up crossing the border without the visa... ending up with a bit of questioning from the frontier police. Or that time when me and my significant other went to the Koln Carnival and I almost had a heart attack climbing the Koln Cathedral Tower, or the time when we played 3D golf ;)))
- Travel makes you comfortable with yourself and being on your own - Travelling on your own means you will have to learn to enjoy your own company and feel comfortable with yourself. You will learn the amount of baggage you can hustle and the amount of time you need for waking up, getting ready and hitting the road. You will learn to quiet your mind and feel comfortable with whom you are. Sure, at the beginning the experience will be daunting! but you will grow out of it eventually and start enjoying it. TIPS & TRICKS: I still hate selfies and selfie sticks so I always ask people to take my photo... sometimes I wait for someone who looks like they know what they are doing and hold a pretty good camera, and I ask them to take my picture and I can take theirs ;)
- Travel will help you relax and unwind; it can also act as an energy boost ;) For me, discovering new places and seeing new things is always exhilarating and makes me feel wonderful and pumped up for days. I think I would not enjoy an all inclusive 10 days at the beach as much as I would enjoy a weekend, let's say in Prague, where we would wonder around the old cobblestoned town and enjoy the views from the Castle. Add to that a trip to the Beer Museum and a live concert in the evening and you got me booked ;) I will be smiling and happy and energetic for one more and one more day and place to see. Or maybe you are the layed back type and you would enjoy the 10 days at the beach, sipping on drinks and enjoying the sunset. Maybe that will give YOU your energy boost :) We are all so different and there is room for everyone's needs ;) that is the beauty of travelling!
- Travel reminds you that (inevitably) we are getting older and you need to learn to cope with that - you will see, in time, that doing the same type of travels that you had as teenager are not fitting for the young adult and once you will have kids, the travel type and locations will again change. But don't take that as a negative thing! Always look at the bright side of life and see the beauty that you can extract from that. I can hardly wait, for example, to show my husband and our future small ones, the places I grew to love as a teenager. I can hardly wait to show them Greece and take them to the Mountain Olimp or the Meteora Churches or even enjoy a day at the soft sandy beaches of one of the lovely islands... Start searching for Heaven in your life ;) you will end up finding it!
- Travel is addictive (in a good/positive way): you WILL catch the Flight Travel Bug - I dunno about you, but the first time I got into a plane it was love at first sight. I knew since that very moment that I will always love flights and that sitting by the window would be a must (if possible!). My first flight was from Bucharest to New York, direct flight of over 8 hours and I loved it. I remember not even getting bored - I watched movies, I listened to music, I read a book, I talked with people and I most definetely enjoyed the view. Being there, up in the clouds, is such an uplifting experience! Sure, ocasionally there will be thunders and clouds and turbulences and your heart may race a bit... but hey! that will be one more nice story to tell at the end of the day ;) every cloud has its silver lining!
How about you? What do you think Travel does to you? How does it make YOUR life better? I would love to hear your stories and your thoughts upon this subject on this #traveltuesday post :) As I said before, sharing is caring, so let me know what you think/feel :)
The Twisted Red LadyBug that loves to travel