To live is to learn – everyone knows that. But there’s a better teacher, much better than life itself and it’s called “travelling the world”.

In just one trip you may find yourself becoming not only wiser in knowledge and experiences but a completely tranformed human being. Chances are, you’ll be redefining your whole worldview.

Each and every trip is a lesson to be learned and you should start thinking like that in order to enjoy it on its fullest. If you’re the kind of traveller who enjoys spending time between a fancy hotel and an exotic beach, maybe you should skip this post – I won’t judge you.

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It’s a post for those of us who enjoy travelling, strolling in small, cute alleys of some faraway town, chit-chatting with the locals and stepping out of our comfort zone. Even for those, who only dream of “diving” into an ocean of adventures and discovering different cultures but didn’t dare making their dream come true – till now. This post, along with the ones to come, will be your “push” to jump right into the magnificent sea of travelling.

Without futher due, let me present you the 10 things I learned while travelling – until now that is. I’m sure there’s a lot to learn in the process!

  1. Making excuses won’t get you across the world to enjoy the sunset far away from home

Waiting for money to magically appear in your bank account in order to take the trip of your dreams and enjoy a magical sunset in a tropical paradise will take too long. Waiting is wasted time. So, do as I did; save up, plan your trip and you’ll have a photo like the one below. Dreams aren’t supposed to stay just dreams; to make them reality is one of the greatest pleasure you’ll enjoy in life!

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2. Most of the things you’ll learn about a place will come from you talking with the locals

If I hadn’t talked to Alejandro, I wouldn’t have learned about that incredible place outside Panama – and he wouldn’t have introduced me to his friend to show me around. Or that other time, in Colombia when George told me about that amazing bakery in Cartagena?

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3. Lessons on “how not-to-be-a-diva” when it comes to food

Before I started travelling, I was extremely cautious in what I would eat. I used to reject tasting something new and different and I judged each and every plate by its appearance. Well, that last thing was the first to change when I began travelling. I learned not to judge anything – or anyone – by its looks. To judge you gotta taste – even if that means you’ll use your hands to do so, without caring about everyone looking at you or not having a napkin for when you’ll be done with your meal. Quite a change!

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4. I learned how to confront my fears

You may have wondered how is it possible for a girl to travel the world on her own. It’s nothing but easy but the moment you realize that your fears shouldn’t hold you back from enjoying every second, that’s when your heart starts pounding on your chest like crazy. It’s not fear though. It’s that rush of adrenaline you get when you’re excited – that’s happiness defeating fear.

My first time horse-riding on a nothing but tamed horse in Mongolia in the middle of nowhere; 30 minutes lost in Beijiing’s hutongs without a map; taking the wrong metro in Moscow; the moment I realized I was all by myself with 5 locals and no other tourists on an island in the Carribean – without phone signal. After that, your everyday reality will seem a piece of cake. So, dare. Take a dip into your fears and, trust, me you’ll come up stronger, more determined and wiser!

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5. There is not one religion

I used to look at catholics with superstition and fear. A bad habit in which school plays a huge part creating. We lacked the knowledge and judgement to create an objective opinion about the world and religion. Travelling gave me the chance to get to know buddhists, hinduists, protestants, muslims – even atheists and realize religion doesn’t come in one form – with the face of one God. There aren’t any good or bad religions. Everyone is free to believe – or not believe – in what they choose without being judged for that decision.

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6. I learned that I can find myself in the middle of nowhere

I know that’s a cheesy line you’ve read a million times in many blogs and websites. But I’ve got to reassure you; it’s totally true! I myself, realised it when about a month ago I was walking in the Mongolian Steppes without a certain destination.

I found myself walking in the middle of nowhere, organizing my thoughts, putting my whole life in order; I thought about those I was missing at that time, those I didn’t,which are my priorities, where do I see myself in 2 years. And everything fell into place, right there, just as simply. All it took was the horizon, a bottle of water and myself. Nothing else.

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7. We don’t need but a few things to survive

We’re all so passionate about shopping, gadgets, fancy clothes and cars. We tend to rely on all these things that offer us a temporary piece of happiness.

Living with less, is living a simpler, a more peaceful life. There’s no stressing about stealing your camera, breaking your extra-pricey pair of sunglasses, fitting everything into one suitcase. We’ll live a happier life with less – less of those perfect “must-have” bags, less of those “oh-so-cute” frames or that wooden-embossed lamp.

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8. Paradise is a low-cost place on earth

Next time you’ll see a picture-perfect exotic destination that requires more than two months’ paycheck to visit, make sure you email me to help you make your dream come true by advicing you on how you’ll visit an exotic paradise paying less.

On one condition; meaning “exotic” doesn’t mean spending your days in a luxurious hotel, having lobster for dinner and drinking non-stop champagne. In that case, I won’t be able to help you.

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9. “Crazy” is the new black

There are times when people react like I’m crazy when I tell them about my trips.

Travelling helped me get to know with people that carry the same level of “craziness” as I do. There are people from America to China who live for the day, who dream and live to make these dreams come true – not minding anything or anyone. We shared the same love for the unknown, the love for the world and their fellows. Even though we shared so much, I felt unique while being among them. We may not speak the same language but we share a lot more than this. So, if I’m crazy, let me live like – free, among all those fellow travelers who begin to explore the world with just one backpack.

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10. My other half is me

The only one to not ever hurt you is yourself. The only person to love you more than anything is yourself. The only one to protect you from anything, is yourself. That’s right.

Travelling teached me to trust myself, to trust my instinct. I came to enjoy the moments of loneliness without needing anyone to hold my hand. Travelling teached me to be independent, to plan thing at my own pace, to love and protect myself, to be happy. Travelling made me come in terms with the fact that my other half isn’t somewhere out there…It’s right within me!

 

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