5 Things I Learned Traveling the World.

From solo trips to vacations where I wanted to strangle the people I was with...I've learned so much and grown so much along the way.  Here are 5 life lessons that I've learned through my experience traveling.

 

1. OVER-PREPARE, THEN GO WITH THE FLOW

Pack a big bag. Be ready for anything that may come your way. Then, sit back and enjoy the ride. You've made this thing called "a plan", but we all know that things won't always go according to schedule; such is life.

Personally, I'm either hot or cold.  I love to have full control-a schedule, know exactly what I'm getting into, etc. -- OR -- I just want to frolic around without a care in the world.  I've learned that there has to be a balance of both.  If you are too set in your ways, you will go absolutely insane, because...again...things NEVER go as planned.  Plus, if you're too focused on following "the plan", you tend to miss out on the whole purpose, which is to enjoy!  On the other hand, if you frolic around without any plan at all, you won't get anything done.  With no direction in life, you will get enjoyment, but you will lack meaning along the way.  Come in with a plan for your life, but know that things will change and only God and the universe know your true purpose, path, and destiny.  

2. NEVER LET FEAR KEEP YOU FROM MISSING OUT.

LifeLessons

So, I'm scared of fish. Yes, I know...I shoot guns, I can maim someone with a pen, but I'm scared of fish.  We can talk about that another time.  Either way, I decided to go scuba diving in the Bahamas, which has one of the most beautiful reefs in the world.  I wasn't going to let my fear keep me from missing out on something that was known to be breathtaking and possibly a chance of a lifetime.  I did a dive down to about 50 feet, and I will never forget how peaceful and beautiful the ocean was.  I wouldn't have been able to experience this had I not faced my fears and submerged myself in it.

In life, you will have to face some of your worst fears...failure, embarrassment, making mistakes.  But if you don't go through those mistakes, you'll never overcome and grow from them.

3. YOU'RE NEVER LOST, JUST SOMEWHERE YOU DIDN'T EXPECT.

This one time while in Switzerland, I wanted to climb Ebenalp, the northernmost summit of the Appenzell Alps and visit the cute little restaurant on the side of the mountain. So I packed my Vertx backpack with an extra jacket and, more importantly..snacks and started my trek. Now, the Appenzell Alps has a bunch of mountains-that all look the same. What's nice about the map that they provided was it gives you an estimate of how long each hike is. 1.5 hours and no more snacks into my eta of a 30 minute hike, I looked around and realized that I was not where I wanted to be.  So, I pulled out my map and figured out my bearings.  Turns out I was on the trail to Säntis, the highest point of the freaking Appenzell Alps.  At this point, I had two options...1. turn around, retrace my steps, and get back on the trail I wanted to be on or 2. keep moving forward.  Forward, I went.  Instead of focusing on the fact that I was on an unexpected trail, I figured that this was where I was suppose to be.  It's not like I had anything else to do. Finally reaching the top, I saw EVERYTHING..and it really did feel like I was on top of the world. Not what I had planned for the day, but purely priceless.

All this to say, when things don't go as planned, know that you're never lost.
You're exactly where you're suppose to be.  Not only that, you always have a choice to either keep moving forward or to turn around and get on the path that you wanted to be on.  Little hiccups pop up on the way, and you may have to kill a deer with your SOG knife because you ran out of snacks on your hike (kidding...or am I?), but know that you always have options.

LifeLessons

4. YOU CAN'T VACATION FOREVER.

I KNOW...we all want to quit our jobs and travel like these blasted IG models.  But in reality, too much of a good thing makes it less enjoyable.  I mean think about it: If you decided that you weren't going to go home and instead were going to live on a Tahitian beach for the rest of your life...1. you would run out of money and need a job (which in all technicality no longer makes this a vacation) and 2. you would technically now live there, so again...no longer a vacation. Okay fine...in all seriousness, as much as we don't want a vacation to end, what makes a vacation great is the fact that it's literally a getaway.

LifeLessons

I will say this over and over and over again.  Balance in necessary, and there is a time for everything.  It even says in the bible:

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven..." (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

At one point, I was addicted to traveling.  And it wasn't even an addiction to the adventure, it was an addiction to the getaway.  When I was stressed out, tired, or annoyed, I would just leave the country.  But we can't abuse the gift of travel.  It's there to help us reset and enjoy our hard work; it is not there as a chance to run from our problems.  Learn to accept everything for what it is.  Know that a vacation is to retreat, not to runaway.  Then, you'll learn something more important...which is enjoying, accepting, and appreciating EXACTLY where you're at in a given time.

5. DON'T COMPARE YOUR JOURNEY TO OTHERS'.

Last, but still very important, never compare your journey.  I'll keep this one short and sweet.  The more you look at someone else's trip, the less you'll be able to enjoy your voyage.  If we all had the same journey, we would all be the same.  So, stop it!
Be grateful for who you are, where you've been, and who you're becoming. You are uniquely you, and I know you have some bomb ass stories, too.

 

That's all I got for today!  What are some life lessons that you've learned along your journey through life? I'd, also, love to hear about some of the cool places you've been and adventures you've experienced.  Comment below!

 

With Love,
Ess.