Self learning never ends but sometimes you need a new experience, possibly even a whole new country to gain a new perspective of yourself. I am currently travelling around Croatia and a conversation I had with my Mum made me stop and think. As I was telling her about all the amazing adventures I was having she asked me what I had learned about myself. I like to think I am quite self-aware so I was surprised that I stumbled on the answer. I realised that this isn’t something I could make up on the spot, so I did what I like to do best; I sat, thought and wrote a blog…
Here’s what I came up with (this includes some stories!)
1) To Appreciate Different Cultures
This is the number one reason that most people recommend travelling to a new country. A TV show or book can only reveal so much about a place and it is the people living there that make each place special. What I have realised is that not only do you learn about the country you are visiting, you also meet people from all over the world and learn about their cultures. It takes 3 seconds to step out and start a conversation with someone new. I am yet to visit Australia, the US or Chile but from the people I have met, I have a better understanding of each countries unique qualities.
2) To Not Judge A Book By Its Cover
First impressions are hardly ever the reality and this is something we are all taught from an early age however travelling has shown me that I am often quick to prejudge.
Storytime: Arriving into our second destination of Split, I would have to say I was disappointed (possibly an understatement). I was expecting an old Roman town and instead I was faced with concrete tower blocks covered in graffiti in the skyline. My poor travel partner could see my dissatisfaction written all over my face (sorry Livi). As I continued to sulk looking out of the window something made me turn around and look across the isle at the windows opposite me. What I saw took my breath away. I was with faced a spectacular view of the Adriatic Sea and its clear blue waters. In the distance I saw the beautiful old Roman harbour town we were approaching called Split. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
3) Be Prepared For ALL Eventualities
With travelling, literally anything can go wrong. I am definitely an optimist and I realised that this can often lead me to being under-prepared, mainly because I don’t like to think of anything negative happening. Having gotten on one wrong train going in the complete opposite direction I thank God that I have a travel buddy that can think of a plan on the spot to get us back on track while I panicked internally. This is definitely something I have to work on.
5) To step out and challenge myself
Travelling allows you to meet so many people from so many different backgrounds a lot of whom are doing incredible things with their lives. This can either make you feel incredibly insecure or realise that if they can do it, so can you. I chose the latter and one thing I have been inspired to do is travel more on my own. As one young Indian woman told me on her adventures – you don’t need other people around you to tell you that what you are seeing is beautiful and where you are going is going to be better.
6) To Be More Self Reflective
Lastly I have learned to make sure I keep reflecting on who I am and what kind of person I want to be. The world moves at a crazy pace and if we don’t take the time to step back and reflect we can sometimes miss some of the defining moments of our lives. Its also a way to ensure we keep growing and improving because, after all, no one is perfect.
Love Wannie ….
With special thanks to my travel buddy Livi for generally being amazing