It’s only a few days ago that I turned 28 – and realized that my passion for travelling started about 10 years ago. It was then that I decided to spend some time abroad after finishing high school and before starting to study. About a year later I went on an exchange in Japan and another year later spent six months living in Paris – the wonderful beginning of several semesters abroad and lots of adventures on holidays. Time to look back on 10 things I learned from those 10 years!
1. No drama! When something goes wrong, take a deep breath and try to relax. The best way to deal with most things is to stay calm – in a few hours / days / weeks you will be able to laugh about it.
2. Always be open for spontaneous conversations. They might result in the best day trips or tips you will ever receive.
3. You won’t like every country you will ever visit, and that’s okay. Try to make the best of the time you are spending there and learn your lessons from it.
4. Bucket lists are not everything. Sometimes it’s good to put together a list of what things you want to see when visiting a certain country, but it’s just as good to just let go and do whatever you want in the moment.
5. No drama if you do not make it to all tourist attractions. Sometimes, there are more important things on holidays than just running from one ‘must do’ do another.
6. Spontaneous stops along the route sometimes turn out to be the best idea ever. It was pure coincidence that we stopped at Raymond Island in Australia and spotted loads of wild koalas, for example. So just listen to your guts.
7. ‘Secret spots’ from Lonely Planet or TripAdvisor are never secret. They are often the most crowded places you will visit during your holiday.
8. Pinterest is the best travel inspiration ever! You can find many detailed itineraries, tips and ideas. And you can easily save them to your own pin boards until the journey finally is happening!
9. There are too many beautiful places in the world to just focus on instagrammable spots. Many spots that are famous from Instagram are crowded, and don’t forget people use filters and Photoshop to help boost their likes. Take a few steps and you will see many other places to enjoy without crowds everywhere.
10. There will always be somebody who does not like your choices. If it’s about the next semester abroad, the country you want to travel next or the way you are spending your money, there are always people who think they know better. But there is only one person you actually need to satisfy, and that is yourself. Because in the end, we only regret the trips we did not do!
What have you learned from travelling in the past years?