Travel Series Part 6: What Travelling Taught Me

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Selling everything you own, putting your life into a backpack and booking a 1-way flight is something people revere or, are repulsed by.

The sheer action of doing that is a life lesson itself let alone taking off with 3 friends, €20 a day to live on & no idea where we were going to end so, where did I end up? This post will tell you.

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I learnt that money isn’t everything.

As Bill Cunningham so eloquently put it ‘Money is the cheapest thing, freedom is the most expensive thing‘. Travelling though me that when you have freedom you need little more than the bare necessities to feel fulfilled as too often we spend big money to make the most of out little amount of time rather than the other way around.


I learnt that plan B can be better.

Any plans we made travelling were often quashed by circumstance outside of our control or by a sudden change of heart but we more often that not ended up in a scenario that we couldn’t have imagined missing.


I learnt to trust myself & those closest to me.

I’ve no doubt that trusting your instinct is nothing short of vital when you’re in unfamiliar settings… if your body is telling you to go, go. I learnt this 10 times over travelling and not to second guess myself.. a life lesson that I haven’t forgotten.

I was fortunate enough to travel with a boyfriend & 2 friends I loved dearly, we got into some dangerous situations & crazy arguments over the 2 years but trusting them 100% allowed me to put my safety in their hands & see them more as family than friends.


I learnt that ignorance is an ugly trait.

Quite an obvious one perhaps but hear me out;

I was raised in a financially comfortable environment where my personal safety didn’t feel under threat where I lived & I never wanted for anything. People I know who were raised in similar environments & chose not to travel were surprised to see me going to work with the Dublin’s homeless community when I returned home asking questions such as ‘aren’t you afraid of them??’ They seemed proud of how unrelatable they felt to ‘people like them’.

While the seeming ignorance of their questioning was now outrageous to me I had to remember that their point of reference on what was ‘scary’ was a lot smaller than mine. I’m so glad I traveled to broaden my perspective on the variety of what ‘normal life’ is to the world’s population.


That things DO work out in the end

Quite simply because they bloody have to. The amount of predicaments we got into & then got back out of time & time again while traveling proved that if you stay calm and think outside the box there’s always a way to resolve the problem.


I learnt about my own flaws.

I learnt a lot of things about my own personality that I never realised or, would’ve denied previously. One being that I hate to feel ‘ganged up on’.

If someone tries to bring in other people’s opinions to prove a point I tend to shut down & refuse to resolve the argument… now that I know this I can vocalise that in any situation where it needs to be said & the issue will likely be resolved a lot quicker.

You will learn many amazing & ugly truths about yourself while travelling but just remember that its great to know yourself & be honest about your weakness…. and that nobody is perfect!


That there’s no such thing as ‘the right time’.

I left Ireland during the recession with only a year’s experience as a qualified nurse… people we desperately grappling for jobs & I was walking away from one.

My granny got sick & my sister got married while I was gone. My dog was really old when I was leaving…subsequently after living for the entirety of my trip she died a few hours before my plane landed home). After I was home for a few months & then went away for 1 week my granny died while I was still in the air.

My point is that any of these things may or may not have happened in the 2 years I was gone. They may all have happened in 1 day. You don’t know whats around the corner & if you make your plans to suit ‘the right time’ you’ll simply never go.


I learnt not to let fear hold me back.

The amount of times I got asked ‘but, what if you hate it??’ when telling people about my travel plans seemed absurd to me. What if I hate it? I’ll bloody come home!

The fear of the unknown is far greater to me than the fear of regret. Doing something & it not working out is better not not doing it & always wondering. We only fail at the things we didn’t try. Honestly…. I could go on.

I’ve never let fear hold me back & travelling solidified exactly why I shouldn’t change that point of view. I had the absolute time of my life traveling but even if I hated it I’d never have regretted trying.

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I learnt not to stress the small stuff.

An invaluable life lesson & still a frame of mind I have to work on from time to time. Seeing real struggle & real hardship through 14 countries helps to put my ‘problems’ in perspective. Stressing about being late for dinner plans is not a genuine problem…. ring the restaurant and bloody relax would ya!


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There you have it guys, 8 life lessons that travelling though me xx


Recent Comments
  • Geraldine says:

    Great blog and this post in particular is terrific. I say amen to everything you’ve said. In fact, well said!

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