After Two Years of Travel, Here is What I Learned

It’s been no secret that I’ve spent a majority of the last two years traveling around. What began as a harmless summer volunteer job at an activity centre in southern Ireland slowly turned into a bigger and more profound journey then I could have ever imagined.

Between here and there more has happened than I can fit into one post. Both good and bad.

I put school on a two year hold. Lost some friends but gained many others in the process. Put a little debt under my belt. Had the pleasure to visit many places I’d only dreamed of. And somewhere along the line I fell in love with my future wife.

Through the highs and the lows I’ve grown and learned much about the world around me, including myself. But after thinking much about what has happened over the last two years I’ve boiled down many smaller lessons into grander themes that have been impactful on my way of thinking and life.

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Growing up and starting ones life doesn’t begin at some predetermined agreed on time or place. 

It happens in every moment. Every decision and twist of fate has a way of pushing the next one forward and creating this invisible and unlooked for momentum. The more I experience and live the less fate seems like some strange strain of mysticism.

What I mean is my mother always use to say “Live in the moment”, as many other mothers say I’m sure. But recently that’s begun to actually make sense to me. As worrying about tomorrow can be exhausting and muck up the now. I don’t mean you shouldn’t plan for anything, but rather believe in yourself in whatever moment you’re in. To have pride in your decisions and who you are, and to not worry about tomorrow so much. For tomorrow is only accessible through the you of today.

The universe is holly and will take care of you if you believe and work with it. Simply, letting go sometimes is okay. There is a cosmic and beautiful justice out there that dictates all things. A certain kind of ebb and flow. And I don’t mean God or some other form of religion. Rather something much simpler and true, that science or ideologies couldn’t hope to define or contain.

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I’ve learned to put more stock in people and experiences, rather than possessions and society.

All things, good or bad, in my life have come from people or experiences. While possessions and society have served more as a hinderance. Which for some reason is the opposite of what people are taught today.

We’re trained to believe that happiness comes from having the newest apple product and that it’ll buy you social capital, and that social capital is what is important. And that has its place, don’t get me wrong.

But rather I believe that all I’ve loved in my life have come from people, and the experiences I’ve had with them. People and experience have a way of giving time and time again. Be it through love or kindness with people, or through lessons and an expanded mind with experience. They help shape you into the person you are and will become. And not to just fill some temporary hole.

Sure I know that sometimes possessions have a way of giving you access to people and experience, and that society opens up some things for you. Yet I still find that superficial in a way, and I just don’t want to prescribe to that belief system just yet.

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A gained deeper knowledge, confidence, and respect of who I am. 

This is definitely the biggest one here.

Before leaving for Europe for the first time, one of my biggest fears was my inability to talk to people. I was shy and what most call introverted. I worried more and the future really freaked me out. But now after having leaned much about the world and myself, that’s all changed.

I believe myself to be more funny, charming, sociable, and confident in my abilities as a person. I know better the boundaries of my strengths and weaknesses and how to use them to mold the world around me. I find more love and compassion in my heart for everything. As I’ve come to learn that we’re all really just the same, no matter what country you belong to.

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As a result of all this,

I now find life, the future, and all prospects of my world less scary. I feel stronger in the belief and knowledge that everything is going to be okay. I’ve had to come a long way to believe in that, but I’m there now, and that’s a really good feeling.

Let me know below what you’ve learned from traveling or just growing up in general down below in the comment section, and as always thanks for stopping by.

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UPDATE!

The writing contest I was entered in is still going on until the end of this month! Unfortunately I’ve fallen from first to second place! So I need your votes to get me back up there! If I could take literally borrow 20 more seconds of your time I’d appreciate your vote over at http://www.fd81.net/freds-blog/the-decision-is-yours

Thanks again everyone!!!

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21 responses to “After Two Years of Travel, Here is What I Learned

  1. Very well written…I think you summed up what every traveler hopes to discover about him/herself through a life changing round the world trip. Living in the now, enjoying experiences rather than possessions, and a stronger sense of self are all great lessons you learned!

    I’ve been on the road for a little over five months now, and although I did not come to some great epiphany, being away from home did shed some light on some things about myself. Having to plan my trip no more than a couple of days at a time made me face the fact that things can’t always be perfect, making decisive decisions is key, and looking into the past does nothing for the present situation. In short, I learned I should just make decisions and stick to them, even if they aren’t “perfect.”

    There’s something about being removed from your comfortable surroundings and routines that leaves you exposed to face your own fears and worries….and in the end, you learn that they aren’t so scary after all.

    Hooray for self discovery and world travel!

    Victoria
    http://awayweroam.com/

    • Hooray for self discovery indeed! I also think though that all these lessons learned may have been learned later in life as well, but being on the road has a way of accelerating these things. As when you’re on the road all distractions are stripped away and you’re left alone and bare with your experiences and thoughts. So I think those just have a way of being processed and learned from faster on the road then in most circumstances. But it’s just a baby theory, who knows what the real reason is!
      Anyways thanks for stopping by and for sharing I’m going to go check you out now 🙂

      • Yes I agree. Being on the road definitely removes you from daily distractions of regular life. Makes me realize how much unnecessary noise I have back at home!

  2. Such wisdom from one so young (relatively speaking, of course:)). The first bit was a great reminder to me at a time of uncertainty. And your second truth? Makes you weightless in the very best way. Don’t get weighted down by things. Oh so true. Most of my friends, in middle age, continue to purge but their loads are large . . .

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