26 life lessons I learned travelling

As I am preparing for my next trip back to Asia, I wondered what I had actually learned while travelling all this time. Most people will tell you that “travelling broadens your mind”, that it “makes you leave your comfort zone” and “discover other cultures”. Sure… but I wanted to know what exactly. So here is my attempt to formalise a bit of what I’ve learned.

Each letter has its piece of advice – don’t ask me why, I did that on a whim -,  so here are 26 philosophical insights I learned while travelling and travel tips I wish I knew before. They all helped me at some point somewhere in the world and I always try to keep them in mind, travelling or at home!

Always have toilet paper with you. It will be useful. You can thank me later.

Bargain at least half of the price.

Check if you bought a ticket from San Jose, Costa Rica or San Jose, California. I didn’t.

Download maps.me. Now.

Eat these tacos al pastor, you’ll follow your diet back home.

Flexible… be flexible. To the food you eat. To new experiences and itineraries. To the people you meet.

GPS can be used offline. You just need the pre-load the map.

Hitchhiking is great to meet locals, to travel on a budget and to get out of your comfort zone.

I am thankful for having toilets at home. And toilet paper.

Juggling is a nice ice-breaker. And you can carry your juggling balls everywhere.

Keep in mind that people are fundamentally nice and helpful.

Look at the CouchSurfing Event Page if you want to meet people, it’s a great community.

Music and soccer are universal languages. Even if you suck at it.

No worries, everything will be alright.

Observe: when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Please, be respectful with the locals and the local culture.

Quote: “The word “adventure” contains 1001 forms: it is by itself a dictionary of the whole universe”.

Riding a motorbike is definitely the shit.

Speak to your neighbour, even if you are lazy. They might follow you on a hitchhiking trip 😉

The right person at the right moment is a thing.

Up to you to make your trip an unforgettable experience.

Vietnamese hats will save your life, one day.

When you travel with Air France, you can always ask for champagne.

XXIth century travelling is definitely easier than ever: try your luck and don’t be afraid!

You can’t predict the unpredictable. Don’t waste your time trying.

Zombies might exist: what you take for granted here may not be true elsewhere.

 


 

My favourite one is and will always be Letter W 😉

Which one is yours, or, what did you learn travelling?

Bonus – A tip from the book “On a roulé sur la Terre” (Sylvain Tesson & Alexandre Poussin, who cycled the entire world): when they were lost, they would open a map and really show in public that they were obviously lost (or even pretend to be) until a local would approach them. It worked perfectly and they often spent days together!

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41 thoughts on “26 life lessons I learned travelling”

    1. We became more and more suspicious about everyone; when it happens to me I try change my mindset, but sometimes it’s so natural that you don’t even notice :/

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    1. Yes! Every time I flew with them I got champagne 😉 San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica, and, once I was there and needed to have my flight, I realised that I booked from San Jose in California haha.

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  1. hahah…i love this list! so clever, and i will take note of that champagne on Air France. I agree on the right person at the right time and indulging in good food whilst travelling. awesome post!

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  2. Ah I LOVE this list! I haven’t flown Air France before but I will definitely ask for champagne when I do! In Paris at the moment on a connection! Also, the flexible point is so important learning that today after a delayed flight and a missed connection — gotta go with the punches.

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  3. What a fun list. I definitely agree with always bargaining. If you don’t ask you don’t get. I also highly recommend travelling with toilet paper too! You just never know when you might need it.

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  4. So many good quotes. Some made me laugh and some had me thinking, but this one is one of my favorites. “When you travel with Air France, you can always ask for champagne.” Air France here I come.

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  5. I think it’s very important to reflect back, and I love that you’ve highlighted specific lessons over the broad “broadens your mind” etc, which, while true, we hear all the time! Laughed instantly at your first point – I travel with toilet paper everywhere too! You seriously never know when you’ll need it. Offline GPS is a big thing we use too. And thankyou for highlighting the importance of respect for local communities and culture – I think this is our upmost obligation when visiting a new destination – we are, afterall, guests.

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  6. I agreed with you on the toilet paper! There were too many times I visited a foreign country and found out that they don’t provide toilet paper or you need to pay for it. We should make a habit of bringing it with us at all time!

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