10 Major Life Lessons You'll Learn Through Travel

Travelling transforms. It removes bias and gets out your best. And this is often not conscious. It is a necessary milestone of each of your travelling. You always come back with experiences that have taught something. It doesn’t take anything away. Travelling only gives.

Though it is hard to sum up the many lessons travelling teaches us, we at Gypsy Shack have come up with our own list of what we've learnt during travelling. And yes, we were all surprised by how vital these lessons were! So here it is, this is our list of the 10 Major Life Lessons - we are convinced - travelling is bound to teach each one of us Wanderlusters.

#1 I Am Alone, I Am Not Lonely

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Remember this one-liner from the movie ‘Heat’? That literally comes true when you have travelled alone a few times. There are so many things that become your constant companions. The wind that travels with you alongside your window in a bus; the tracks that say Hello on the bends as you stand on the door of a train; the white world of clouds on a plane; the bullock carts that surprise you once in a while on highways; or the gypsy women that flash a smile as you pass by their tents. While travelling, you learn to enjoy yourself alone.

#2 "Different" is not "Weird"

Image Courtesy: Nat Geo

Travel exposes you to such myriad of cultures, languages, food, festivals, languages and lifestyles that you learn to embrace differences. What you called weird once, you now accept as just a tad different from yourself. You stop looking for similarities. But when you do find some, you are pleasantly surprised at the cosmopolitan approach that you have unconsciously developed through travelling.

#3 Cherish the Imperfections

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If anything can go wrong, it will. This particular Murphy’s Law is especially true for travelling. There are a million things out of which at least some will go wrong and you will have no control over them. You missed a connecting flight; you left your favourite bag at the hotel; the guide never turned up; the bus tire got punctured. Trips are mostly never exactly as planned. The mishaps will teach you to cherish imperfections. You will learn imperfections only add to the adventure; they make you smarter and wiser.

#4 Appreciate the Life You Have

Image Courtesy: Nat Geo

Go to hilly cities like Shimla, Mussorrie or Leh, you experience how tough their lives are. Most locals in Shimla have to hike several kilometers every day; kids in Leh risk their lives crossing frozen lakes in winter to reach schools; fishermen in Lakshadweep must look death in the eye every time they dive deeper into the seas on nitrogen pipes. While you do see and marvel at the triumph of mankind over nature; you will also come back appreciating your own life like never before.

#5 Flexibility Is the Key


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Travel does make you a daredevil, whether or not you have done para-gliding or bungee jumping. The whole journey bends your ego, chips away your pride and makes you more flexible. As you learn to shed your stubborn-ness, you adjust and cooperate. You go from being a smell-fungus to being the carefree sailor. It is said, nothing can teach you patience better than raising a child or travelling.

#6 People Skills 


Image Courtesy: Nat Geo

You make room for a fellow passenger’s huge back-pack in a local train so you would have an interesting companion to pass time. You find yourself babysitting for a woman making chai for you at a dhaba in Agra so you would ask her the best place to stay. You cheer for Sri Lankan Cricket Team in an exotic resort with the manager so he would arrange a taxi for you the next morning. You chat away with the friendly Sardarji late at night in New Delhi while walking so you would reach your hotel safe. Travelling makes you really see people and teaches you to develop interpersonal skills. You have no choice. You know you wouldn’t survive otherwise.

#7 Materials Don’t Last

Image Credit: Jagpreet Pabla

In India, people still haven’t grown bored with shopping malls. Many cities are losing the trends of the good old street shopping. Add to that, there is an increasing distance with nature as more and more of us embrace a completely material-centered lifestyle. Just travel a few times a year to some beaches, forests, hills and villages and you will see very clearly what you are missing. Travelling gets you back to your roots, it gets you back into the lap of Mother Nature. It makes you healthier in mind, body and soul. You learn to collect memories over materials.

#8 The Grass Is Greener Outside Your Comfort Zone


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If you are a vegetarian who absolutely cannot stand the smell of chicken; if you are a girl who is reluctant wearing shorts to the beach; if you are a guy who thinks every girl in bikini has a bad character; if you are a man who likes wine over local beer, you need to travel. It’s the one thing that would get you out of your comfort zones not only in terms of things you do but in the way you think.

#9 Question like a Kid. Curious and Free.

Image Courtesy: Nat Geo

Some of us can read maps, some of us cannot. While that itself is a vital life-skill, a more important trait is the ability to ask questions without hesitating. Where does that zig-zag path go to? When does the sun rise here? What do you eat for dinner? You find yourself becoming more and more curious, just like a child. Curiosity keeps the lamp of knowledge always burning.

#10 ‘How Are You’ In Many Languages

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Beat this! You have the ability to start a conversation with almost anybody if you only knew how to say these three letters in their language. Of course, you won’ t be able to learn all the languages completely, but travelling does sharpen your language skills. You learn to communicate with gestures, without really knowing the local dialects. You learn to respect your own mother tongue and those of others.

Do us a favor and do a little experiment. Find out your most favourite travel quotes. And check if some of them have these lessons. We bet, you will be surprised. Then do yourself a favour. Buy a backpack and go travel. You will come back with stories.

Article By: Mukti Masih



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