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12 Confessions Of Travelers That They Want People To Know

12 Confessions Of Travelers That They Want People To Know

1. I’m not rich, but I do watch my budget.

Most people think we must be rich to be able to travel so much. Yes we’re definitely fortunate, but we might not be rich. When we’re planning for a trip, whether a short jaunt or slow travel, we watch every dollar before we leave, taking full advantage of the latest budgeting apps. I use similar technologies during my trip, too, to make sure I’m not overspending, and I rely on guides for affordable accommodation and budget-friendly travel tips. Sometimes travel is less trains and planes, and more paper and pen.

2. I get excited but also nervous before travel

What we usually see on social media about travel are beautiful photos, with epic scenery and wide smile. But to be frank, every time before travel, we more or less feel nervous, wondering how things will go on and whether we’ve missed anything very important.

3. I like to spend my money on experiences, not things.

Travel is a choice, one that we prioritize over a million others. To be able to make this choice, we pennypinch until we have enough for the next adventure. Dropped my (still two-generations-old) iPhone? Well, a cracked screen isn’t a huge deal. New restaurant opening? Tempting, but I can eat cheaper at home.

I may not have the nicest things or the latest technology, but I have been able to rock climb in Thailand, learn to cook in Vietnam, and hike through the mountains around Macchu Picchu. Besides, who needs the newest fashion? To me, travel chic is always in.

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4. I love to make plans, but I also like to break them.

There are few things more exciting than sitting down to plan our next trip. Where will I go? How I can get there? What can I eat there?

It’s fun to get wrapped up in planning, planning, and more planning. What’s not always so easy is changing those plans. But if the train’s four hours late, my bag got stolen, or I barely missed my flight, I have to. Sometimes it’s scary or frustrating, but by keeping an attitude of adventure and determination, unexpected changes might even become the best part of the trip. Travel is as much about changing plans as it is about making them.

5. I know things can go wrong.

We’ve heard the horror stories about traveling, especially when we travel alone. And that’s the key: research. I look deeply into every place I visit, and if I ever feel unsafe, I leave. No questions asked. Then I refer to Confession #3, embrace my inner last-minute-planner, and do what I can to adapt.

I know that at some point something will go wrong that I can’t anticipate or change. But that’s life, right? We do what we can to plan ahead, but at the end of the day, we know that not everything is in our hands. Relaxing and letting go are two skills not only essential for travel, but for life.

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6. I may start my trip alone, but I end up with friends all over the world.

In addition to meeting some really interesting local people, I get to make friends with fellow travelers from around the globe. Fellow travelers teach me about their home countries, share experiences with me, and have some of best and most budget-friendly tips. If I meet the right group of people, I might even drop my plans to head on a new journey with them! Some of these chance encounters have turned into my very best friends.

7. I’m okay with looking a little silly.

Often the best advice comes not from the thousands of reviews on TripAdvisor, but from the people who actually live wherever I’m traveling. This means that I have to put myself out there by learning and speaking some of the local language. I know I’m pronouncing it wrong, and I’m probably using hilariously incorrect words, but hey, I’m trying!

It can be a struggle to communicate, but we learn so much from the local people. Seeing how appreciative people are that I can say “thank you” makes any embarrassment or fear worth it.

8. I’m not just on a vacation.

It may look like I’m on an extended holiday, but traveling is so much more than that. I’ve traveled for vacation, but I’ve also travelled to study or work abroad. Even when it is “just a vacation,” I’m working hard. Every day. Travel is exhilarating and exhausting, always filled with a million things I didn’t think of and things I couldn’t plan for. I’m enjoying every minute of it, but constantly learning, challenging myself, and expanding my worldview is definitely hard work.

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9. I love new experiences, but I get homesick sometimes, too.

Even though travel is my passion, I do get lonely sometimes. I miss my best friends, my family, my tex-mex, the smell of my hometown, the feeling of effortless belonging. Some days, like holidays or birthdays, can be really hard. But we’re also fortunate to live in the time of endlessly helpful travel and communication apps like WhatsApp, Viber, Line, and Skype, so I can pick up my phone and instantly connect with anyone. (Unless the 14-plus-hour time difference makes me wait out of compassion for my snoozing parents.)

Like any other emotion, homesickness always passes. And when it does, I’m still so happy to be where I am.

10. I know that I’m privileged.

Travel has opened my eyes to the huge range of lives people lead—and are forced to lead—on this planet. To be able to travel as I have, I know that I am more fortunate than so many others. I may scrounge and save to be able to do it, but knowing how fortunate I am makes me especially conscious of the choices I make when I travel. I support local, responsible, and sustainable tourism efforts as much as possible.

11. I understand that this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay.

It’s probably pretty clear by now that I love travel. I love the new foods, smells, people, and even those moments when I think, “What did I get myself into?” But at the same time, I know that travel isn’t right for everyone all the time. If you’re even slightly considering traveling, I encourage you to go for it. But if now isn’t the right time for you, that’s okay too.

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If travel has taught me anything, it’s that the world is full of people who are similar and yet so astoundingly different, and the key to happiness is, as Joseph Campbell says, to follow your bliss.

12. I’m not sure where my travels will take me, but I know it’ll be worth it.

I saved the most exciting confession for last: Who knows where I’ll end up at the end of these travels? Or what I’ll learn? Or how I’ll change? I certainly can’t anticipate even half of what lays before me, but what an exhilarating thought: to be part of a worldwide community of travelers, of people, all going somewhere with open minds to see and learn something new.

Can’t get enough traveling? Read more about the 12 ways travel makes you a better person.

Featured photo credit: Stephen Lewis via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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