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31 Lessons I Learned Travelling The World Alone

31 Lessons I Learned Travelling The World Alone
Over the past 18 months, I’ve travelled around the world to different cities and countries, including Paris, France; Munich, Germany; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cusco, Peru; Medellin, Colombia; NYC, USA; and more.

All of these trips have been with me, myself, and I.

People talk about how great travelling alone is and why you need to try it. So, I finally mustered up the courage and set out to venture on my own.

Let me be upfront by telling you that travelling alone is not for everyone. For those brave enough to take on the challenge, the lessons learnt can be life changing. They were for me so far, and the journey has only just begun.

Here are 31 lessons you will learn while travelling alone.

1. You Hate Being Alone.

You step out of that airport and can’t help but feel nervous, lonely, and doubtful. This is how everyone feels at the beginning of their adventure — and only at the beginning.

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    2. You Love Being Alone.

    Being alone becomes a way of living and you have complete freedom to do what you want, when you want.

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      3. Experiences > Materials.

      The transition from living with a car, a home, and your own TV to a backpack makes you realize how much your possessions owned you. Experiences are life-lasting. Materials give you nothing but a bill.

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        4. Quality Beats Quantity.

        We live in a quantified world where the higher the number, the more it’s attributed to success — followers, bank accounts, houses. For some, this also applies to the number of places visited. However, it’s far better to spend 3 months in a city learning its culture, language, and creating lasting relationships than trying to hit 10 cities in 3 months.

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          5. Learn A New Language.

          It’s only when you travel to a foreign country that you realize how big the world truly is and how much of a bubble you’ve been living in.

          For example, if English is the only language you can understand, you’re only able to communicate with 12% of the world. The best way to understand the rest of the world and the amazing cultures out there is to learn a new language. Just by learning a popular language like Spanish or Mandarin, your reach and understanding of the world doubles.

          In the Internet era we live in today, there’s no excuse not to know another language. Take advantage of websites like Rype that provide unlimited one-on-one Spanish lessons online with a private teacher, anytime, anywhere.

          We’re entering a Multilingual era, and it’s up to you to take advantage of it.

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            6. You Learn To Love Yourself.

            Travelling alone gets lonely — there’s no doubt about it. Facing your inner thoughts and being comfortable and happy with who you are as a person will be one of the most valuable lessons you’ll learn.

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              7. You Stop Caring What Others Think About You

              There’s a big difference between outer confidence and inner confidence. Outer confidence can be faked and is hard to sustain. Inner confidence is being 100% comfortable in your own skin. Stop caring what other people think and have the confidence to do what you want, when you want.

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                8. Own Up To Your Success And Mistakes.

                When you’re travelling alone, there’s no one else that is there to help you make a decision. However that decision turns out, you need to own up to it.

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                  9. Trust Your Intuition.

                  Every day, you’re making small and big decisions. There will never be enough information to make the perfect decision, and the ability to trust your intuition is the key to survival.

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                    10. Home Is Where You Are.

                    Home starts to follow you wherever you go, with everything you own on your back.

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                      11. Blend Into The City.

                      If you’ve come all this way to visit a city, then be in it 100%. Speak the language, hang out with the locals, eat the food. Don’t be that person who clings to other foreigners.

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                        12. What’s Important In Your Life.

                        You hear the most fascinating life stories from people you meet. From rags to riches, near-death experiences, parents with cancer, the list goes on.

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                          13. Who’s Important In Your Life.

                          Being away for a period of time across the world makes you realize who the important people are in your life. We’re “burdened” by proximity throughout our lives, which makes it easy to develop artificial relationships solely from frequent interactions. Your real relationships are put to the test.

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                            14. Don’t Allow Your Phone To Bring You Back.

                            There’s something magical about travelling and being in a completely different city. You become more open-minded, your mindset shifts, and you can create the most meaningful relationships. Don’t allow your phone to take that away from you. Put it away.

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                              15. Be Weird.

                              Life is way too short to live in the confined limits of how society expects you to act in public. Embrace your natural weird side, because each of us has it. Take the risk.

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                                16. Don’t Delay Your Happiness.

                                There’s a difference between fulfillment and happiness. Fulfillment may be a life-long investment to master and earn, but you can choose to be happy here and now. Smile.

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                                  17. There’s So Much To Learn.

                                  There’s so much we don’t know about the world and the people that live here  —  culture, food, language. The list goes on. The truth is that most of us have been confined by the same part of the world, with the same mindset, for all our lives.

                                  As the saying goes, the more you know, the less you know.

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                                    18. Execution Beats All.

                                    You can talk all day about doing something, but without taking any action, it’s just talk. There are people in the world working 10x harder than we are at our normal jobs and getting paid 1/100th of our normal pay. Most of us don’t know what hard work means.

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                                      19. There’s No Such Thing As A Stranger.

                                      There’s something about meeting with a fellow traveller that immediately connects you with them. If anyone has stayed at an hostel, then you can relate to this.

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                                        20. Vulnerability Is Sexy.

                                        This took me a while to realize, but vulnerability is the sexiest thing a human being can show. Last week, I had a 3-hour non-stop conversation on my flight to Colombia, and the conversation got so intense she ended up tearing up. It was one of the most real moments I’ve experienced in a long time.

                                        It takes a next level of confidence to put yourself on the line for rejection or failure. Embrace humility.

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                                          21. See People For Who They Are.

                                          One of my favorite things about travelling is how people’s normal societal layers are uncovered physically and mentally. Everyone is dressed similarly, without the mask of a three-piece suit, and you’re judged solely on who you are as a person  —  nothing else.

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                                            22. Kill Them With Kindness.

                                            It’s easier to react with frustration than respond with kindness. Choose the latter, you won’t regret it.

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                                              23. Bring Books.

                                              Enhancing your already-open mind with books will do wonders for your creativity. With the amount of layovers, flights, transportation, and unwinding time you’ll have , you can easily read 1 book a week. Check out our top 10 books to read recommended by Barack Obama and Steve Jobs.

                                               
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                                                24. Spontaneity Becomes A Way Of Living.

                                                Unexpected moments will arise during your travels, and your spontaneity muscles will grow.

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                                                  25. Alone Isn’t The Answer.

                                                  If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

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                                                    26. Live For Random Acts Of Kindness.

                                                    It’s the easiest, yet most powerful way to make the world smile.

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                                                      27. You Cringe At #Firstworldproblems.

                                                      It’s hard to empathize with people complaining about losing their restaurant reservations or getting a middle seat on a plane when you meet people who are making less than $5/day while supporting their families.

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                                                        28. Invest In Yourself.

                                                        Travelling alone is one of the few times in your life where your number one goal is to take care of yourself. Be OK with that because you won’t get this moment back.

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                                                          29. Have A Purpose.

                                                          Have a purpose bigger than yourself and your personal goals in life. It’s purpose that empowers us to get through the grind and the obstacles that come our way. The realization that you’re not doing this for yourself, that there are others counting on you, will drive you.

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                                                            30. Stand For Something, Or Stand For Nothing.

                                                            Be bold enough to stand up for what you believe in, but have the humility to know that you don’t have all the answers.

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                                                              31. We’re All Human.

                                                              The irony of travelling is that we set out to explore different cultures, different foods, different people, yet what we come back to realize is that we’re all just the same.

                                                              Poor, rich, famous, Asian, Black, White, Latino  —  we’re all playing the same game of life. At the end of the day, we all want love, validation, respect, and security for our future.

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                                                                Sean Kim

                                                                Sean is the founder and CEO of Pulsing. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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                                                                Last Updated on July 15, 2019

                                                                41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

                                                                41 Beautiful Pictures That Show What True Love Is All About

                                                                Some things in life are hard to describe, yet we can recognize them when we see them.

                                                                Love is one of those things.

                                                                True love comes in many different forms, but here are some that many of us know well.

                                                                True love means supporting those who can’t support themselves

                                                                supportive couple

                                                                  A young man comforts his date in Times Square, New York City. Image by mbtrama

                                                                  strong hug

                                                                    A young man holds his significant other close to him. Image by Brad Fults

                                                                    running help

                                                                      A young track competitor helps one of her injured opponents over the finish line. Image from ViralNova.com

                                                                      feeding kitten

                                                                        A soldier in the Korean War takes time to feed a baby kitten. Image from US Naval Insititute

                                                                        It’s having the perfect selfie partner

                                                                        mom and daughter selfie

                                                                          A mother and her daughter take a selfie together. Image by Andrew Fysh

                                                                          girlfriends

                                                                            Two young girls pose for the camera. Image by Rolands Lakis

                                                                            selfies

                                                                              A happy couple takes a picture together. Image by Kayla Heineman

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                                                                              selfie

                                                                                Two best friends take a selfie together. Image by Jason Wahido

                                                                                dude selfie

                                                                                  Friends take a selfie together. Image by Glenn Scofield Williams

                                                                                  It’s all the warm fuzzies

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                                                                                    A young man spends time with his dog on a beach. Image by Magdalena Roeseler

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                                                                                      A pet owner hugs his dog while on a day trip in San Francisco. Image by Taro the Shiba Inu

                                                                                      It means having a friend to photobomb you

                                                                                      photobomb

                                                                                        A boy makes a funny face as he poses for a picture with his brother. Image by Michael Bentley

                                                                                        old man photobomb

                                                                                          A man photobombs his wife while their grandson snaps a picture. Image by Frank

                                                                                          family photobomb

                                                                                            Family members photobomb their relatives’ Thanksgiving day family photo. Image by Beth Scupham

                                                                                            boyfriend photobomb

                                                                                              A friend photobombs the photographer and their friend, the woman in the foreground of this photo. Image by Lachlan Hardy

                                                                                              True love means being there even when life gets unbearably hard

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                                                                                              shoulder to cry on

                                                                                                A family watches the Vermont National Guard depart for Afghanistan. Image by The U.S. Army

                                                                                                flood dog

                                                                                                  During a monsoon in the Philippines, a boy carries his dog to safety. Image by Romeo Ranoco

                                                                                                  A woman is rescued from flood waters by a resident standing on top of her car during heavy rain in Chalandri suburb north of Athens

                                                                                                    A man helps a woman out of her vehicle during a flood in Chalandri, Greece. Image by John Kolesidis

                                                                                                    lunch

                                                                                                      A woman has lunch with her husband every day, even after he’s passed away. Image from ViralNova.com

                                                                                                      hug

                                                                                                        A woman hugs the mother of 6-year-old Noah Ponzer, who was one of the victims of the Sandy Hook shootings. Image by Spencer Platt

                                                                                                        rubble

                                                                                                          An Oklahoma couple pauses while trying to salvage belongings from a family member’s home after a tornado. Image by Adrees Latif

                                                                                                          sister and brother

                                                                                                            A girl puts her arm around her little brother as they wait outside of Sandy Hook Elementary after gunshots are fired. Image by Reuters.

                                                                                                            headstone

                                                                                                              A woman sits at her husband’s grave the day before their wedding anniversary. Image from NBC news

                                                                                                              It means taking the time for long goodbyes

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                                                                                                                A man says goodbye to his son before deploying. Image by Official U.S. Navy Page

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                                                                                                                national guard goodbye

                                                                                                                  A South Carolina man says goodbye to his son before deploying for Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                                                                                  saying goodbye

                                                                                                                    A Sergeant hugs both of his sons before being deployed to Afghanistan. Image by The National Guard

                                                                                                                    And cherishing reunions

                                                                                                                    husband home

                                                                                                                      A woman hugs her husband as she sees him for the first time since his deployment to Iraq. Image by The U.S. Army

                                                                                                                      boyfriend home

                                                                                                                        A young  woman hugs her significant other as he returns home for Kuwait. Image by The National Guard

                                                                                                                        mother hug

                                                                                                                          A mother drops to her knees as she hugs her son on her return home from the Persian Gulf. Image by The National Guard

                                                                                                                          True love is letting yourself feel young when they’re around

                                                                                                                          elderly women

                                                                                                                            Two friends on their smartphones. Image by Robert Neff

                                                                                                                            feeling young

                                                                                                                              A young couple getting their picture taken. Image by db Photograph

                                                                                                                              sprinkler dad

                                                                                                                                A father plays in a sprinkler with his daughter at Millennium Park in Chicago. Image by Ben Forsberg

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                                                                                                                                subway couple

                                                                                                                                  A young couple on a subway enjoys sharing time together, while the girlfriend’s father sneaks a photo of them. Image by Gareth Williams

                                                                                                                                  wheelchairs

                                                                                                                                    A couple holds hands on a fall day. Image by David Amsler

                                                                                                                                    It’s letting yourself be silly… just because they’ll enjoy it

                                                                                                                                    silly faces

                                                                                                                                      A grandfather makes faces at the camera with his granddaughters. Image by Tim Pierce

                                                                                                                                      vote for pedro

                                                                                                                                        A woman’s father wears a Napoleon Dynamite t-shirt to make his daughter laugh. Image by emdot

                                                                                                                                        True love is allowing yourself to show how you really feel

                                                                                                                                        date night

                                                                                                                                          A young couple kisses in the back of a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Image by Derek Key

                                                                                                                                          playing violin

                                                                                                                                            Violinist Nancy Dinovo plays at a memorial service for the victims of 9/11. Image by Christopher Morris

                                                                                                                                            True love is timeless

                                                                                                                                            old friends

                                                                                                                                              Friends spending some time together. Image by Cristian Bortes

                                                                                                                                              sitting around a fire

                                                                                                                                                A group of friends sits around a campfire eating. Image by New Old Stock

                                                                                                                                                elderly couple

                                                                                                                                                  An elderly couple walks down a street together. Image by Matteo Paciotti

                                                                                                                                                  Featured photo credit: Matteo Paciotti via flickr.com

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