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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 Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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                                                                Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                                                                How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

                                                                How to Crush Your Lack of Motivation and Always Stay Motivated

                                                                How many times have you not achieved your goals and let yourself down due to your lack of motivation? When you’re not wallowing in sadness and self-pity, you are too busy procrastinating till you can’t anymore and before you know it, you are part of vicious cycle of anxiety and stress.

                                                                Whether it’s losing weight or bringing your business to fruition – motivation is essential for growth and success in every sphere of our lives.

                                                                That said, it is not easy staying motivated. In order to constantly stay motivated, you need to take ownership of your life and consciously make efforts in that direction.

                                                                Well, it’s never too late to take matters in your hands and change the course of your life. Here are 11 effective ways to crush your lack of motivation and always stay motivated:

                                                                1. Write Your Goals

                                                                The power of writing goals down has always been underestimated. Why write when you can remember, right? Wrong.

                                                                Our thoughts are all over the place and the first step to achieve your goals is to organize your thoughts. So, write your goals down, however big or small they might be. Make them as specific as possible and assign deadlines to each of them.

                                                                As you write them down and revisit them regularly, they get further drilled in your head, taking you closer to your goals. Doing this small exercise helps you to remain focused, motivated and lets you track your progress with ease.

                                                                Start today – take to your laptop or a diary and get down to writing what you wish to achieve in life.

                                                                2. Beat Procrastination

                                                                Your lack of motivation and procrastination go hand in hand. Every time you procrastinate, your motivation levels take a greater hit. The only way to bring an end to this loop is to stop procrastinating.

                                                                Next time you find yourself putting off something for ‘later’, stop and assess the reasons behind it. Get to the root of the cause and eliminate it in order to overcome this poor habit of procrastinating which is sabotaging your life and mental health.

                                                                Take a look at this guide and learn how to beat procrastination:

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                                                                What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

                                                                When you finally overcome procrastination, you will realize the positive impact it has on your mood and motivation levels.

                                                                3. Celebrate Small Wins

                                                                In the quest to achieve the bigger goals in life, we often forget to celebrate the smaller wins along the way. An achievement is an achievement – be it big or small, it deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.

                                                                Finished a project on time? Reward yourself. Managed to run on the treadmill for a good one hour? Pat yourself on the back. Found time to meditate? Celebrate it.

                                                                It is these small achievements that reinstate that we are on the right path and take us one step closer to the bigger goals.

                                                                So, get into the habit of recognizing and appreciating small wins. You will be surprised to see how this practice helps you stay motivated.

                                                                4. Practice Gratitude

                                                                It’s easier to whine about what we don’t have rather than counting our blessings. Isn’t it?

                                                                Making gratefulness a part of your life is a very important step to retain high motivational levels. It revitalizes our spirits and renews our enthusiasm for life.

                                                                So, how do you practice gratitude? For starters, keep a gratitude journal to jot down what you are grateful for, express your gratitude to people you love and spread positivity wherever you go. If you need some inspiration to be thankful for, here it is:

                                                                60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life

                                                                By doing so, you begin to focus more on what you have rather than what you don’t and that is a great start to stay motivated.

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                                                                5. Be Optimistic

                                                                Life is not always hunky dory. There will be bad days when things aren’t going in your favor, when you feel lost and all you want to do is give up.

                                                                At such times, instead of letting negativity take over your life, adopt an optimistic approach to life. Quit overthinking, ask the right questions and focus on finding solutions.

                                                                Yes, there will be hurdles along the way but if you hang on to positive affirmations and hopes, the journey will be a lot smoother. So, with every passing day, sow the seeds of positivity and you are sure to build a positive environment around you.

                                                                6. Don’t Dwell on the Past

                                                                A lot of times, our lack of motivation stems from the habit of dwelling on the past. This gives rise to fear and regrets, preventing us from making progress in the present day.

                                                                Dwelling on the past is nothing but a waste of time. Understand that the past is long gone, and you cannot do anything to change that.

                                                                What you can do is make your present day worthwhile. Instead of looking back and having regrets, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.

                                                                So, the next time you find your mind wandering off to the past, be determined to change the way you think and consciously concentrate on living in the present. This guide can help you:

                                                                10 Simple Steps To Let Go Of The Past

                                                                7. Face your Fears

                                                                You can never find motivation where there is fear. Identify the fear that is pulling you back and tackle it.

                                                                If you don’t face your fear head on, you cannot expect to conquer it and renew your motivation.

                                                                Ask yourself: What is stopping you? What are you scared of?

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                                                                Once you accept your fear, you can work on an action plan and think of solutions to overcome it. This article will give you some effective tips on conquering your fears:

                                                                How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

                                                                Seek external help if required but don’t choose to turn a blind eye over your fears – it will only aggravate matters.

                                                                8. Visualize your Success

                                                                You must have heard the famous quote, ‘see it to believe it’. That is exactly what visualization is about.

                                                                One of the most effective self-motivation techniques, visualizing the process to your desired outcome helps you move in a positive direction and achieve your goal.

                                                                Close your eyes and focus all your energies on the minutest of details that will take you where you want to reach. Doing this exercise everyday inspires you to keep going and not lose hope. The vision of attaining success will drive you to do better while instilling belief and confidence.

                                                                9. Find Inspiration

                                                                Can’t seem to find inspiration inwards? Don’t panic. There are plenty of external sources to gain inspiration from.

                                                                From motivational books and quotes to speeches, films and apps – it is a good idea to take help from motivational material to rekindle your spirits and regain your motivation.

                                                                Everyone is wired differently. For instance, a self-help book might work for your friend, but it might do nothing to move you. So, find what inspires you and turn to it when you are in desperate need for motivation.

                                                                Finding inspiration externally fills you with hope and sometimes that is all you need.

                                                                10. Enjoy Downtime

                                                                You are clearly exhausted with all the running you’re doing in life. So much, that you don’t even have time to stop and think what’s causing you so much unhappiness. All you know is that you are lacking motivation and everyday seems to have become a struggle.

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                                                                Now, that’s certainly not how you should live the rest of your life.

                                                                You need to schedule downtime for yourself, relax and give your mind and body some rest. Take a vacation, indulge in hobbies, meet some friends, put your hair down and stop with all the overthinking. It is important to do things that make you happy in order to think clearly and stay motivated.

                                                                11. Meditate Regularly

                                                                Meditation lets you take control of your mind. It improves focus and concentration while helping you relax.

                                                                Whenever you have had a tough day or find your thoughts going places, the best way to calm yourself down is by closing your eyes and meditating. It helps you to remove all the unnecessary frills in life and keeps you on the right track.

                                                                Include meditation in your daily schedule and you are sure to see an improvement in your productivity and motivation.

                                                                The Bottom Line

                                                                Practicing these simple exercises isn’t the tough part, what’s tough is religiously doing them every day.

                                                                However, don’t expect to get rid of your lack of motivation overnight. There will still be days when you will be low on energy but by making these conscious efforts to stay motivated, you are sure to see a vast change in your perspective and your response to bad days.

                                                                So, start today and be committed to making a positive change in your life.

                                                                More Tips About Staying Motivated

                                                                Featured photo credit: Sonnie Hiles via unsplash.com

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