Day 8/30 – Three ways how travel opened up my world

Although I’ve not travelled as much as I would have liked, I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to visit a few countries and places domestically. Time after time, journey after journey, travelling does not cease to expose me to its wonders. IMHO, it doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling for work, leisure, or any other reasons; you still come back a different person. Here are three ways that I think travelling will open up a person’s world, at the very least, for me:

Travelling puts things into perspective

I remember having a very unpleasant day the day before I was supposed to lead a group to travel to Harbin, there were some issues with the arrangements for another tour group with an extremely picky group of customers. I needed to be at the airport at 4am but I was still on the phone dealing with the issue at 1.30am. I was extremely frustrated and thought my trip was going to be ruined, and true enough, my phone was still ringing even when I was out of the country and in the transit airport

Fast forward 1.5 days later, we arrived at this placed called Rime Island

I. was. in. awe. There were frost flowers and ice-rimmed trees all over the place, and water vapours constantly coming out of the Songhua river surrounding the island. It was a gorgeous site to behold

It was also during then when it hit me, the world is bigger than I could imagine, why should I be so frustrated over something that could not have been such a big deal? Moreover, I did everything I could that was within my control, and there was really nothing else that could be done. What was the worst that could happen? Losing a few extremely picky customers? I realised that the matter on hand was not as big as my mind made it to be, and it was my own perspective of the challenge at hand that caused it to be big or small; travelling helped me realise this.

Harbin turned out to be one of the best trips I have ever experienced

Travelling helps you learn who you are

You don’t know what you don’t know, and traveling helps you to learn more about yourself. I remember two distinct incidents when it comes to this.

Firstly, I always thought of myself to be an adventurous person. When I was traveling with the girlfriend to Taiwan we had a pretty good itinerary planned, one that would allow us to explore many places at our own pace. Couple of days in our trip, my girlfriend told me to stop chilling at one place, and said that since we’re here, we should explore all we can till the sun goes down. This is when I realised I was not as adventurous as I would like myself to be and knew that this is something that I needed to work on.

Side note, I only agree to 50% of what the girlfriend said, travelling is about exploring, but it is also about staying (not too long) in a place where you like and enjoying it.

Secondly, I was undecided about a few things in my business and was struggling to make a decision. What was holding me back was knowing that if I made the wrong decision, the company would’ve lost money and my runway would be shorter by 1.5 months. The girlfriend and I were on a trip and I had a chance to really speak to her about my concerns and relook at the issue. One of the things that she told me was that being in business is about taking more risks than the average person. True enough, I realised that I wasn’t practicing taking calculated risks enough. I just needed to take some time to lay out the facts and take leap of faith

I know these sounds like things that could be figured out even without travelling; but the fact is travelling disrupts you from your daily routine and it pulls you out from your daily life and thoughts. Sometimes, this simple nudge is the only thing you need to realise things and move forward

It makes you more appreciative

Being in the travel business, I tend to be away for work and sometimes miss occasions that would otherwise be spent with the family. Last year, I had to miss the family’s new year celebration because I was travelling for work. I was afraid that my daughter would forget me and was video calling her every night. In many cases, absence (or distance) does make the heart grows fonder and more appreciative of the loved ones back home

While in Vietnam and certain parts of rural Thailand and Indonesia, I was fortunate to have been shown around by locals to places that tourists don’t usually go. It saddens me that there are quite a number of people that are still living in less ideal conditions, and it also opened my eyes as to how people can live so happily with so little. We are really lucky, and sometimes we tend to be comfortable with the things we have and take them for granted. Travelling puts a stop to that and makes you more appreciative of the current life that you have.

It doesn’t stop here

Although the three ways mentioned above are the things that impacted me personally the most. The benefits of travelling doesn’t just stop here.

Travelling creates meaningful relationships. I remember reading about the fire in Mount Seorak recently and texted a friend there ask if she is OK. I have also received random texts from friends of different countries just to ask how I am.

Travelling educates you, there are so many things that we have yet to learn about other cultures and the difference in terms of thoughts and actions of people from different places

Travelling opens up your mind (only if you let it), the more you see, the more you know, and the more you know that you don’t know. I’ve met a lot of well travelled people who are extremely positive and open minded

All in all, travelling also makes you a more interesting person. So, my friends, let’s go travelling!

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear from you if you have any great travel experiences!



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