The Five Life Lessons of Travel

36 items of clothing, 9 pairs of shoes, 4 bags

Last week I travelled to Phuket, Thailand. We can all agree that life on the road is different to the ordinary. We leave behind our jobs, responsibilities, problems and things usually seem much better. We give ourselves permission to indulge and relax. We absorb ourselves in exploring and learning. Wouldn’t it be great if we could feel that way all the time? Here are the most important things I feel when I’m on the road, and how we can apply these to our everyday lives.

  1. We always have more than we need. Even with a light suitcase, I still carry things I don’t use. Those holographic sandals are awesome, but useless to me in rainy Thailand. While this lesson usually comes retrospectively with travel, it is beneficial to really consider the purpose of each item in your life regularly. Edit your belongings, because…
  2. The less stuff we have, the easier it is to move around. In both life and travel, it’s smart to carry a medical kit in case of emergencies. However most of us carry ‘just in case’ items that we simply do not use. Be realistic and cut out the things that are not useful to you on a daily basis. If you are worried that you won’t own a thing that might come in handy at some point, feel safe knowing that you’ll find a way to improvise. Less things means less work.
  3. Quality is more important than quantity. When you travel with few belongings, you want those belongings to work as well as they can for you. For example, you want the lightest sweater to keep you warm, and the one pair of shoes to protect you from all kinds of elements. This saves you time and effort. Be smart about every single thing you purchase, and get the most flexible and durable things you can on your budget.
  4. Experience matters most. When you travel you are acutely aware of the experiences you have as opposed to the things you own. In our everyday lives we should also aim to focus on experiences. Worrying about getting and managing material things takes up too much of our precious and limited time. Experience matters most.
  5. Do what makes you feel good. When we travel we give ourselves permission to relax. We give ourselves permission to alter our routines and try new things. We need to give ourselves permission to enjoy ourselves more in our everyday lives. Why do we only take time to enjoy the sunset on a Greek Island, visit an art gallery in Paris or get a massage in Thailand? Do it now, do it today, do it at home.


9 thoughts on “The Five Life Lessons of Travel

  1. Couldn’t agree more to points 1-3. I have realised this on my own travels, and hope to be a minimalist traveller in the future..on points 4& 5, everyday of our lives need to incorporate this, thankfully I think I am headed in that direction 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved this article. I bitterly smirked a little while reading the first point – I recently went on a vacation and when I came back, I realized that about half of what I packed I didn’t use. I’ll definitely work on more careful packing in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said. I’m a backpacker and every time I leave my goal is to have only one carry-on (I’ll admit, I’ve only made that happen a few times..) but we do have that natural tenancy of “what if I need this?” as we pack, it can be dangerous!

    Liked by 1 person

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