Nowadays it seems that the internet is flooded with articles about travelling. What is the best way to travel, pro and cons of travelling, lessons learned while travelling. However this might not be the case. I am following dozens of websites and blogs related to travel, so this clearly has an impact on the sorts of articles I am seeing every day.
I travel. I do not often write about it, I do not always post pictures of what I see. This is by all means a personal reflection of certain things I noticed about myself and it is all due to travelling. I do not want to say that all my adventures changed me profoundly, because I don’t think they did. I had a very good idea of who I was long before I started country hopping, and that, at its core, it never changed. Nevertheless, travelling made some qualities, and equally some flaws surface more often.
I have read a bunch of articles about how the best way to travel is alone, or with a friend, or with a partner, or backpacking or luxury travelling. I have travelled alone, with my travel soulmate who is currently stuck in Sydney, with a partner, in a group. I went backpacking. I hitchhiked, I slept in hotels, hostels, motels, air bnbs. I also slept on beaches and I camped. I worked abroad and I partied. Do not get offended but I do not think there is a perfect way to travel, if you want to travel you will do it anyhow, and what is comfortable for you is the perfect way to travel.
So, all this travelling I have been doing has taught me that:
- Where I am from, it does not matter, and I wish people would ask that less frequently. I am a Romanian living in England, and that is my home. There are certain parts of me which are truly English, and I would argue, certain parts do not belong to any country, Romania or England, but are purely me. Travelling made me realize the world is more diverse than we think. I have met a girl who was half Portuguese, half New Zealander, born in Hong Kong, living in Australia. New Zealand born, raised in Australia, living in America, Indian who lives in America, Syrian who lives in France. Individuals tend to say more than one country when asked ‘where are you from?’ because people might have the wrong impression about the country of origin or they simply identify with more than one culture.
- Travelling teaches you to be more open. Yes it does. But I was open before I started travelling. However, it taught me how to be more reserved, especially in my private life. I learned that it is ok not to share everything, and it is more than fine to be the odd one at the hostel from time to time, if you simply want some alone time.
- Travelling taught me to eat things I simply do not like. I am not a fussy eater, and I have never been, however there are certain things I would rather die before I would buy or cook (maybe that’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean). Travelling erased that idea; you eat what you are being offered; even more so when the people you meet go through the trouble of cooking for you (my advice would be that if you are vegetarian, vegan or have any allergies, you should let people know in advance).
- My story might be very good, but someone else’s story might be great. Meeting people is a great way to discover different places and get to know different cultures. Once you start travelling you are going to have amazing stories and people will be interested in your experiences and they will be impressed with your adventures but you will also meet individuals who will make you think that even though your story is great, their story is better. And they will feel the same. and you will accept that , because you will learn that there are not two people on this planet who travel the same, and every story you hear is as good as the previous one.
- I learned I am very easily entertained and I am almost never bored. I do not need much, actually I would even dare to say, that providing everything is ok, I do not need anything to just be happy.
- Finally I learned that even though a good amount of people I met have a good reason why they travel, I do not have one, and that is more than fine. There are people who travel in search for spirituality, or in search of something they are missing, or in search of love, or they simply travel because of work, money and a million of other reasons, however I just travel, and I don’t know how to answer this question. I travel, and if I will ever find the reason why I do (if there actually is one) I will know then, but until that time comes I shall continue country hopping.