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How Travel Taught Me 10 Very Important Lessons One Year On

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Do you remember the first time you did something for the first time? How great it felt? How happy it made you? How much your life changed from the pursuit of passion? I do. Here are 10 lessons I learned from travelling South East Asia for 9 months.

There are no longer comfort zones, only the great unknown.

As cliche as it may sound, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” couldn’t be more truthful. Comfort zones leave you feeling safe. It bounds you, ties you down, leaves you trapped. That’s why it’s called comfortable. It’s agreeable and it’s easy.

When you leave behind everything you’ve ever known, it seems almost scary. You are faced with the great unknown, but you’re okay with that because you get to see everyday with a fresh set of eyes. Travelling alone is a journey within itself. Being outside of your comfort zone is something every individual should experience sometime in their life.

Indonesia - Kuta lombok

People will come into your life, and it was no coincidence.

I don’t believe in coincidences. Is there such a thing? There are billions of people in this world. Some we may never meet, so the universe is just allowing us to see how many amazing people are out there in the world and how they fit into your life. They crossed our path for a reason, so take what you want from it but at the end of the day, whether you spend a few days, a couple of weeks, or one month together, these so called ‘strangers’ turn into new lifelong friends from all over the world. And maybe, if you’re lucky you may even meet someone special who becomes a huge part of your life.

Sometimes getting lost, ends up leading you in the right direction.

Often, we get lost. It’s inevitable. If you never ended up ‘lost’, you wouldn’t know how it feels to be in the right direction. If you never made mistakes, you wouldn’t know any better. Getting lost is a part of the process, and often it leads on to be the best decision you ever made.

Gili Trawangan sunset

You see people as they are, not what society wants them to be.

Why should we try impress people by who we are not? One of the greatest parts of travelling are the people you meet. They let down their walls, and you get to see people as they really are. And i’m not just talking about those travellers you meet on a bus, a train, a plane, a trip – it’s also the locals you meet. These locals will make all the difference to your trip.

Coming home, I’ve accepted that I may not be able to just walk into any bar, or any given environment and sit down with a group of randoms and instantly connect. But that’s okay – it allows you to differentiate between the people you know are real, and the ones who have no future in your life.

Indonesian locals

The best things, and the best adventures happen unexpectedly.

The best memories for me have been the unexpected moments. The moments that came out of no-where, the moments where plans weren’t always set in stone. All in all, life is about living in this very moment, making it all count. Because if not now, when? The time is always now.

Energy is contagious. The world is a great mirror. It reflects back to you what you are.

The law of attraction. You get what you put out. Energy doesn’t lie. Be yourself and the right people will come into your life.

Don’t waste time on mediocre people who don’t make you happy.

Ain’t nobody got the energy for that. I’ve learnt this painfully hard-hitting truth through travelling. If people show you a side that makes you question their character, take that hunch and run. There’s nothing worse than having to deal with people that suck your energy. Spend your time wisely with the people you love to be around. Exist to connect to people that are on your level. Your vibe attracts your tribe, so always choose to exude positive energy.

Image of cherry blossoms in Japan

Timing is everything.

The secret ingredient to everything, is timing. If it wasn’t the right time, it may not have ever happened. And if it doesn’t happen – patience. It always works out. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. If you’re not happy where you are, change. If you have never travelled before, don’t just call it a dream, call it a plan.

If you don’t do wild things, you’ll have no stories to remember forever.

Be wild. Be care free. Party. Lose sleep. Be silly. Experience another culture and way of life. Be spontaneous and don’t hold back who you are. Everyone sees what you are, but few rarely experience who you are. This life of ours is an adventure and it moves quickly. Travel with no excuses and live life with #NOREGRETS.

If you think what you have in front of you is enough for the rest of your life, look again.

Don’t settle for ordinary. Fulfill your dreams, whatever they may be. If you think that what’s in front of you is enough, then great. But if you have any doubt in your mind that it isn’t , question it, let it go, and continue wandering the world until you know. Don’t be that idiot that’s sure of every damn thing about their life. Time flies when you’re having fun – be sure to spend it wisely.

Written by Nat Asia Travel who spent 9 months in South East Asia. Contiki trips for 2016/17 are out now. Find your next adventure here.

Gili trawangan swing