10 Lessons I learnt from long term travel that I wouldn't of learnt at home

  1. The world is full of amazing people.

Really amazing people. The generosity I have received while traveling is something I never knew existed. I have been let into strangers homes, fed, taken around their city and come out with a life long friendship. And what do they want in return? Nothing, but to love their country as much as they do. Simple things people give you along the way like smiles, directions or recommendations can save you time and help you travel further. People are awesome. So go against that advice you were given as a child; a DO talk to strangers. Remember 'everyone you meet knows something that you don't'



  1. You learn to talk less and listen more.

Going on from number one; Knowledge is the most powerful tool, listen to everything people have to say, even if you think it may be leading no where. This also goes for listening to what's around you, the language, the noises, the animals. When you are traveling you have a lot of spare time and are more relaxed, sub-consciencely you are listening to your surroundings more intensely, and when you come home you hear more than ever before.



  1. Bragging doesn't get you far.

Don't try and up everyone's travel stories. Yeah alright you may have been further and wider, but really what does it matter. Make you experience you own, make stories to last a life time, rather than all in one sentence. One of my favourite examples was a friend of mine talking to another friend  telling him of her up and coming adventure and how excited she was, he listened the whole time, not interrupting, and only at the last minuet mentioned he had done the exact route and she was going to love it. We still talk about how humble he was.


       Cheap Long Term Insurance for Backpackers

“It is better to keep silent and be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

4. Making the 'wrong' decision usually leads you to a better path

Long term travel teaches you this straight away, you so frequently take the wrong bus, stay at the wrong hotel or bigger issues like trust the wrong person. But then it leads you on to a much better path that without that wrong decision you wouldn't be on.  It helps you to stop overthink and lets the journey take you where it wants.


' It is better to regret the things you did rather than the things you didnt do'


 5. Travel is A LOT cheaper than you think.

6 months in South America cost me £3k. 6 months in England would of cost me £8k.

We live in a very overpriced continent (all be it relative) travel helps you change your mind-set to buying what you need rather than what you want.

Read here Why I can't afford to STOP travelling


6. Having 'nothing' makes you appreciate 'something'

When I say nothing, I mean no home comforts. No warm showers, no electric,hard beds, dirty bathrooms. I still am genuinely surprised when I go into a restroom that has toilet paper in it. A fridge with food in? A tap with hot water? They are now luxuries.

Water can shower in Peru....
Water can shower in Peru....

Earn and travel; become a English teacher abroad

7. You can't please everyone

As much as you know what you are doing is exactly what you want to be doing, there will still be that 'concerned relative' that thinks its about time you get a real job and settle down, or that 'hard-core backpacker' who doesn't think you should be wearing those baggy pants. There will always be someone who disagrees with you, doubts you or just generally doesn't like you for no apparent reason. Do you care? Its a price you pay for meeting so many people. Still rather that than not meeting any.


8. Worrying is the most pointless waste of time.

Chances are its going to happen anyway. You will be late, your plans will fall through, you will get sick. Dont waste time thinking what if, take chances.


9.The world is full of breath-taking, beautiful nature.

The sights you see couldn't of been dreamed up. They leave you speechless. I still cant find the words to describe the beauty of the landscape of Colombia, a volcano erupting in Ecuador, the stars in the middle of the Pacific sea, or the sharks in the waters of Mexico. But the best thing is you've seen them all with your own eyes. Not on a documentary, not in a book; those sights will be instilled in your brain forever.


Sempuc Champey, Guatemala
Sempuc Champey, Guatemala

10. The most important thing in the world is Happiness.

Your happiness, your loved ones happiness, even the people you've never met happiness. Being happy keeps you moving, keeps you dreaming, gives you patience and provides you with love. There is nothing else that can give you all of that. This was the biggest lesson I learnt while traveling, suddenly nothing else mattered, waking up with a smile gave me more than any amount of money or material things could.

Innocent Happiness in Indonesia
Innocent Happiness in Indonesia

...and remember

About The Author

Sarah is a Twenty something Scuba obsessed Travel Blogger and a self proclaimed 'Global Gypsy' originally from the UK. Follow her journeys as she blog's, blows bubbles, takes photos and drinks too much coffee around the globe as part of the new generation of digital nomad's. Find out more about her and her website here

What life lessons have you learnt through travel? Share them below!

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