After reflecting on my first solo overseas adventure back in 2012, I had a think about what has changed since then. I still love going on trips, but the way I travel has evolved and my world view is constantly reshaping.

Before I travelled, geography was a subject I laughed at.  I only laughed at it because I didn’t understand it. I didn’t have any concept of a world outside of Australia. I had no idea what it was like to be in another country where English was not the main language, where people had different habits of eating, different history, different humour. I didn’t know where half our supermarket produce came from, or how the world has shaped our own country and its history.

I didn’t have any concept of the distance it would have taken for Europeans to cross the world to come and find Australia, or how treacherous the journey would have been. I didn’t realised how far the Romans spread their empire, or why the Vikings were such rugged people. I had never seen poverty on a large scale, nor had I really seen extreme wealth.

I didn’t really understand the world and now I’m beginning to understand it a bit more.

I have a lot more to learn. The more I travel, the more I realise how huge the world is and how much there is that I will never see. I didn’t realise what it felt like to be out of place, to feel like a foreigner, an outsider. I didn’t realise how hard it was to stumble along, trying to make yourself understood in a language that was not your own.

I also didn’t realise how many young people were travelling, exploring the world at such an early age. I didn’t realise how many kind and generous people there were in the world, but I also didn’t realise that some people have no morals and how some people will do just about anything to survive.

Travel makes me question things more, but it also makes me more accepting of other people’s way of life.

Most importantly, travel has made me realise how interconnected we all are. It has made me want to contribute more, even though I don’t always know how. It has made me treasure life and all that it has to offer. And it has made me more concerned and caring for the planet, because it is such a beautiful world and we only have one of it.

How has travel changed you?

22 thoughts

  1. I resonate with this completely!! Travel really opens your mind to so much – but you have to be open to it too! Travel – done right – requires a level of vulnerability to acknowledge that we are simply a small piece of a giant puzzle!

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  2. Beautifully written! It’s fabulous being able to travel at the start of your adult life, as it shapes future directions and broadens your horizons and perceptions of what is possible. You have certainly made the most of all your travel experiences! We loved travelling in France with young children, as the French love kids and opened their doors and hearts to us. They really appreciated the fact that we had brought the whole family from so far away and my clumsy schoolgirl French! We also found that while it is useful to have a language, people, the world over, are keen to communicate and can still make themselves understood through sign language and gestures and you kids had a wonderful time playing with French children or being plied with hot chocolates and croissants while we unpacked! I suspect that’s when you caught the travel bug, though it could also be genetic!!! We look forward to reading future posts about your next adventures!

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    1. Definitely a mixture of genetics and the European trip, which I know is when my love of hot chocolate and croissants started 🙂 You were very brave to travel with all three of us! I can imagine we would have been a handful at times :))) I feel very lucky to be able to continue these adventures xox

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      1. There were perks to travelling with kids like being taken to the head of the queue and opening doors and opportunities we may never have had if we had been on our own! You were certainly adept and independent travellers by the end of the trip! xxx

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  3. Wonderful piece; I deeply resonate with what you wrote. We’re still young, we still have a lot to learn about the world, and the one way to find out is through travel. Best wishes for many more travel memories in the future. 😊

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  4. Like you, travel (and living in a new country) has opened my eyes to other cultures, other perspectives, and news and current affairs that were not on my radar before. I have a much broader perspective on the world now.
    It has also made me much braver and more adventurous. Being in a country where you don’t speak the language can be so scary, and it can be easy to hold back, but I have leaned to just go for it. I’ve learned to go in the shop/restaurant/museum, whatever; to try the conversation; to ask the questions; to listen, be open, and enjoy the experiences!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Yes, being forced out of your comfort zone definitely gives your more courage, especially in regards to languages! And nearly always, it turns out better than expected 🙂

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  5. I tend to smile more when I travel. That might sound kind of silly, or obvious, but it goes much deeper than that for me. I don’t smile enough in my everyday life….so, thank you travel.
    Also, beer tastes so much better when you’re traveling.

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    1. I totally know what you mean. There is so much to smile about when travelling and the world seems to light up! I hope you are able to take some of that travel vibe back to real life 🙂 Smiling is infectious! Oh, and so is beer!!

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      1. For a little while at least…and sometimes, in good moments (often while eating at a restaurant from a country I have visited) it comes back with resilience.
        Enjoy your travels.

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  6. Good article. That’s a very thought provoking question. Two things come to my mind. First, I’m more interactive with people. At home I tend to go about my business, absorbed in my own thoughts and routine. But when I travel, I notice people more and enjoy talking with them. Second, I was never terribly interested in history but now I just love it!

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    1. Ah yes! Travel really awakened my love of history too! It is so much more interesting to learn about history when you are actually standing where it took place! And I agree, it certainly makes people more interactive – I guess when we travel, we live in the moment more and savour every interaction! I try to incorporate this style into every day life too, though it is hard sometimes!

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