Travel Leads to Bravery

Today’s post is just a amalgam of travel thoughts, insights and lessons I have picked up during the time I’ve spent abroad and traveling.

The Back Story

My first time on an aeroplane was at the age of 23 and it was a local flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg. I was applying for my Schengen Visa as I was about to embark on a month long TEFL course at American school The Language House in beautiful Prague in the Czech Republic.

Shortly after that, I boarded a plane alone and travelled to Europe.

My second flight ever and it was a long one indeed. I spent the first month going to classes, learning in-depth grammar, teaching techniques and had teaching practice in the evenings.

After completing the course I spent the remainder of my time having a good old time hanging out with new friends, skateboarding Stalin Plaza and exploring the Czech countryside.

Writing this now makes me appreciate my time there so much more and I’m humbled I got to experience what it was like. What makes it even better was that my older brother had hyped me up about Prague close to two years before it actually became a reality. He had lived there for almost two years and he had told me stories and painted many pictures for me during this time.

After Prague, I returned to Cape Town only to leave two weeks later on a flight to Hong Kong.

The rest is now history.

I’m still in Hong Kong by the way.

Reasons I Love Traveling

I really enjoy the challenge of managing my daily habits while abroad and when travelling to new places.

It’s about waking up in a different bed.

Waking up at a slightly different time perhaps or at the exact same time as you you usually do.

It’s about journalling in a different room or place in a different country.

It’s about stilling the mind while being surrounded by new sounds, people and pictures.

It’s about the adrenaline that courses through your veins as you explore new terrain and deep within knowing each decision you make could change the course of your adventure.

Train Street in Hanoi

Traveling cultivates independence.

It opens you up to the world.

We begin to see the world through the eyes of others.

Seeing how other people live will show you how similar we are as humans. It will also shed some light on how different we can be.

What’s normal for you might not be so normal for the people you’re now surrounded by.

Travelling directly shows you how little we actually need to get by.

The list can go on.

People

Make a conscious effort to look at the faces of the people you see as well as their body language. Look at how they carry themselves and how they approach this life we are here to live.

Each country we visit has a unique culture and this culture is one of the main reasons we should visit new places.

Language

You should take it upon yourself to learn a few key phrases.

Dream Catchers Hoi An

I can guarantee that it will come in handy. It will affect the exchanges that take place between you and the local people, which makes for an overall better experience.

You might also find out that you like a particular language and may continue to study it on your return home.

The benefits of learning a language or two are too numerous to mention. Separate post on language coming.

Food

If you are very sensitive to different kinds of food, I’d say be careful. I had gastroenteritis twice over a year ago and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. It can change your whole life.

Otherwise, I tend to eat pretty much everything when in a new country.

Go for it! You only live once. Just make sure you have enough cash money to spend on other things besides food.

Packing

Travel light.

Chilling in Hoi An, Vietnam

I personally only travel with one bag that I take as carry on as I don’t like waiting for baggage post flight.

It makes for lighter travel and less hassle, unless I’m heading back to my home country will I take a big bag on board.

By traveling with one bag I’ve learnt that less is always more.

When you think you have enough, remove one or two more things and then you’ll be all set.

Remember we need space in all areas of our lives not just in our bags.

According to yoga, we want to cultivate Sthira Sukham which translates as steadiness and ease.

We should apply this to our life and not just physical yoga practice.

Space gives us freedom and the ability to move with comfort and ease.

The challenges along the way will build you into the person you will need to be when you arrive.

Now you appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

Questions for you all

Please feel free to answer anyone of them.

Where would you like to travel to next?

Where have you already traveled to?

Do you keep the same routine when you travel or do you have an adjusted one that you pack into your bag?

What happens when something comes up or you’re overseas and traveling?

Does it all just go out the window?

How do you manage your daily habits and rituals when you’re taken out of your comfort zone?

10 thoughts on “Travel Leads to Bravery

  1. Travel, whether domestically or abroad, has always expanded my viewpoint and strengthened my abilities. I have had a lifelong wanderlust. I will answer your questions, when I have a bit more time-maybe this weekend.

  2. I was born and raised a traveller, born in Alaska, lived in Europe where I travelled through Spain, London, Italy, Germany, France -while living in Belgium. As an adult, I habe travelled through Meritah (people call Africa). Next up is the Phillipines, Canada, or Switzerland. Im actually planning to write a blog about this myself and will go more in depth then!

    1. Hello Mai! Wow! It sounds like you’ve seen quite a lot of Europe, I’m yet to explore its depths. As for Philippines, you should definitely go! You’ll love the food and the exotic places you can explore let alone the beaches. Try head to El Nido on Palawan Island if you make it. 🙂 I also want to visit Switzerland and Cananda. Look forward to your blog!

  3. I boarded my first plane alone at the age of 23 as well. A terrifying and exhilarating experience to say the least. Three weeks exploring Peru, South America and I can say that it was definitely the most incredible experience of my life so far.
    Sometimes, while traveling, I catch myself panicking at that lack of control. That fear of getting lost, making the wrong turn. That potential though is what makes travel worth it. The hidden gems you find around the “wrong turn” or the parts of yourself you never knew. I just have to remember to breathe. Let the sounds, smells, the new air wash over me and be present. Breathe.
    You’re right, Travel does lead to bravery.

    1. I am so glad this resonated with you. It is that feeling of exhilaration that makes traveling so great! Tends to bring us closer to how real life can be when each move counts. Well said, just breathe and take it all in. Thank you for your comment Becky!

  4. My daughters (Teens) want to go to a “tropical” place: I’m thinking Hawaii or Jamaica.

    Where have you already traveled to? South Korea, Canada, France, Italy

    Do you keep the same routine when you travel or do you have an adjusted one that you pack into your bag? Walking, walking, walking is usually the main form of exercise.

    What happens when something comes up or you’re overseas and traveling? Nothing serious has ever happened, knock on wood!

    How do you manage your daily habits and rituals when you’re taken out of your comfort zone? It’s really hard for me, but I push myself to relax about it. I make really good decisions about diet 85% of the time when on vacation.

    1. Thank you so much for this response Caroline! I really enjoyed reading and learning more about you. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

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