In this latest top 10 series, I will be covering the top 10 life lessons I learned during my 380 days of travel around the world.
Here is a list of Ten Top 10 I will be covering in this series:
- Horrible Experiences
- Favourite Experiences
- Life Lessons
- Hikes and Treks
While travelling around the world, I got the opportunity to reflect back on life. It gave me a chance to get to know myself better as well as those around me. Going from country to country, you’ll get the opportunity to observe and speak to locals. Often times, you will learn that what you knew back home, may not be true elsewhere.
It’s definitely an eye opening experience and I now use what I learned during my travels to make my decisions. This is why I’m a big advocate for people to invest in long term travel. The lessons you will learn will stay with you for the rest of your life. Without further delay, here are my top 10 life lessons I learned during my travels.
The top 10 life lessons I learned during my 380 days of travel around the world
#10 – Trust your gut
While travelling, I realized that your gut is often right. If you feel you’re in an area that doesn’t feel safe, then you’re probably right to get away as soon as possible. When talking to a taxi driver or a corrupt official and your gut tells you they’re up to no good, your gut is probably right. Trust your gut.
However, there are times when the situation does seem sketchy but your gut tells you otherwise. For example, Karen and myself got out of our car in this town in South Africa. Normally, you’re not suppose to go out of your car unless you know for sure it’s safe. However, our gut told us it was safe and our gut was right!
Trust your gut while travelling and it will give you the answer you’re looking for when put in an uncertain situation.
Because of these reasons, trusting your gut is in my top 10 life lessons I learned during my 380 days of travel.
#9 – Don’t fall for the rat race trap
After coming back from travelling, there are some things I used to hate that I can now tolerate. I used to hate doing menial repetitive day to day work. Strangely, now I’m okay with it. It’s mainly because I realized I have an opportunity that we typically take for granted. And now, I’m aware of that and have gratitude for it instead of disdain.
At the same time, there are some things I now do not tolerate. And one of that is falling for the rat race trap.
Rat race trap
I noticed whenever someone here is trying to shame me, they are using the rat race idea of success to do so. They’ll shame me for not having more money, or not having a nicer car, apartment, house, or furniture. If not material things, then they’ll attempt to shame me by saying I have not moved up the corporate ladder.
One of the biggest benefits of travelling long term is your resistance to such bullshit mentality. Your mind becomes independent and you know for a fact that what you should seek is long term happiness not external validation.
I look at these people who are using the rat race trap to shame me and often times, they are extremely unhappy and unsatisfied with their life. They try to force feed me with this garbage mentality because they hate themselves and their current life situation. They’ve been numb for so long chasing the rat race dream that they completely lost themselves. For many people, being wrong is absolutely unacceptable. Because they want to feel “right”, they resort to forcing their rat race belief onto you in order to prevent being proven wrong.
Of course they are wrong because they look miserable internally. Building up your wealth is a good thing but doing it through the rat race method if that’s not something that resonates with you is not.
Because of these reasons, resistance to the rat race trap is in my top 10 life lessons I learned during my 380 days of travel.
#8 – Your values will clash with other people and that’s okay
While travelling, it wasn’t always sunshine and roses. Often times, I clashed with other travellers because they’re trying to force feed me their style of travel. Everyone has a different travel style and just because they enjoy doing one thing doesn’t mean that’s the only way to travel. For example, I hate doing tons of activities when I travel. I like to do one thing per day and that’s it,. Loading up my schedule with too many activities is not what I want to do.
I like relaxing, talking to locals/fellow travellers, taking photos and recording videos. But, I hate doing things like kayaking, mountain biking or doing too many sporting activities. They’re just not fun for me! If I want to be active, I personally prefer working out in the gym or go for a hike.
Values at home
Upon returning from travel, people are still trying to force feed me their values when it comes to life. Attempting to shame me that the most important thing is getting a good career with a good company, and work your way up. Oh, and don’t forget you should get married, have kids, get a mortgage, and do that sort of life until you’re 65.
Uh…no thanks, take your agenda back because I’m not interested.
I’m all for getting married and having kids, but I want to do it on my terms and not because someone is trying to tell me that at my age, that’s the next step in my life.
The next step is whatever my current project is, not what society deems it to be. I’m all for getting a property but maybe I don’t want to do it in Canada because we are in a housing bubble.
Travel teaches you to think independently and hone in your values harder and as a result, you will clash with many people upon return. And this is okay because we’re all different. As long as you know yourself, then you’ll be able to surround yourself with individuals that share your values and greatly limit your time with those that don’t.
Because of these reasons, I put being okay with clashing values with other people to be okay in my top 10 life lessons I learned during my 380 days of travel.
#7 – It’s cheaper to travel than to live in North America
Living in Vancouver, Canada is very expensive. A one bedroom apartment will cost you at least $1200 a month. Including food, gas, insurance, and other expenses, you’re looking to spend at least $2000 per person to survive in this city. However, while travelling around the world, it’s not unheard of to live comfortably for $1000 per month. This is especially true if you travel slow or if you live in cheaper countries like Thailand.
This is why I’m a big advocate to starting an online business and making money online because you only need $1000 a month to travel from country to country, especially if you travel slowly.
Because of these reasons, I put it’s cheaper to travel than to live in North America in my top 10 life lessons I learned during my 380 days of travel.
#6 – What’s true in your home country is not necessarily true in other countries
I find that people in North America seem to think they know what’s best for other countries. To me, this is a bit ironic. How can you say what’s best for another country when you don’t live in that other country or have never been there before?
I’ll give you an example: the president in the Philippines is highly demonized by the Canadian media. However, I was in born in the Philippines and I know the reality of things and how bad the corruption really gets in that country. The current president, Duterte, has extreme methods but he’s also cleaned up the country and I never felt safer to go back and visit.
Corruption is at an all time low and infrastructure is being built all over the country to help the citizens.
However, the media only tunnel visions on his extreme methods which I admit is questionable. However, I find that he is a necessary evil to clean up the country and he’s done more good than bad.
Before, when people asked me if they should visit Philippines, I immediately say no, it’s not safe. Nowadays, I give people a resounding yes because it’s never been safer for travellers to visit the country. It’s important to get the truth first hand instead of blindly accepting what the media says.
Because of these reasons, I put the truths about our world in my top 10 life lessons I learned during my 380 days of travel.
#5 – You need to learn the right skills in life if you want to get ahead
One of the favourite things I like to do when visiting a new country is to talk to the locals about their current economic situation. Many countries outside North America don’t make that much in terms of monthly salary. However, there is always specific skill sets that makes people financially well off even if their country is a developing one.
It’s not a big surprise that one most important skill that people need to know is the ability to speak English. In many non-westernized countries, doing work for a foreign company is the best way for them to make a lot of money. And because English is the official business language in the world, having a strong command of it is of utmost importance. Even with countries like Poland where monthly salary is roughly $1000 a month, they’re willing to pay $1000 to take an English conversation class just to get that competitive advantage.
The other skill that seems to be huge is IT related. When I went to Ukraine, their average monthly salary ranges from $300-$400 a month but if they are skilled in IT, they can make $2000 USD a month which is a ton of money for the average Ukrainian.
Because of these reasons, developing the right skills in my top 10 life lessons I learned during my 380 days of travel.
#4 – You need to cut out toxic people out of your life…even if you really like them
There’s a saying that you’re the average of the five people closest to you. And that’s because whoever you’re around with the most will influence the way you think and the way you act. If your friends are rich, chances are, they’ll teach you their mind set to getting rich. However, the opposite is also true. Let’s say your friends are overweight, and then chances are, you will also become overweight because they’ll be tempting you to eat tasty unhealthy food.
Cutting out toxic friends
Upon returning back from travel, one of the things I really missed back here in Vancouver, Canada is hanging out with my childhood friends. So, I took the time to start hanging out with some of my high school friends again like the good old days.
As soon as I did this, I noticed a massive shift in my mindset. Some of my friends have gone on to be successful and are feeding me with great ideas and motivation to hustle hard in life and be successful. However, I also have friends that are on the exact same place as when we were in high school. They are still negative, closed minded, and overweight. To put it bluntly, they aren’t going anywhere in life.
Still, I like them a lot so we resumed hanging out for a while until they start feeding their toxic mindset and rude behaviour upon the group. Sadly, we had to cut them off which is probably one of the hardest thing I had to do in my life because quite honestly, I really like them.
Sadly, if you want to get ahead in life, you cannot allow yourself to be influenced by individuals who don’t have a growth mindset and are pessimistic about everything.
On a positive note
Despite having to cut out toxic friends, I also learned that I really value hanging out with friends while I was travelling. It’s pretty much the main thing I missed during my travels. So now, I learned that it’s important to nurture those friendships because they bring a big source of happiness in my life.
Because of these reasons, I put cutting off toxic people out of your life in my top 10 life lessons I learned during my 380 days of travel.
#3 – You should take advantage of globalization
One of the most common way I know people make money from investments is through real estate. People buy properties in the city they live in and rent them out to tenants. However, while travelling, I learned that you can buy properties from another country and you can actually make bigger returns with a smaller upfront cost!
I also learned that people from developing countries are already taking advantage of this by working for Westernized companies and earn a living that is much higher than what they can earn in this country.
Why can’t we do the same?
One of the best ways to take advantage of globalization is to hire people from developing countries and sell to individuals in westernized countries.
Even if you do it at a small scale by say…running an online business, you can hire talented people from countries that lacks employment opportunities like Serbia, and pay them in their countries wage and get high quality work in return. It’s the biggest win-win scenario I can think of. Steady salary for them, higher profit margin for you.
Because of these reasons, I put taking advantage of globalization in my top 10 life lessons I learned during my 380 days of travel.
#2 – It’s important to be grateful for having a job
Good people are suffering all over the world because they can’t get a job. Many of them are skilled and educated. But, because their country is ran by a dictator that is against capitalism, there are just no opportunities for these individuals.
Take Venezuela for example. I met many people there who just have no job opportunities at all. At most, They make a few dollars a month. Even if they want to hustle hard, they can’t. Here in Canada, it’s very easy to get a job. If I want to make more money, I can just get a second job.
It’s not easy to work that many hours, but the opportunity is available unlike many countries in the world. Because of the abundance of opportunity, I no longer take having a job here in Canada for granted.
Because of these reasons, I put gratitude for having a job in my top 10 life lessons I learned during my 380 days of travel.
#1 – Acknowledge reality and be more realistic
One of the biggest thing I learned while travelling is the importance of acknowledging reality and coming up with a realistic plan to achieve my dreams.
For example, my goal is to eventually make steady online income through my travel blog and YouTube channel. But, I know it will take time to build it up. I acknowledge that fact and don’t rush things. Therefore, I won’t quit my day job until my online income sources are steady enough to support me.
The reality is, we have plenty of opportunity and freedom available to us here in North America. We need to take this luxury of opportunity that we have and use it to fullfill our dreams. And hopefully, one day, we can give back to people who is lacking opportunity and open doors for them.
Because of these reasons, I put acknowledging reality in my top 10 life lessons I learned during my 380 days of travel.
Top 10 life lessons during my 380 days of travel conclusion
The biggest thing I truly learned is that life is not fair. If you are born or live in a specific country, you will have more opportunity presented to you. It will be easier to get ahead in life and you’ll also have a better quality of life.
We should never take what we have for granted. Because, there are people out there that doesn’t have what we have. So we should take the opportunity that we have and use it to achieve our dreams. And one day, give back and help provide opportunities. And I’m not talking about donations. I’m very against hand outs. An opportunity can be a loan or a job. Something that people can do for work to get ahead.
Opportunity gives people dignity to work hard towards their goal and achieve their dreams.
What are your top 10 life lessons you learned while travelling?