When I first returned home from travelling, I wasn’t sure if I changed as a person at all. They say long term travel changes your perspective about life. And I can certainly say that is true. But in what sense does it change your view point? One year later after coming back home from 380 days of travel, I can finally answer that question.
What did I learn one year later after coming back home from 380 days of travel
1 – It’s Important to travel long term to know what you want and what you don’t want
Travelling long term gives you an opportunity to spend a lot of time alone. From the long bus or plane rides or simply from exploring a new country all by yourself, you’ll definitely have a lot of time to reflect on life.
Having all these alone time gives you the opportunity to process what’s going on inside your head. Sometimes, you won’t like what you see or think and will be tempted to block it out.
But, when you’re travelling long term, being alone for such a long period of time; you won’t be able to escape your thoughts. This means for the first time, you’ll be able to confront all your inner demons and come to terms with them.
The end result? You’ll learn the absolute truth about what makes you happy and unhappy.
You can then apply what you learned about yourself and what makes you happy or unhappy and use that knowledge as a filter when making future decisions.
After awhile, you start enjoying your own company. And if you do decide to go on such a journey, the biggest thing you’ll miss when you return back from travelling is having that alone time where your thoughts are purely yours and not being influence by others.
2 – You have a stronger resistance to negative peer influence
After coming back home from travelling long term, I was looking at my friends and noticed something interesting. Many of them are engaging in compensatory behaviour.
What does that mean? It means that they’re insecure about something in their life so they’re trying to force feed me their beliefs to justify their lifestyle choice.
But, if you do a little bit of detective work, you can tell that they’re not happy. They try to mask their unhappiness by buying luxurious material things like a nicer car or a nicer house. They try to justify their actions by succumbing to traditional work choices that they actually hate.
For example, would you be an accountant if you hate accounting? If you took that route because you think it was the safe path to making money, I think you’re pretty stupid. Short term, you’ll be okay. You’ll make some money and make a decent living. Long term? You’ll be miserable as hell, hate yourself and lose self-respect.
Instead of fixing the symptom of their insecurity, they instead choose to turn you to an unfulfilled zombie like they are. If they can’t be happy, at the very least, they’ll want to put you in the same miserable state that they are in.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking accountants, I think it’s a great profession…if you actually enjoy it. And this topic isn’t about accounting. This is about your friends trying to force feed you their lifestyle choice because they didn’t take the time to think things through in their life.
And whenever I look at my friends looking unhappy, unhealthy, and overweight by their lifestyle choice. All I will say is thanks but no thanks. I’m not a big fan of putting a band aid on your insecurities. It’s best to douse your open wounds with alcohol and get the pain over with than slowly dying over a long period of time because you’re scared to face your fears and insecurities.
3 – Your long term future goals and plans becomes crystal clear
After coming back from travelling long term, things will be a mess for awhile in your life. You might feel depressed after returning home. I mean, you just came back from an epic adventure and now your life is dull again. Back to work, back to reality…right?
By all means, yes that’s exactly true. I personally did not feel depressed when I came back from travelling. However, I did feel that it was a bit dull going through the same motions again and again just like before I travelled.
But one thing became clear to me was what my definition of happiness is. For me, it’s to live in Canada six months during the year and six months abroad. It’s to have an online business that’s self sustaining and I don’t have to work for someone ever again.
I do enjoy working but I like working for myself and not for another company or organization.
My timeline is crystal clear. Realistically, I need to set roots here in my home town for 3-5 years saving up money while I work full time. On the side, I will build up my online business until it can sustain me without assistance from working a job.
I’ve also taken the time to formulate my 20 year goal and mission which I’ll talk about as soon as I finish phase one of my plans.
4 – You become fiercely independent
When you travel around the world, you learn to rely solely on yourself. You need to learn how to talk to strangers, budget your money, and navigate your way to your next destination.
Upon returning to Canada, moving back home to my mother’s house temporarily was horrible. Not too long after, I moved out right away and gained my independence back.
I just can’t see myself depending on other people anymore. It’s always best to rely on yourself if you want things done the right way.
5 – You appreciate having a job
Despite wanting a life of freedom where I can sustain myself through my online business, I acknowledge the fact that I am not quite there yet.
It’s going to take time for my online business to pick up and during that time period, I need to work full time for another organization.
Despite having to work for someone other than myself, I have come to terms with that. In the short term, I am grateful to have a job that pays the bills while I work on the side to get my online business off the ground.
Travelling to many countries, a lot of people out there doesn’t have the opportunities that I have here in Canada. Many people around the world get paid $400 a month if they’re lucky. And often times, they’re unemployed and would kill to have any job at all.
At the very least, my “day job” is relevant to one of my interest which is health and fitness. So to honour those who’s living in hardship, I won’t complain about having a job and be grateful for this opportunity to get ahead in life.
6 – You appreciate spending time with friends and family but won’t tolerate bullshit
One of the things I missed a lot while travelling is spending time with friends and family. After the initial high of seeing them again, you start to notice the bullshit that the relationship comes with.
After spending a year relying on myself, I also want to protect my own happiness and time. And some of my friends and family members who I really enjoy hanging out with have become very toxic as a result of their insecurities and fears.
So while I appreciate and enjoy spending time with them, I have cut out or significantly decreased time spent with some of them in order to protect my sanity and mindset.
You should never engage in self-sacrificing behaviour. Relationships should always be win-win and not lose-win.
If you’re not happy with someone and they’re a repeat offender, sadly, you need to part ways and cut them out. They’re just going to poison you with their bullshit as you try and get your life in order and make your dreams a reality.
7 – Respect for people who carved their own path in life
After returning home from travelling, I have met countless people from different countries and even some in my home country who has carved their own path in life.
They didn’t have their mommy and daddy’s money and help them get where they are today. They didn’t have their relatives hold their hand to get ahead. Instead, they fought day in and day out to make their dreams a reality.
And since meeting these individuals from all over the world and some in my own home town, I have nothing but immense respect for these individuals. I’m inspired to follow these individual’s tenacity to execute on their goals and have that life that they want instead of succumbing to the rat race type of lifestyle.
Travelling long term is great and I think it’s something everyone should do at least once in their life. It really opens up your mind and frees you from the limitation of group think that comes from just living in the same city or country during your entire lifetime.
You’ll learn great ideas, meet amazing people, but also experience some hardships that will teach you valuable life lessons.
In the ideal situation, long term travel should be a rite of passage that people engage in before starting a career or committing to a relationship long term.
You can’t know yourself if you haven’t spent a significant time being alone. You don’t know anything about our world if you’ve never taken the time to explore it.
And finally, you won’t know what gratitude truly means if you’ve never seen true hardship from those who live in atrocious conditions.
People say that Millennials are weak, self-entitled, snow flakes. And the biggest reason for that is they’ve spent their whole life being protected from harm by their parents, and the growing radical left wing society.
The better solution is some sort of rites of passage where your independence and self-reliance is tested. Where you need to rely solely on yourself and your skill set for an entire year and learn the value of hardship.
And one of the best way to test your self-reliance is by travelling long term. So if you feel like there’s something stuck in your life, maybe it’s time to find a way how to save up money and travel around the world for one year all by yourself. The future you will thank yourself for it.