Three days. Two nights. Six life lessons. 3 – 2 – 6. Most trips last for three days and two nights. But the lessons we pick up from each leg of travelling are ingrained for a lifetime.
1. Mind the gap.
Whether traveling alone or with a buddy, there will be considerations and sensitivities. You will consider each other’s preferences in the choice of trips and activities. You will be sensitive to leaving minimum impact and attaining maximum learning on the places visited.
Travel to build bridges between cultures, between interests and between personalities. Mind those simple and daunting differences. And that gap between the platform and the train.
2. Fall in love.
Travel ignites passion; like falling in love. Fall in love – with the place or with the experience. Relish the memories and feel the moment when you hold on to someone while exploring. Like falling in love, do not hold back. Do not be afraid to get hurt. That activity or national treasure other travelers rave about may not be what you expect; be prepared to be disheartened.
Travel to treasure the enjoyment and remember the disappointment.
3. Get lost.
Lose yourself. Break the rhythm. Enjoy the cloak of the unfamiliar and being unknown in a foreign land. Go around the side streets and keep on walking. Losing yourself may be the ticket to enjoying how to wander and explore. Going nowhere will actually lead you to where you are supposed to be. Those unannounced changes in itineraries make magnificent teachers.
Remember: happy accidents make the best trips. Travel to create lots. And begin again.
4. Accept your honest self.
Travel opens your personal gate to the world. Get to know your honest self versus your best self. It is about both finding and creating yourself. What is best is the picture you want to paint to make an impression on other people. What is honest is the portrait you would rather have to make you truly happy.
Travel to invoke self-honesty; not that pretty picture of a conventional child, sibling and friend.
5. Learn to let go.
Drop the OC tendencies and leave the handy itinerary of things-to-do by the hour; let go and allow yourself to be led. Sometimes, not knowing where to go to next is part of the fun. Although travel can be stricken with challenges, let go and learn from these mistakes. Make a fresh start: begin at point A to get to point B then C and D; or go crazy and start at K.
Travel to enjoy; but do not get attached.
6. Come home.
Simply because life goes on. Come home renewed. Come home to the familiar. Come home fulfilled. Unless home means leading a location independent lifestyle, come home to what your heart truly desires. There is always an extra ounce of appreciation for the familiar bedspread, the steady shower and the adoration of pets when coming back.
Travel, go home, then hit the road. Again.