What Traveling Has Taught Me

There’s so much to love about going to places – the food, people, culture and the place itself. But, what made me keep on going from a place to another, apart from the ones aforementioned, are the essential things that I’ve collected from it. I am not talking about those souvenirs, sea shells, sands or stones that I get from a place that I’ve recently been to but ‘these’ ideas. Ideas that change your perspective every now and then that you gain one and are essential enough you carry them around with you, anywhere and all the time knowing each by heart. What are those ideas, or rather learnings that I’ve had? Here’s the top 10 that I have so far.

Be less of a spendthrift

I have always thought about it lately: Cash spent on branded clothes and pairs of shoes bought in the mall could have actually brought me to a paradise miles away from home. Ukay Ukay and surplus shops actually have become an alternative. In fact, I’ve had a lot of good finds in there most especially for my travel ootd. This entails patience, though. Moreover, I have also started considering stuff before I have them purchased whether I really need it or I just want it.

Be healthy

I have started eating less in fast food restaurants and drinking high-end coffee less, too. I usually bring packed lunch to work. I have started eating more of fish and greens and increased my colorless liquid intake because meat and colored and carbonated beverages are 1) expensive and 2) not that good to our health if we have too much consumption of it. Further, I take the stairs, walk or run from a destination to another if I can instead of taking an elevator, escalator, ride; thus, I was able to still save some bucks.

 Traveling isn’t a race nor a contest

There’s no need to rush; it doesn’t have a deadline. You don’t have to travel the whole world all at once just because the people around you have been traveling a lot, too. Travel at your own phase. Vacations and sick leaves are limited same as your money. Further, remember that your job is,  in the first place, the reason why you were able to travel since it funds your getaways so perform in it and earn incentives that you might also use in traveling lol. Slow down, plan your trips well and make them worthwhile.

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 Get a life, travel partner.

There’s more to life than making money and focusing on making both ends meet. Pause from adulting for a while and loosen up! Well, I was busy with work and graduate studies that I have forgotten how to live. I was stressed more often. Before work and studies had sucked the life out of me, I stepped out of that door and wandered off to the seas and summits. I was fully recharged, then. There’s nothing wrong about working hard to earn a living. What’s wrong is not living life the way it’s supposed to be lived, E N J O Y!

 Travel while you still can

The good thing about being single in my 20’s is that I have the time, energy and money to travel. While I have all these, I travel while I can and live in the moment. I might have a lot of money when I grow old due to saving and you know, pension, but the thing is I might not have the energy anymore. No yolo-ing in my 70s. For God’s sake.

The traveling principles

I have learned a lot of traveling principles from the tours I have joined and the people I was with on DIY trips. Among these are ‘Leave No Trace’, ‘Take Nothing But Pictures’, ‘Safety first’ and others. Before, I thought it would be fine to bring home a stone, a pinch of sand, some seashells for collections. But then, I have come to realize, what it a million of travelers or tourists have thought of the same thing? What would the next generatiob be looking forward to when they travel as well? Moreover, following these traveling principles is actually a way of respecting mother nature.

Never ever underestimate a mountain

Just because it’s a minor climb it doesn’t mean that everything about it is going to be easy-peasy. Even a hardcore climber could encounter difficulties in any mountain be it a major or minor climb. Mother nature loves surprises, too.

Be sensitive with the locals’ culture

Every ethnic or cultural group has their own beliefs, practices and oh, unique taboos. It has become my practice to research about the place and the people as part of my planning while coming up with an itinerary especially for DIY trips. I also interview other people and travelers as to what kind of locals does a particular place have. In fact, some groups have really interesting culture; and I have also heard ones that sent shiver down my spine.

Traveling is a form of investment

Some people have previously asked me questions like “what do you get from going to places?”, “Why don’t you save your money for the future?” And told me that “You’re not getting any younger”. I tell them rather that traveling is a form of investment. I may have spent a lot for my trips but what do I get in return? Satisfaction. Happiness. Self-fulfillment. Realizations. Learnings. I invest on memories. Abraham Maslow has this hierarchy of needs. Traveling has become one of my ways to achieve self-actualization.

Less is more

No air-condition, cellphone signal, Wi-Fi, television, soft mattress, thick blankets, hot bath because tents, hammocks, grass, bonfires, summits, sea breeze, salt water, socialization, people, s’mores, local food, starry nights is more. The nature has something far better to offer than what we have always thought as comfortable and  convenient.

In a nutshell, traveling significantly changed and will continue changing my perspective due to the things that I get from it. I learned it the best way life could give – through traveling. How about you? What have you learned?

Anne Elizabeth Gumiran, also known as Queenie, is a 20-something, full-time public school teacher, a part-time travel blogger and a freediver. She started putting her stories of adventures and misadventures into words and pictures in 2017 and continues to do so as she shares her advocacy, Sustainable Traveling.

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