2008, the first and last year of college. For me. Ever. Growing up I was never good academically . So naturally, when the time came to go to college I wanted to just die. School provided me with nothing but headaches and a low quality of life. However onward I went. I moved out of my parent’s house and into a 2 bedroom condo with someone I had only met online the day before.
Fast forward a few months later, my favorite band announced they were breaking up and doing a farewell tour in California. By this time I was already on academic probation (big surprise there)
and felt I had nothing left to lose and didn’t want to miss the last chance I had at seeing them play live. So I took what some may call a “leap of faith” or what I would call an escape from school. Drove 4 hours to the airport I was flying out of, jumped on a plane and said goodbye. Little did I know this “escape from school” would transform my life into something I could have never imagined. It opened my eyes to so many new experiences and a lifestyle I fell in love with.
That brings us here. 2017. During all that time I’ve been traveling and seeing the world. Letting the experiences I’ve had along the way be my ultimate, personal, 1 on 1 teacher. Here are some things I learned and feel are very important to know. Things that school just came up short on.
This is a huge one while traveling! Negotiating, enables you to save so much money. Which means you can travel longer, who doesn’t want that? I live by an unspoken rule while living on the road “Never pay full price for anything” (I actually live by this rule everywhere). You learn little tactics like asking the sellers “Whats the best price you can give me my friend?” This makes them start betting against themselves. Helps better gauge how low you can go and gets you there quicker.
Traveling alone is one of the best things you can do for yourself. You won’t have anyone to hide behind. It helps you learn social skills, how to carry on a conversation, ask open-ended questions, learn body language and gives you a confidence boost. Here are some tips that might help you spark up that next conversation with that stranger in that country…If you’re nervous to go up to that person out of fear of stumbling over your words or saying something stupid just remember, you can always walk away whenever. Or if you make a fool out of yourself who cares, chances are you’ll never see that person ever again. Also, don’t talk about politics or religion. Remember, every friend was once a stranger.
Anything can happen while traveling. From getting lost, stranded, food poising, having your things stolen and a million other things. Despite all these things you learn how to adapt and become creative in solving the problems you run into living on the road. I’ve brought a lot of those learning experiences to my everyday life even when I’m not traveling. From using chapstick to lube up sticky zippers or using toothpaste to make insect bites stop itching. (yes it actually works) So much can be learned from traveling it’s quite mind blowing.
Traveling alone and or somewhere new can be scary as hell. From the second you step off the plane, car or train you’re in a different place filled with new experiences and situations. You are in charge, you need to make the decisions and take action. It’s entirely up to you to make the most out of you trip. In doing so before you know it you’ve graduated from the self-confidence development class.
Living Simple and Minimal
There is no better way to declutter your life than going backpacking. It’s amazing how you learn to live without so many things you once thought were a necessity. After living out of a backpack for awhile you truly realize how little you really need. When you travel the world you also quickly realize how little you need to be happy. Plus who wants to be carrying super heavy, huge bags around all
the time? Traveling is the perfect way to declutter your life physically and mentally. Want to know the best part? Memories barely take up any space in your backpack either.
While traveling the world you inevitably come across people from all walks of life and circumstances. Traveling outside of your comfort zone especially can make you take a step back and appreciate all that you have. This is by far one of my favorite things about travel. Keeps me humble and thankful for all I have and am able to do and have accomplished. I believe this is such an important aspect of life to grasp as it helps you stay happy and thankful.
Now, I’m fully aware that school can work wonders for some, however, I knew it wouldn’t for me. So I got out and followed my true passions which luckily didn’t require school…in the traditional sense of the word at least.