University of Life – 8 things I learnt from traveling

Everyone loves traveling, with transportation infrastructure so advanced now, we can go to any parts of the world at a relatively affordable price. Being able to see the world, allows us to see situations in a different perspective. Learning never ends, we learn anytime and anywhere, even when traveling.

Here are 8 things I’ve learnt while travelling.

Be flexible

8 things i learnt while travelling
Hat Yai, 2016

Life is full of uncertainties. Dirty hostels, canceled flights, missed buses, broken digital gadgets. Learn to tell yourself it will be alright, everything happened for a reason. Most adversities or unhappiness we face, allows us to understand ourselves better.

8 things i learnt while travelling
Putrajaya, Malaysia, 2016

I’ve purchased tickets for the next available flight and had a blast traveling, traveling without an itinerary or going to a country without arranging transportations. Those opportunities allowed me to appreciate the present and not let my feelings dampen the trip. It also gave me ample time to experience a certain location, before moving to the next, as Singapore is fast paced enough to not cramp itineraries while traveling.

Move on, never look back

8 things i learnt while travelling
Hong Kong, 2017

You Only Live Once (YOLO) is indeed true. Never regret the decisions you make, as it will hinder your happiness.

I booked a trip to Hong Kong for 7 days, instead of the initial 4 days, and only noticing it upon purchase of tickets. I had blast for all 7 days! Including opportunities to interact people around the world and traveling across the “causeway” to Shenzhen, China.

8 things i learnt while travelling
Coney Island, Singapore, 2016

I embarked on my first solo trip, with people telling me how dangerous Malaysia and Thailand is and how I will get into danger if I do go on a solo trip. Most places in this world are known to be unsafe, from the perception of the media, however, if we are afraid, we will never know how wonderful and massive this world is. Exercise caution and be street smart, you will have half the trip conquered.

8 things i learnt while travelling
Hong Kong, 2011

Appreciate nature

8 things i learnt while travelling
Kawah Putih, Bandung, Indonesia, 2016

Coming from a concrete jungle, I am really appreciative of what nature has to offer. The Alps during winter or the sulphuric smelling volcanic crater that was left due to the volcanic system.

With global warming, deforestation, and urbanization, you will never know the landscapes that you are enjoying now, will be the same few years down the road. Immerse yourself in nature, let nature do her magic to you.

8 things i learnt while travelling
Slovenia, 2013

Humans are the product of mother nature, from the survival of the fittest (evolution). Why not let’s get closer to our distant relatives, regardless of what they are. Birds, fish, plants, etc.
Nature is also the best thing we can leave for our future generations.

8 things i learnt while travelling
Bandung, Indonesia, 2016
8 things i learnt while travelling
Tangkuban Perahu, Bandung, Indonesia, 2016
8 things i learnt while travelling
Beitou, Taipei, Taiwan, 2017 

 

Smile is the universal language

8 things i learnt while travelling
Busan, South Korea, 2016

 “A smile is the prettiest thing you can wear”

Growing up in Singapore, we are blessed that English is our first language. However, English will not be the first language or a learned language in other countries. The language barrier will tend to happen while traveling, especially to a lesser-known destination. The feeling of helplessness lingers when nobody understands what you want to say, being angry and impatient will build up. However, with a smile, it will make communication easier, people will be friendlier and be more willing to help.

8 things i learnt while travelling

A smile will also make you more approachable, which allows you to have more friends and companions during your trip. Learning a thing or two during conversations will broaden your perspective and thinking.

Be proud of your country

8 things i learnt while travelling
Busan, South Korea, 2016

Hailing from Singapore, the little red dot, being part of the population of 3.38 million who are holding the little red book, which is the strongest passport in the world. This allows us to travel multiple different countries, without worrying about complicated visa issues. However, we should not be complacent about it as Singapore came a long way to achieve such international achievement.

8 things i learnt while travelling
Busan, South Korea, 2016

I’m proud to say that I come from Singapore, as people from different countries are really fond of Singapore and Singaporeans. How we advanced from a third world to first world country, without any natural resources. To how friendly and considerate Singaporeans are overseas. This indeed became conversation openers with locals overseas. Which, gave me warmth, even in the cold during winter. Why would I not feel proud to be a Singaporean?

8 Things I learnt Traveling
Bandung, Indonesia, 2016
8 Things I learnt Traveling
Hat Yai, Thailand, 2016

F R I E N D S

8 things i learnt while travelling
Bandung, Indonesia, 2016

The pros about traveling are making and meeting friends. With friends, we will be able to get a gist of the local life, which touring might not be able to bring us to. Many times, what might be popular with tourists, might not be popular with locals. Being immersed in the local culture (see below) is one of the reasons for traveling. With friends, traveling is made simple. Be it on the streets or in the hostels, you will never know when you will find your travel soulmate after initiating a conversation.

8 things i learnt while travelling
Hong Kong, 2017
8 things I learnt when traveling
ASEAN handshake. Bandung, Indonesia, 2016

What beats having a travel buddy or being able to hitch a ride by a local when you are traveling solo. Making the trip a more memorable and purposeful one.

8 things i learnt while travelling
Slovenia, 2013

Love culture

8 things i learnt while travelling
Busan, South Korea, 2016

I’ve heard criticisms that we Singaporeans do not have a culture or specific tradition as we are a young and modern country. However, it is up to us Singaporeans to identify our Singaporean identity and show to the world stage our culture and tradition. Look at how Singlish is learned and mimicked by our foreign friends.

8 things i learnt while travelling
Busan, South Korea, 2016

Culture is something that is being passed down for generations. Knowing Singapore might not have a strong culture, going overseas allows me to experience the culture of other countries. Burmese apply Tanakar on their face, as part of their culture, which actually has skin care properties especially as a sunblock.

8 things i learnt traveling
Bandung, Indonesia, 2106

Stand out

Not for the negative part of course.

8 things i learnt while travelling
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2016

Be different. we are not clones of each other. We are born unique, to be different. We lead our own life. Everyone is special in their own ways.

Standing out means to be confident and be comfortable with who you are. It might be going against the social norms and perception. It also meant stepping out of your comfort zone, live your best and be your best.

Standing out allowed me to gain more than I give. Meeting strangers, and experiencing new things and places which I will never imagine myself to go. It wasn’t easy, but it is possible.

8 things i learnt while travelling
Hualien, Taiwan, 2017

Standing out allows one to understand yourself better and knowing your motive. It gave me a direction to follow, when traveling, as I realised that I am those who prefer culture, history and nature, as opposed to shopping and partying. This makes planning of traveling easier, and productive, instead of wasting time on doing what we do not like.

 

Traveling forced me to grow, from a girl in a protected environment Singapore gives. With all sorts of “cushions” the country prepared for her citizens, without much need of worrying. It allowed me to see the world in a different perspective, and how lucky I am to be a Singaporean.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”

 

8 things i learnt from traveling

8 Replies to “University of Life – 8 things I learnt from traveling”

  1. Wow you’ve gone to so many Asian countries!! Feel like travelling too 😍😍

    1. backpackwonders says: Reply

      Pack your bags and just go 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  2. This is such an inspiration for others who are slightly more apprehensive towards travelling alone! Reading this has definitely inspired me to start, all the best for your future travels, Elean!

    1. backpackwonders says: Reply

      Thank you 🙂
      Pack your bags and lets go !

  3. These are so very true! Both fortunately and unfortunately, I’ve become well-versed lately in being flexible while traveling. Something I tend to do now is planned flexibility; when I have vacation, I research everything I want to do in that place and consult that list when I arrive. What’s the most interesting thing to me at that moment? That way I always leave feeling like I at least got to do a lot of the things that interested me! Thanks for sharing your insight. 🙂

    1. backpackwonders says: Reply

      Flexibility is really something one has to learn. or we will get burnt out with just sticking from A to Z while travelling :/

  4. I always love reading about people discovering the wonders of solo travel! There’s plenty to see around Singapore as you’ve shown, I hope to explore more for myself too 🙂

    1. backpackwonders says: Reply

      Thank you 🙂
      Yes ! Should explore sg more !

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