I’ve been working and traveling in Australia for 8 months and I’ve had the chance to celebrate my birthday in French Polynesia, fly to Bali and cross the Australian desert during a road trip. I met amazing people and lived intense moments, as I imagined I would. I also learnt a lot, about me, about others, about life.
And before I start to sound like I won an Oscar, here are 5 things I understood while traveling abroad.
People have their own life
It was one of my biggest fears when I left : will my loved ones forget me ? I got the answer from a close and wise friend before I even left : no, they won’t. Will they be thinking about me every second of the day though ? Nope, they won’t. People have a very own and very busy life ; work, kids, couple life, ups and downs… Whether you’re here or not.
Your family and friends, although they love you very much, won’t ask news from your life every day, nor light a candle in your honour. They’ll miss you, of course, they’ll be curious about your adventure, sure, they’ll also be happy to know that you’re coming back. But their life will go on whether you’re in the country or not.
My point here is : it’s time for you to understand that YOU are the most excited about your new life !
Some relationships are meant to be short term
These wise words were not expressed to me directly but it resonated in me after some hard goodbyes. While traveling, meeting new people is very usual and love or friendship at first sight are a part of this, but some of them won’t last forever and you know what ? It’s often for the best.
You will meet something who you will share a good laugh or a good chat with, who will make you think or see things differently. You will share moments of your life for weeks, days or even just few hours and it won’t always change your life like in the movies, but it will be enough to touch you.
Despite all the new ways to keep in touch with people and all the promises you make while living an intense moment, some relationships are meant to be brief, temporary, short-lived.
Cherish these fleeting encounters, let them go. Who knows, they might come back ?
Making reasonable choices is not easy
NO SHIT SHERLOCK. It’s no big news, you realized it last time you spent your whole pay on ASOSm but it’s even more relevant while traveling. Sometimes you have to let go at the right time, no matter the reason why.
Although money is always a big thing when talking about choices, new people and opportunities are a big part of the equation and you have to consider them. But even though traveling is a perfect way to apply the quote “if you don’t like where you are, move ; you are not a tree.”, it’s not always possible to follow people or desires.
At that time, tough choices can appear and you will have to make them to keep your mind clear and healthy (that’s the reason why your left in the first place, isn’t it ?)
FORECAST. A. BUDGET.
AND CONTROL IT. I put that in caps ’cause it’s so, so important. If you’re a hedonist like me, you may have the habit to to “enjoy the moment” and live out of love, happiness and useless spendings.
But in reality, keeping track of the money budget will prevent you from having to take tough decisions (see previous point) (yes I am referencing myself). Whether it’s about daily life or a trip, it is crucial to consider all the upcoming and planned expenses (accommodations, food, visits…) as well as unplanned (sudden urge, bad surprises…). With a budget, you stay alert, in charge and serene.
I have learnt this lesson for myself and let me tell you that I won’t let that happen again !
Don’t over plan
Just because nothing ever happens as you planned. Very often it’s for the best, sometimes not, but it’s the point of traveling. For example, falling in love with an Aussie wasn’t part of my plans, and it changes things. Money rules a lot your intentions and desires (see previous point) (YES I QUOTED MYSELF AGAIN).
It’s pointless to strictly follow the plan because the best thing is to go with the flow, the people you meet, the opportunities you get and your own interest. Having a little draft and some ideas is always good to keep going, but the main point is to stay open and to always ask yourself “what do I feel like in this very moment ?”