I was 18 when I went for my first trip (not a family trip of course!), and it’s been five years since then! I think after five years of travelling, it is pretty safe to be a plausible judge and to conclude for sure that “Travelling makes you wiser and helps you to live a long fulfilled life!”
I am asked now and then; how has travel changed me? Well, if I look back at the 18-year-old Neet, it is a lot of change; trust me a lot of change! Don’t judge me when I tell you this little insider that the old me wasn’t as subtle as the new me; not even half as awesome!
Precisely elaborating, young Neet did not know love, was stuck in the norms of the society and was running the mad rat race of this world for she hadn’t seen anything beyond that. She did not know that something much bigger and more beautiful existed out there. So, when she started travelling, she liberated herself of all that was to be and there she was, way cooler and a way better human being. I guess that is precisely what travelling does to everyone. And that is what George Moore was trying to teach us when he quoted that “A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it”.
While there is so much more to learn and travel in the world, I do not present this as some scientific finding. But the doctor and the traveller in me deeply vouch that Travelling makes you all the more awesome! Letters to Neet shares with you 15 ways in which travelling makes you wiser and gravitates you towards a fulfilling life.
How can Travelling make you Wiser and Live a Fulfilled Life?
An Ounce Stronger, Confident and Independent
One of the best things about Travelling is that it instils a sense of confidence, resilience, and self- dependence. You tend to learn the million-dollar skill of making well-informed decisions and being accountable for them. It also infuses a sense of adventure and accomplishment which drives the soul towards self-belief.
Personally, for me, travelling has helped me learn to love myself, be confident in my skin and to have the courage to be whoever I want to be and not what the world expects me to be. After meeting the most amazing female travellers on my journeys, I have understood for good that there are no boundaries except for the ones I set for myself. It is only because of this that I finally gathered the courage to bring Letters to Neet into being.
Please your Taste Buds
This one goes without saying that good food and excellent views are the best things in life! And when the world has so many flavours to offer, how can you devoid your taste buds of all those. I am sure that Chinese cuisines would taste much better and authentic in china and so would Italian in Italy.
I remember relishing the best Trout fish in Manali and the most delicious pork in the far sprung city of Shillong. And, not to forget the drinks, Bir served me with their delicacy, a wine, made from a flower named as Rhododendron. The Mishing tribes of world’s largest river island, Majuli Island, welcomed me with their freshly brewed beer called as the Apong. Now isn’t that enough proof that a lot of aromatic flavours await out there to be savoured. All we have to do is travel to them.
Fuel your Passion for Learning
Travelling ignites and fuels passions and imparts a practical understanding of life situations. Understanding varied cultures at a deeper level can help develop an inventive and innovative approach towards the simple things of life.
A few months back, I went to Bir Billing, where I happened to befriend a couple named Sally and Ramaan from France. We stayed at the same backpacking hostel for around a week, chilled and explored the village together. While we thought we were just having fun and making memories, we ended up teaching each other various slangs in French and Hindi. This inclined me towards French so much so that I came back and enrolled for a class. It’s been six months since then, and now I am pretty fluent at it.
(French: N’est- ce pas incroyable! :P) Isn’t this incredible, how a travel adventure imputed me to learn an entirely new language. You never know what passion your journey might just imbibe in you: snorkelling or paragliding or maybe learning a ukulele.
Reinvent and Rediscover yourself
This one is my most preached point about the benefits of travelling. Isn’t it ridiculous how we lose ourselves amidst all the noise of the world and let it affect our health? Well, travel truly helps to reinvent and rejuvenate while boosting emotional and mental health. The best way of soul searching is by travelling far and wide to the unfamiliar lands.
My travel adventures have extensively helped me discover hidden parts of myself by fighting my fears and questioning my limits. I was acrophobic all my life, but now I never pass an opportunity to cliff dive or bungee jump. I have learnt to be more flexible and adaptable to the circumstances and to not prioritise anything over my inner peace. These lessons have helped me live a more stable life in the past years.
Chase Happiness and not things!
It is rightly said, “Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, and know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.” I have learnt this for better now that it is useless to chase worldly things such as clothes, cars, and other luxury commodities. Minimalism is the way to live a content fulfilling life.
Travel teaches you to chase real happiness which is found not in materialistic things but the miracles of nature. The value of experiences is prime and cannot be replaced. And it is for such extraordinary experiences that every traveller lives and dies for!
How about some spice in life!
Hasn’t life become much of a rat race for our Z-Generation? The pressure of grades, 9-5 job, career and side hustle. Your mobile phones and laptop screens get to enjoy more time with you than your family. This not only affects the mental health and peace of mind but also disturbs personal relationships. Such a life becomes tedious and burdensome.
But have you ever thought how useless it is to say that life is (or has become) boring when you live in such a great, vast world that you’ve seen a non-per cent of. What better way than travel to break the monotony of life and spice things up! And, the digital detox that comes with it is just the cherry on the cake.
Creating memories for a lifetime
Imagine going on a romantic getaway to the beaches of Goa or maybe trekking expedition in the Himalayas or white water river rafting in Rishikesh. Imagine meeting a stranger, going on a long walk with him and having a warm conversation with him. Such exceptional experiences are sure to leave you spellbound and give you long-lasting moments to cherish for a lifetime.
Travel indeed first leaves you speechless, and then turns you into a storyteller. Storyteller is precisely what it has turned me into, and that is why here I am running Letters to Neet and telling you cool tales of my adventures.
Look at the World through Rose Tinted Glasses
Travel has taught me never to demean things, to be open-minded and to welcome change. It has changed my thought process, which is why now I make constant efforts to block all negativity and to look at the world through rose-tinted glasses. Travel also taught me to be kind, gentle and empathetic for the world needs more of it.
When you travel you realise that it is such a vast universe out there, of which, you are just a little speck. This thought tends to humble you and spread love. Moreover, you come to realise that it is never too late to change and improvise things. There is always a scope to become a better version of ourselves.
Make meaningful relations
It is highly unlikely that you go to one of your travel journeys and you don’t meet like-minded people from different parts of the globe. Conversations with such people are always super exciting and meaningful. Also, such friendships that start on the road are more likely to develop into deeper relationships. By meeting new people, you can get a chance to understand new cultures, pick up traditions, and enhance your creativity. You also expand your horizon and learn to see people in a multidimensional space.
I consider travel as one the best ways to expand (real) social network. To substantiate, some of my closest friends are the ones whom I met on travel sprees. You never know if, on your journeys, you accidentally bump into your special one someday! (Just like I did!! :P)
Drop the guidebook and live a little!
It is often that on travel journeys, things don’t always go according to the plans. Thus, travel is the best way to learn the art of going with the flow and being spontaneous. It helps you gain tolerance for uncertainty and trust your instincts. It makes you more adaptable and less fussy and overall, awesome!
Over the past years of travelling, I have learnt that you only need twenty seconds of insane courage and brass bound faith to make the toughest decisions of life. You just need to drop the guide book and believe that all would be well!
Ignites the love for music
It’s on those long journeys that you exhaust your existing playlist and discover new songs with beats that touch your heart and lyrics that speak to your soul. New places, new people and new cafes introduce you to new music and songs in languages you’ve never heard and don’t even understand, but still, the music seems to speak to you. Often you will notice that clubbing in another city or a musical bonfire night in the hills introduces you to music that exactly matches your vibe.
In some cases, if you have heard a song on a trip, then every time you come across it on your playlist, you are magically transported to the trip all in seconds. You will notice memories of that particular trip rush to you and help you cherish those fond moments. For me particularly, travelling has made me fall for native Himachal songs like- chamber patani or mai ne meriye.
Attention to little things
Distance makes the heart grow fonder. It’s when you’re away from the hustle-bustle of daily life that you begin to notice how perfectly your holiday denim fit you or how your hair looks great in pictures. You begin to appreciate the Maggi available in little huts after a tiresome travel journey or enjoy the water you drink post a long and steep trek. Sometimes you feel amazed at the colour of the skies in that place, or it reminds you how comfortable your bed back home is.
Moreover, you might begin to notice the difference in the flowers in the place or wonder what the flowers in your apartment garden look like. Travel turns your attention to the little things in life, and it makes you more aware of your environment. This is also a way of practising mindfulness which is exceptionally beneficial to lead a stress-free and content life.
Whether it is the first trip you are taking or the 100th time you are packing, one crucial thing is your finances for the journey. It’s only when you plan for the trip, book with a travel company or check out prices online that it makes you aware of the existing costs and expenses that you will have to incur. It’s a friendly reminder to save more and to invest in experiences rather than in materialistic comforts.
I genuinely took an interest in understanding my finances only when I wanted to travel during my college days. I made efforts to budget my expenses so I could take little breaks and go on budget trips during my years of studying. This singularly made me better at planning, more aware of my finances and also taught me so much about where I was spending the most money. It forced me to cut back on unnecessary expenditure and to plan ahead so I could reduce buying in excess and reuse what I already had. It made me invest in more sustainable things. If it wasn’t for travelling, I would have never freelanced or done odd jobs to sponsor my trips and in the process, discover what work I could do apart from my regular studies.
Becoming responsible for our planet
Travelling makes you realise that tourists and humans are essentially destroying the most beautiful destinations in the world. In a few years, your children won’t get to see this beauty. It forces you to think for the environment, not just in touristy places but also back home. It’s on these trips that I learnt that usage of plastic is causing a real havoc, so I consciously try to minimise the usage.
I also realised that tourists have ruined so many treks, so I try to clean the place before I leave. Always follow this policy of leaving a site better than you found it. It will go a long way in helping to keep our planet cleaner. In the effort of saving more money so I could travel, I also learnt to buy minimal things that would last longer and contribute to sustainability.
Grateful for life
Travelling gives you insights and glimpses into the lives of people who are differently bought up than you are. It gives you an idea of the struggles and difficulty that people face irrespective of their caste, class, color or creed simply because of the different environmental conditions. There might be a millionaire living in the mountains, but he still has network issues and doesn’t have the luxury of shopping as and when he wants, or there might be little children who don’t have schools to go to.
While this opens up the kindness in your heart, it also teaches you to be grateful. Gratitude turns what you have into enough and leaves you feeling content. They say a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles.
I hope I have been able to convince you for sure that Travelling can make you wiser and help lead a better life.
How has travelling changed your life? Let me know in the comments below. Here’s to more crazy adventures and extraordinary experiences!! I hope you enjoy the pictures.