The Greatest Life Lessons I’ve Learned From Traveling The World
Cliché or not, traveling the world in the last year has taught me more about life than I could have ever imagined. While I assumed I’d learn about different cultures and foods and languages and stories, I never realized I’d gain an entirely new perspective on myself, the world and this crazy thing we call life. After spending time in 50 cities in 15 countries in 4 continents across the world with people from all backgrounds, ages, cultures, religions and walks of life here’s a little glimpse of what I’ve learned in the last year and how to live life — and do it right.
1. Having no expectations
This may sound like a given, but I can’t stress enough how rewarding life can be when you’re least expecting it. In fact, some of the best times of my life and the greatest people I’ve ever met were from those moments that were completely unplanned; I,e. landing my first ever client that completely spearheaded my career and changed my life forever. While we all have plans we’d like to make, things we’d like to see and places we’d like to go, you never know who you may meet or what amazing things may happen if you just let yourself go along for the ride.
2. Having no judgments
We all make judgments. All the time. We judge people we don’t know, we judge people we do know, we judge people we’ve just met and we even judge people we’ve known forever. And while this is often a lot easier said than done (and I still struggle with this every day) it’s important to remember that everyone is fighting their own internal battle and that everyone has their own story that you likely know nothing about, and in reality, could learn a lot from. It’s easy to talk shit about someone or judge someone because of a simple mistake or wrongdoing, but it’s important to remember that we’re all only human and we all make mistakes we’re not proud of. Just because someone handles or does something differently than you would doesn’t make it wrong, unjustifiable or weird.
3. It’s the little things
Having been to my fair share of developing countries, some without access to clean water, electricity, healthy food or even basic freedoms, I have quickly learned to truly appreciate the little things in life, things we often take for granted on a daily basis such as wifi, fully stocked fridges, access to education and beds of our own. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the never-ending, fast-paced societies we live in, but there’s nothing more powerful than taking a step back and realizing how good we really do have it. Even if it doesn’t seem like it at times.
4. Happiness and positivity are contagious
I used to wonder why I had such an easier time making friends or meeting guys when traveling compared to when I was living my “normal” life back in college. I wondered why I seemed to have better luck in seemingly less lucky circumstances abroad and why better things seemed to happen to me in places I was least expecting it. Then I realized that during all these moments, I was not only at my happiest, but I was also surrounded by people who were just as happy. It’s pretty amazing to think about how fast positivity can spread and how, when you are happiest and when you surround yourself with happy people, good things seem to naturally come your way. Nobody wants to be around negative people or people who are unhappy, and nobody wants to help people who are rude, complaining or angry!
5. Anything is possible if you set your mind to it
Many people have this idea that traveling to the other side of the world, writing a book, landing a dream job or even meeting new friends, for example, are things that are completely unattainable. Many people get stuck in their routines, their jobs, relationships or lifestyles that they may not be enjoying anymore and often forget that we can and should make a change to help better our lives and our selves. If there’s only one thing that I’ve learned from traveling it’s that we only have one life to live, so why not make it the best one it can be? I’ve met people who have traveled the world on less than $5 a day. I’ve met people that have made a living by starting a simple online business. I’ve met people who have quit their jobs to travel and help find their life´s purpose… and did! Life is too short. Enjoy it while you can. Go after your dreams, check off that bucket list, forget about what you’re “supposed” to do or how you’re “supposed” to live and go live the life you want. After all, we’ve only got one.
Originally published at carlyfeldman.com on October 19, 2017.