The time that you spend on your travels is so precious. You’ve worked hard, lived off pasta the week before to save every last penny and taken a chunk out of your valuable annual leave. So when you finally get to your destination, you want to be able to enjoy every last minute. So if there’s one thing I’ve learnt whilst travelling, its to stop giving a fuck.
There’s two things that I’ve stopped caring so much about whilst travelling. Mainly, and I think most importantly, is giving a crap about what people think.
As a blogger, camera addict and amateur filmer, I literally can not stop taking pictures and videoing every single moment whilst on my travels. I’ve had various people ask me why I’m taking pictures of my breakfast, why am I filming a tree, and why am I dancing around in front of a moose statue (okay I will explain that one later), but as far I see it… I’m only going to be there once so I’m going to make the god damn most of it. Dare I say it… YOLO.
I think the most I’ve not given a fuck whilst travelling is whilst I was in America and Canada last year. As a dare (punishment for leaving him) Allyn decided that I should film a dance video during the 5 weeks, and I thought fuck it, lets do this! So off I went, grabbing people around me and making them dance to Apache by the Sugarhill Gang everywhere I went. And it was the best thing I’ve done whilst travelling. There were definitely some moments where I cringed hard, had the strangest of looks and couldn’t get anyone to join in. But the more I did it, the less I cared and the more fun I had.
Now I have a hilarious (sometimes just to me and my friends) video that I can embarrass my kids with later on in life.
The second thing I’ve learnt whilst travelling is to stop giving a fuck when things go wrong.
Everyone knows that things don’t always go to plan, especially when you’re in a foreign country with different rules, traditions and a whole new mantra to life. I’ve always had a bit of a ‘everything will be just fine’ attitude and so far it has, so when I’m in my most chilled state of mind on holiday, I’m in no rush to stress over the unexpected.
I’m not talking stolen passports or being stranded in a desert with no water… I would probably freak the F out in these situations… I’m talking about when the bus breaks down, when you find yourself completely lost or when you realise you didn’t print out those Aladdin Broadway tickets an hour or so before the show starts (yeah that happened).
I’ve come to realise that no matter how hard you try (and spin your Hermione time-turner necklace) you can’t go back in time and so you just have to suck it up, confront the situation and make the best of it. And sometimes the result is far better than the one you originally planned. I would never have come across some incredible local treasures if I hadn’t got lost in Venice.
I think one of the most challenging moments I’ve had whilst travelling is when me and my friend went to hire a car in Toronto to go and see Niagara Falls. We soon came to realise that neither of us had a credit card, which is an essential item if you want to get behind the wheel abroad.
It didn’t matter on this particular occasion, as after another complete fail of trying to get on a group trip, we managed to bus our way to the Falls, however the next portion of our travels was in jeopardy… the next day we were planning to fly to Calgary and start a road trip around British Columbia.
As we landed in the East and were told there was just nothing that could be done, our dreams of driving through the Rocky Mountains singing to Miley Cyrus (on our pre-made road trip playlist) shattered before us.
We had two options – kick up a fuss, sulk our way around and ruin the rest of our Canadian adventure, or suck it up, get over it and work out Plan B.
We ended up finding a nice lady who offered us a discount on her bus to Banff where we researched every kind of bus route and got ourselves to Lake Louise. We considered hitch hiking to the famous waters, but after considering the creepy possibilities we decided that an hour long hike wasn’t the worst idea.
It was a beautiful walk through the woods, with the sound of birds and fear of bears to keep us company, something we’d never have experienced had we hired a car.
We didn’t get to see Jaspar or some of the more remote areas however as I said in my last travel link up post, I know I’m going back to Canada, and not just for a holiday.
I’d like to think my unplanned travel experiences have taught me to be calmer and easy going when it comes to everyday life. I tend to go with the flow and not panic when something doesn’t go quite right, which I think would have freaked me out had I not been thrown into difficult situations abroad.
Travelling isn’t just about seeing the world. It’s about developing yourself as a person when you’re vulnerable, learning how to handle life’s shit storms without your home comforts and understanding why others might act differently to you.
Of course I have a lot more to learn but I think that being able to experience Thailand’s spiritual beliefs, Canada’s welcoming and friendly community and Africa’s (sometimes painfully) slow paced way of life has taught me valuable life lessons. I’ve learnt to slow down, take in my surroundings and am on the right track towards becoming my best self.
What lessons have you learnt whilst travelling?