After working on cruise ships, solo backpacking in Thailand, studying and teaching yoga in India and now working as an esl teacher in China, as well as various other adventures in between I guess I have done my fair share of travelling. I have become quite the pro at packing my life into one bag and taking off to wherever in the world is calling me. So here’s why I love it:
1. Experience other cultures – it’s so interesting seeing how other people live, their societies, traditions, religion and customs. Last year I was sitting on the floor with an Indian family eating curry and rice with my hand, this year I sit around a Chinese table using chopsticks like a boss!
2. Opens your mind to new things – makes you realise that there are more ways to live, not just what you have been brought up to believe or how your society expects you to be. I never dreamed that I would be living in China with my Indian boyfriend but when you leave yourself open, you never know where the road will take you!
3. Meet new and interesting people- both locals and fellow travellers from all walks of life. You create a network of people all around the world so no matter where you go, you will always have a friend.
4. Gives you confidence. Especially solo travel – it gives you a real sense of self assurance, expands your awareness and builds you confidence. All the experiences you have build you into this strong independent person and you feel like you can take on the world – literally! If you are thinking about solo travel – do it, you could be waiting a lifetime for a friend to go with you but I promise you will meet so many people along the way and you will make the most important friend of all – yourself!
5. Learn new things – I love to learn new things. On my travels I have learnt so many new skills including how to speak Hindi and mandarin (not very well)! I think that learning a new language is like making a giant jigsaw and each time you learn a new word you put a piece of the jigsaw together!
6. You learn the language of the world – actually this is not a verbal language but when you begin to understand this it can help you in many situations. You don’t need to be able to speak a persons language to communicate with them, understand them and treat them with kindness and respect which will be returned to you.
7. Makes you more tolerant, accepting, and adaptable in any situation – I once slept in a cupboard on the floor of an Indian train. After that experience I can accept anything that comes my way.
8. Makes you appreciate where you come form – and grateful for all that you have, and for the opportunities that you have been given the freedom to travel and do what you want. Whenever I go home after being in big cities like New Delhi or Shanghai, I feel like I am in heaven on the mountain and love to soak up all the fresh air and green fields.
9. You miss your family more so that when you do see them again, (whenever that may be) you enjoy spending more quality time with them.
10. You create wonderful memories which I am sure my grandkids will love listening to one day!