I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, traveling really changes a person. I’ve learned so much about myself each trip I’ve taken but the most eye opening and life changing was when I backpacked my way through Thailand and Australia with my bestie after college.
I mean, I was the girl afraid to dorm 40 minutes away from home my freshman year of college. Then dormed the next year, yet came home twice a week for 2 shifts at my old job. There was no reason to keep that job for such few hours but they knew as much as I knew I would feel better knowing I had an “excuse” to come home so often. Following my junior year and first year living in my own NYC apartment, I had built up enough courage to study about for a month in Italy. That was a huge step but one that I am so thankful I had the chance to do; it really was when I knew I had this special love for travel. My family has always been one that traveled and I grew up so fortunate for that.
Now here I was freshly out of college and I was flying around the world with no real concrete plan. Sure I had built my way up to this point and sure I grew a hell of a lot from this scared 18 year old girl but it really was a shock for so many people to hear the adventure I was about to go on. It was far out of my comfort zone but also in a weird way not at all. I felt so calm even before I left and just knew it was going to be a trip of a lifetime that I needed to take and I was exactly where I was supposed to be at this point.
- I learned about the importance of alone time and listening to yourself. Yes, I was traveling with my best friend but without her I wouldn’t have even gone. I was on the other side of the world and knew 1 person, so for me that was huge and really gave me time to be in my thoughts and listen to them for once.
- I learned what I deserve and what I want aren’t always the same thing.
- I learned to let go of certain things and to hold on for dear life to others.
- I learned as much of an OCD clean freak I can be, I”m also super low maintenance (if you haven’t traveled on an overnight train through Thailand then I don’t want to hear any comment on that last point HAHA. If you know, YOU KNOW).
- I learned how to live life while facing your fears head on; they don’t define us.
- I learned New York always has been and always will be home.
- I learned traveling with someone who is chasing after the same dream of positive living that you are; who wants to live, learn and grow as much as possible and take in all the world has to offer is such an important thing.
- And probably most importantly, I learned the strong connection I have with my loved ones really is there and as strong as ever. By the end of the trip I was having the time of life but aching to hug my family.
We so easily can get caught up in this bubble we live in day after day, but I promise you all there is so much more out there. This world is full of amazing beautiful cultures and traditions that we know nothing close to nothing about. You know how easy it is to get an idea about someone or someplace based on what we hear about it from others but I mean it when I say, don’t let that happen. I never thought I would meet some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met because they were showing me around temples in Thailand, but I did. Take baby steps. You don’t have to travel around the world, it can be across town from where you live. Just experience something new and beautiful.
XOX – Alysser Marie