What connects life with education? The answer is simple: the fact that the real thing is happening outside the classroom.
It doesn’t matter how well-prepared you think you are for the world out there. You’ll only get to know the reality when you experience things first hand.
Saint Augustine of Hippo said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” There aren’t many thoughts that come so close to the truth: traveling is the best form of education.
No amount of textbook knowledge or classroom lessons can educate you about real-life the way traveling does.
Speaking of lessons and preparations for real life, here are some of the many ways traveling becomes your best tutor. Let’s get to know the life lessons traveling teaches all of us:
You Learn To Be Patient
Irrespective of how patient or impatient you are, traveling happens to be a remorseless tester of patience. Most of the countries and cities are today home to the fast-paced life.
Instant gratification and impulsive shopping are not just normal; they are the driving forces behind today’s smartphone ridden populace.
But traveling comes with a fix for every issue. The certainty of life’s uncertainty kicks in every now and then.
A delayed flight, a stomach bug, boarding the wrong train, language barriers, the list of things that can go wrong while traveling is elaborate.
What if, for example, you are flying from Canada to India, and you are informed that the flight needs an emergency stop due to bad weather?
Nobody can do anything about it. Just chill and enjoy the journey. You never know what part of your journey brings you the fondest of memories.
Traveling eventually makes you want to sit back and look at things rationally. Eventually, you stop losing your mind when your adventurous trek is canceled due to bad weather.
You start looking for options. Traveling teaches you patience and savor the moments you get.
Travelers pack only as much as they can carry, they carry things they’ll need the most. Traveling teaches how to stop being a hoarder and how to let go of things that no more solve a purpose in your life.
You start analyzing and learn to differentiate between needs and wants. You’ll start appreciating how simple meals can give your palate a trip of a lifetime.
You start focusing on what matters, on tasks at hand and less on things that can be handled later on.
Remember, when you start focusing on essentials first, you’ll always have room for the nitty-gritty elaborates. But spend your time, efforts, money and mind on mundane things, and soon you’ll find yourself looking for a way out of the maze.
Uncluttered travelers like to live an uncluttered and minimalistic life.
Traveling Teaches You To Let Go
There are plans where your friends back-out at the last moment. Do you cancel your plans?
Or do you go on anyway? How do you spend your journey then?
Living in the moment or still angry with that friend for being such a spoilsport?
How can you enjoy your time when your mind fixates on things, events and people who are not there, at that very moment? It’s one thing to think, “How I wish my friend could see this.”
But it’s entirely opposite to be completely oblivious of what’s around with you focusing on everything else.
There have been many instances when travelers missed their train, or their flight altogether.
If they keep lamenting on things that are gone, they wouldn’t be able to work around the problem. Traveling teaches you to let go of things that aren’t in your control.
Think of it as a daily planner, you only see what things are yet to come. You don’t make future appointments while looking at how busy you were the day before. People and days of yesterday are gone, let go of them. Less baggage, more space.
Traveling Makes You A Problem Solver
Students come across many instances in their life where they are taught to be a problem solver. While classroom projects do give them an idea of it. It’s traveling that takes things to a whole new level.
Riders and hikers often come across situations where they need their presence of mind to solve a problem. A sudden landslide on a mountain road, finding a passage around a gorge to reach the other side, traveling can throw challenge of any and all sorts, and it does. You start focusing on solutions instead of wasting time on ranting about the problem.
Let’s take an example from real life. One of our colleagues’ sister was traveling from USA to India this year.
A delay of 75 minutes in her flight led to a point where she had to miss her connecting flight from Delhi International Airport to Chandigarh International Airport. To add to this, she was traveling with her kids.
If she wasn’t an experienced traveler, taking care of kids as they get restless during the halt would have been a total nightmare. But she is wise enough to plan things ahead. It’s all about how much of a problem-solver we are.
The point is, problem-solving skills eventually start coming naturally to you. You automatically start analyzing things logically and are thus able to see what needs to be done.
You become an initiator instead of just being a spectator. You start taking charge of situations.
At the same time, you also learn when it is time to stop being a stubborn leader and let the right person do the job. It is all about getting the work done. It’s ok to take help from others.
Traveling makes you more accommodating too, which brings us to our next point…
Traveling Makes You Love Yourself
Traveling has a major effect on people who lack self-esteem and self-confidence. Many psychologists and life coaches recommend solo traveling to people, and there’s a reason why. Solo travelers are on their own: they travel and eat alone, or do they?
As a matter of fact, solo travelers enjoy their own company, and that’s all a person needs.
The more people you meet as a solo traveler, the more self-aware you become. Your perception changes, both outward and inward. You get so much time to retrospect and introspect while on the move that things start falling into place.
Moreover, the more things you start accomplishing on your own, the more confidence you have in you. When you start being less apprehensive of strangers and share your moments with them, you’ll be surprised to know how amazing your life can be. You let go of all the inhibitions that stop you from reaching your higher self.
Renowned Moroccan traveler and scholar Ibn Batutta said, “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
The education traveling imparts in us is not solely limited to the five points we summed up above. Traveling also makes you a good planner as well as a better manager in your personal and professional life.
A broadened perspective, along with the experience of overcoming hurdles as they come, makes you a better person with each passing day. It’s a piece of practical knowledge, the kind that always sticks and improves with every journey.