When I was travelling abroad not everything went smoothly (although it may have looked that way on Instagram) but my motto is if an experience isn't enjoyable, you can learn from it. And don't get me wrong, my trip to Europe was THE BEST experience ever, but there were hiccups we couldn't avoid. After the adventure my sister and I embarked on, I am grateful for the ups and the downs, because I learned several valuable life lessons that have shaped me going into 2018.
Lesson 1: Live Minimally
When I was travelling for 4 months I could only bring one suitcase and one carry on, it was important for me to bring my laptop, camera and drone (because I was taking photos and videos of my travels obv!) I also brought basic toiletries, a small bad of makeup, a curling iron, 3 pairs of shoes and as much clothing as I could squeeze into my suitcase. So I really only brought the basics, and not much else.
Living with just the essentials was very new for me, but I realized I didn't need so many items to live my life. Having less actually made me happier and less stressed!
What I learned was to not waste money on material items thinking I need "things" to make me happy. Having less made me feel free and unattached to items, and now I'm more open to travelling or moving cities since I don't need so much stuff in my life.
Also now I can focus my time and money on what is important to me which is experiences, being surrounded by loved ones and pursuing my passions.
Lesson 2: What Happiness Is
When I was planning my Europe trip I thought when I arrived I would feel euphoric, so so happy and that I "made it." But I realized, big extraordinary events are filled with very ordinary moments.
What I learned was that happiness doesn't come from glamorous milestones in our life, it comes from enjoying the small insignificant moments that sometimes go unnoticed.
Happiness is much more about enjoying the process and the journey, not the final destination. My logic is if you only enjoy the final destination you will be unhappy for 99% of the time you are working towards it! That makes no sense.
Also a big realization for me was to stop searching for happiness in an external circumstance. I would never feel happy searching for happiness in a partner, a job, a vacation, a new city etc. Happiness comes from within. So I decided to take control by being more appreciative each day, and bring more joy into my life by making those ordinary moments fun.
Lesson 3: Take More Risks
A lot of people I talk to, myself included, are nervous to make big changes in their life. When I'm faced with a tough decision or big change I think to myself, "what is the worse case scenario?"
Most of the time if your big change doesn't work out, you can just go back to how your life was. Don't like the new city you're in? You can move home! Want to start a business but afraid to fail? You can pick up a part time job! So the worst case is going back to how your life is, right now.
There were a few times travelling when we almost missed our flight, and my sister and I were super stressed about it! But when I asked myself what the worst case scenario was, I realized we would just buy another ticket (hopefully it never got to that point). But that wasn't that bad of an outcome, and things could be sooo much worse. (problems with the plane, stolen luggage, nooo thank you!!)
Now I firmly believe I shouldn't be afraid to make tough choices or take a risk based off what I could loose, because if what I want is achievable then I have everything to gain from taking a risk. (and this applies to all areas of life!)
I hope you found these 3 life lessons helpful and applicable to your own life! If you have any questions or comments leave them down below, I'd love to hear from you!