2018 is a memorable year. I’ve done 5 international trips, been to 2 new countries, 9 new counties, and 11 local destinations. Also, I did my first legit solo international trip.
This year may be so eventful but it hasn’t been always smiles and laughter. This year taught me so much about myself, my circle, and my lifestyle BUT I will not talk about life’s dramas!
However, I really want to share the things I have realized are important especially those relating to travel…
The weather app is unreliable
This might sound so silly, but this year, I’ve concluded how weather apps are unreliable. I’ve always relied on weather apps in most of my travels. But this year’s weather was just so confusing, I think the weather app was confused too! Haha!
Traveling isn’t always sunshine and good weather. Sometimes, you experience rain or worse storm. Aside from being sad about it and choosing to stay indoors, why not go out for a walk under the rain? You don’t have to cancel plans if it doesn’t put you in any danger. You can also find other things to do if you choose to stay indoors. But if you choose to go out, don’t forget to bring your meds so you won’t get sick!
Buying your baggage allowance ahead
Most low-cost airlines don’t include free check-in baggage allowance when you book flights. You have the option to either pay it together with your airfare or buy it after you book your flight.
I’m guilty of booking flights without buying baggage allowance. I always tell myself I’ll just purchase it a day or a week before my flight. But I realized how important it is to book your baggage ahead during my recent trip.
Just recently, most of the airlines increased their baggage fees. Some of these airlines even decreased their free check-in baggage allowances. To make the long story short, I ended up paying more for my bags. Purchase your baggage allowance together with your airfare, it will really come out cheaper than buying it after.
Travel stretches you
In my home country, people are not used to walking (period). Aside from the fact that we have narrow sidewalks, we are used to having our public transportation vehicles pick us up or drop us off in front of our doorstep. We even complain if we have to walk several steps.
The moment we step on foreign land and start to explore the place, I always hear or see comments and/or reactions on how tired they already are because they’re not used to walking. If you think about it, it’s really just a short walk. But since many of us were raised differently and were not exposed to (supposedly short) long walks before we get to ride our public transportation vehicles, we end up complaining about our tired feet.
I got you! I have no excuse to feel different because I, too, get tired from ‘walking’ but I’ve learned to embrace the pain. Haha!
Indeed, travel stretches you — your patience, perseverance, and endurance.
Travel makes you a better person, at least for me
IMO, traveling makes an impact on a person’s life however small or big it may be.
Traveling has taught me so many things. Among those things, it has taught me kindness and patience.
Whenever I travel, I try to keep myself open to whatever that can happen. I give myself a pass if I commit mistakes and remind myself to be better the next time and to learn from my actions.
There was this one time a person gave an awkward comment about how I live my life, especially that I travel often. The person specifically said that those who keep on traveling are immature. I was speechless and I did not know how to react. I let the comment slide but it made me think.
I don’t know how that person was able to say that but I strongly disagree. I believe traveling allows you to grow. It allows you to get to know yourself better. Every experience gives you a chance to contemplate on a lot of things. And I can say that traveling contributed a lot to the person I am today. — Cinderella Ruiz, Philippines! 👑✨
Choose your tribe wisely
As much as I want to travel with my friends, I am pretty selective about who I travel with. Not to offend anyone but I think it’s very important to belong in a travel group which shares similar interests.
You will less likely encounter awkward arguments or any arguments for that matter if your travel buddies blend with each other well.
There will be times when things go wrong and you have to make decisions quickly to avoid ruining the entire travel experience. If you surround yourself with negative people, no matter what you do to fix the problem, they will always find fault in it. Choose your tribe and choose your battles!
You can’t just call yourself an expert
I feel that it’s inappropriate to call someone or to claim to be an expert traveler because every trip is an opportunity to learn and be better.
Each traveler is unique. Our interests and preferences make the distinction. One can be into luxury, another can be laid back. One can be into history and another one can be into food. Your level of expertise depends on your interests and preferences.
“Well-traveled” is more acceptable, but calling yourself an expert just makes me cringe.
Travel is a privilege
Being able to travel, to see people of different colors, and to experience their culture taught me to appreciate what I already have and what I can freely do.
Some people don’t get the chance to experience what other travelers experience. Some people don’t even get the chance to travel, to begin with.
There’s really nothing to brag about
‘Uy! Ang swerte mo naman, parati ka nalang nag tatravel.’
‘Living the life ka! Inggit ako.’
‘Ba’t ka parati nag tatravel, wala ka bang trabaho?’
‘Ah kaya naman pala! Di mo kasi kailangan mag paalam para makapag leave.’
These are just some of the comments and reactions I get from people. I can go on and on.
These reactions may boost one’s ego but I loathe hearing these. I try to keep my cool though and smile as much as possible. But these comments put me in awkward conversations with people and I honestly don’t know how to respond without offending anyone.
But hearing these over and over again made me appreciate this privilege. Let’s face it! Travel is not cheap but it’s also not something to brag about.
Today, a lot of people especially the younger ones measure one’s success by either having the latest phone, laptop, camera or being able to travel A LOT. They come up with excuses to make themselves feel better. “It’s my money, just mind your own business”, “At least I’m making memories by traveling”, blah blah blah…
Go ahead and do your thing. I’m not your mom to tell you what to do and what not to do but please don’t just do it for bragging rights.
I think the people who are more fitting to brag about their travels are those who’ve settled, have a house of their own. Those who don’t depend on their monthly salary to pay for their trips. Those who can simply book tickets without waiting for seat sales or those who can book 5-star hotels or more without any sponsorship.
“Comparison is the thief of joy” — Theodore Roosevelt
Need I say more?
If you keep comparing your travel experience(s) with other people you’re missing the whole point of traveling. And yes, it’s fine to copy other people’s itineraries but the experience will always be unique. Stop comparing and enjoy the journey!
You can’t control everything
Anything can happen when you’re traveling. There will be times when something doesn’t happen the way we hope it would be.
If I have learned one thing from traveling, it’s that there is only so much you can control. There will be times when you have to change your plans because of unforeseen circumstances and that’s okay.
Accept the things you have no control over. Give room for mistakes and learn from your experience. Brush the negativity off because it will just drain you and spoil the fun.
I’ll just end with this: When your itineraries are messed up and plans suddenly change, when you get sick all of a sudden while traveling, when you lose money, get lost, and spent more than your budget, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s part of the travel experience. MAKE ROOM FOR MISTAKES. LEARN FROM YOUR ACTIONS. APPRECIATE MORE, COMPLAIN LESS. 😌
Happy New Year, everyone! It warms my heart to see people who actually read my blog. I appreciate all the support. Until my next travel adventures, yes? Keep posted!