1. Travel is hard. This is why you love traveling, because it’s difficulty forces you to grow. It’s not always easy in the moment, when the people you’re sharing your hostel room with are insane and you don’t have any money and you’re homesick, but believe that this is why you are here. It is a part of your experience that is necessary and good.
2. Just because you are home doesn’t mean you are no longer a traveler. Travel is part of your identity, it is in your heart. You will be back out in the world again, there’s no avoiding it.
3. Stay in the moment. Try not to focus on taking photos and narrating your adventure. Focus on the conversations with other travelers you’re having and taking in the beauty of the place you are. What does it smell like? What is the people’s energy like? Be present in your experience.
4. You don’t learn a new language over night. Be patient with yourself.
5. It’s okay if you deviate from your plan. That’s the whole point of traveling. If you thought you’d spend 2 weeks here and 2 weeks there but life takes you in another direction: embrace it.
6. Your friends and family back home will still be there when you return. It’s okay to do something that’s completely for yourself.
7. Relationships come and go. Your boyfriend or girlfriend back home may not wait for you, and that’s okay. If you’ve got the travel bug this is something you need to do for yourself, if they can’t understand that you are better off without them — and your world is now full of romantic possibilities.
8. Your life will be changed from this moment on. When you return home it will be with a mind that is deepened by your experiences. As T.S. Eliot said, “And the end of all our exploring ill be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
9. Never forget the importance of having a beginner’s mind. After traveling for a bit you can become set in your ways or think that you know how to do everything travel related. Never stop trying things in the way other people suggest, they wouldn’t do them if there wasn’t something great about their way, too. Childlike wonder is one of the perks of traveling, try to harness this in all areas of your life.
10. That said, never take other people’s opinions as fact. Some people like to tell you what you’ll regret not seeing or not doing. Just because you’re in Paris doesn’t mean you HAVE to go to the Louvre. A trip to England can be perfectly complete without Westminster Abbey. Listen to yourself and what you want to see and do.
11. You aren’t alone. It may seem like everyone you know and love is half a world away, but wherever you are is filled with other travelers and people who are friendly — maybe just in another way. Don’t be afraid to reach out to new people when you’re lonely, chances are they will reciprocate, everyone likes making new friends.
12. If it was easy all the time, everyone would do it.
13. You’re whole life is ahead of you. Don’t get frustrated that you’ve only traveled to a small number of places so far. Going home doesn’t mean you can never go back. When travel is your passion, you find a way to return sooner than you think.