Me watching a sunset in Cambodia, picture by Laura.
Going on a backpack trip by myself was an incredible experience. I’ve met great people, saw beautiful things, learned new skills and experienced more than I can tell or remember. I lived some pretty good stories over the last few months. Although it’s hard to say how travelling changes you, I tried to capture it in words. Here is a summary of how my travel lead to new insights, beliefs and changes.
I have a renewed passion and energy to start working on my own projects again.
After a time without obligations or internet, I feel rested. Seeing poor people with little opportunity to do what they love made me grateful for my freedom to follow my dreams.
I feel an urge to make the most out of every day.
In 3 months of travelling, you get to see and experience more than most people do in 5 years. I can create my own adventures every day, also at home.
I started introducing myself as a creative entrepreneur.
After introducing myself to new people constantly, I grew tired of my own insecure answers of what it is that I do.
I’m more resolute in my choices and don’t take no for an answer.
After making choices by myself constantly and saving myself out of difficult situations, I know better what I want, and don’t let myself be pushed over so much anymore.
I grew allergic to people who constantly complain over nothing back home.
‘Problems’ don’t seem that significant after whatever it is you face while traveling: poverty, genocide musea, hours of waiting, corruption and the worst toilets ever.
I feel more confident in my own skin.
I don’t need people to accompany me to do things. If I want to do it, I need to make it happen. No more using others as excuse for not going.
I feel less guilty for taking the time I need.
I learned when to take a step back; whether it is getting my room sorted before I start working again, or staying at home to recharge in stead of joining a social dinner.
I gained great bargaining skills.
Bargaining constantly in every shop and market has made me into a super business woman when it comes to negotiations.
I’m more open to the idea of settling down.
Settling is no longer a threat for following (a part of) my dreams now I have had the time to make the big individual travel I’ve always wanted to do.
I am still a strong person who can take care of herself.
I missed Joran, but not to the extent that I cannot function without him. I’m with him not because I can’t be alone, but because it’s more fun together.
I search less approval from others.
Or at least I try to, especially when I already know the answer. Making every single decision by myself for the last 3 months, made me learn to trust my intuition more.
I’m still adventurous and brave.
I often feel like I am stuck and everyday life freezes in time. People tell me they wouldn’t dare to do what I did. I feel proud that I broke through my fears and limiting beliefs.
I feel empowered knowing that making your dreams come true is possible.
If I can learn to surf, visit the great wall of China and make a hot air balloon flight, then perhaps I can also make a living doing what I love if I work hard.
Did you ever travel and feel like it had changed you?
June 16, 2015 at 13:55
My goodness, backpacking is good for teaching life lessons, huh! I never really thought about how being forced to make your own decisions could give you a huge confidence boost, but that makes so much sense. You must feel so proud and I can’t imagine how full of stories you are now!
June 17, 2015 at 12:28
Definitely. It’s not like I am a completely different person, but in some subtle ways I can see small changes to how I approach situations or how I react to what happens.