There is no doubt that attending school will give you an education, although the majority, you don’t have a choice. However, after all, primary and secondary school are the only ones you are required to attend. It is from this point you have a choice in life. To study for another 3 to 7 years, get a job and then maybe down the track see the world. Or you can take the less obvious route of getting a job and travelling as often as possible.
Now obviously your choice will depend on what you want to do when it comes to career. If you are happy to fill any job that you can find keep on reading. However, if you are thinking about the prospect of becoming a doctor, lawyer, or other qualified professional, the following might not be for you, as you will likely need to complete more school to achieve the suitable qualifications.
That being said no matter what future career you are looking at there are some great lessons to be learnt from travelling the world. Lessons that just do not get taught in the same way in the closed environment of a school yard.
You Learn To Deal With People
When you travel, you are always dealing with people. Whether you are checking into a tour or flight, ordering meals, shopping or just meeting people. You need to learn to deal with people who may speak a different language to you. People that may have different customs and live their life in a different way.
The reality is that you need to deal with a lot more people than you might need to at home. Each and every interaction can be positive or negative. You may not always have control over how a situation unfolds. So it can be worthwhile taking every step you can to make interactions positive.
You will find yourself coming into contact with people in many different situations. People selling you things in shops, checking you in at airports and hotels and assisting you in other ways. Some days you may find yourself interacting with dozens of people directly, and hundreds indirectly.
Learning to deal with people in all these potential situations is crucial for ensuring your trip goes well. How often does a small misunderstanding become a headline news story? With the result, someone’s holiday spoiled for a fairly silly reason. The number of people who still seem to attempt to take bottled water through airport security amazes me. But more amazing is how they believe they argument is more compelling and will be allowed to continue with it.
Simple people skills go a long way to helping you enjoy your holiday no matter what is happening. In almost every situation your attitude determines the attitude of the person assisting you. A bad attitude, and yelling at someone gets you nowhere, most of the time. Approaching a situation with compassion and a positive attitude makes a lot of difference. It won’t change the situation but can encourage the other person to want to assist.
You Learn To Read A Map
Reading a map is a lesson that many of us learn in primary school. However, it seems once we leave school, we just forget, but this is one of the most valuable lessons that we can know when travelling. While one way to get around is to ask for directions, this does not always work well in foreign countries where a language barrier may exist.
Although just walking the city can be a great way to explore, at some point you will want to find your way back to the hotel. Having a map can be invaluable to doing this without some guesswork at times.
While I do not advocate walking around with a map in hand all the time when travelling, as this can kind of paint you as a target for some of the less scrupulous characters, having a map and knowing how to follow it can be that one thing that gives you a little more confidence to explore.
You Learn Some History
History may not be your thing, but if you get on just about any tour in any city, there will be some level of history involved in the commentary. While this may not seem very appealing to you, once you are on the tour, often you are hanging on the guides every word, and feeling a little amazed.
History may not have been one of my favourite subjects in school when I have travelled it has been something that catches my attention. However, I think that there is one big difference between what we learn in the classroom, and what we can learn when we are travelling.
In the classroom, the teacher will rattle off a series of statements and facts, of which we are required to memorise dates, times and locations. However, when we are travelling, we are physically in a place and experiencing at least to some small degree being where history occurred. I suppose it also helps there is no pressure to remember anything or be facing an exam later on.
I guess it comes down to preference. Would you prefer to sit in a modern classroom and hear about a castle that is 800 years old and see one or two pictures? Or would you prefer to be able to walk through that castle yourself, even if it is just the footprint of the walls that remains? I would go for the second option almost every time.
To be honest, I have learned more history in the trips that I have taken overseas, than in my entire 12 years of schooling.
You Learn To Plan
Although the idea of packing a bag, and boarding an aeroplane with no idea where the journey will take you, does appeal to some. The vast majority of us do like to plan and learning the art of planning can make the whole experience a lot more enjoyable.
Planning the trip before you leave home is an extremely valuable lesson for me. The more planning that is done at home, the less stress that is experience along the way.
You can read more about The Art Of Planning in a post I recently shared.
You Learn To Manage Your Time
Managing your time when you are travelling is imperative. In almost all cases a lack of time management skills will cost you very much in a financial sense.
If you miss a flight, there is a good chance you will have to pay more money to rebook and get to your destination. If you miss reboarding a cruise ship in port, you need to pay to get to the next location. While not having a plan of what you want to see, can mean you have paid a lot of money to visit somewhere, and did not get to see what you wanted to.
Sometimes I do not know how I made it through my first trip overseas without a watch. There are so many times that you must be on time, or you miss your flight, miss the tour bus, or even miss the buffet. Being on time can even link in with learning to deal with people. How many times have you end up quite irritated by the one person who keeps the whole tour bus is waiting for them. Or the delay to the flight while waiting for that passenger who casually arrives 30 seconds before they are going to start removing their suitcase.
You Learn To Budget Your Money
Saving the money we earn is often the only way most of us can afford to travel. Resulting in heading off with a fixed amount available to spend while travelling. All too often this quickly becomes not enough, with new experiences we want to try. Coming home to a big credit card bill is not a happy way to end a fantastic holiday.
Travelling without a budget or a plan for your spending can work. But it takes considerable willpower at times. Usually ending with either a big credit card bill or a feeling that you might not have enjoyed everything.
I do not believe the quote “You have not enjoyed your holiday if you bring money home.”. I have come home with some money left on every trip I have taken, and more than enjoyed each one. So keeping a budget can help you to enjoy the holiday. Seeing you get home without the worry of a credit card bill.
What Have You Learned?
These are a few of the lessons that I have learned while travelling the world. I hope that they have given you something to consider. I believe there are probably plenty of other lessons you can learn while travelling. But I hope that these few lessons that I have shared help you in some way.
If they have helped you let me know in the comments below. You can connect with me on social media, just choose your favourite network below.