25 Lessons I’ve Learned From Traveling

Having the opportunity, freedom and desire to travel has created endless opportunities for me to visit countries outside of my own, explore different cultures and meet a variety of diverse and interesting characters. Over the years I’ve lost count of the all the profound, inspirational and sometimes most basic of lessons learned from traveling, but here are some of my most memorable:

  The Top 5 Lessons Learned from Traveling  

  1. Freedom is the greatest gift in life
  2. Every child has a right to a childhood
  3. There’s a difference between being poor and living in poverty
  4. The most memorable moments happen when things don’t go according to plan 😉
  5. The single greatest enabler of change is education
Sunsets in Sabah are the best in the world
Sunset in Sabah, Borneo, East Malaysia

On a lighter note, the Top 20 Things I’ve Learned Whilst ‘On The Road’  

  1. There is always one annoying person in each group and if you don’t know who it is – it’s you
  2. It’s impossible to stay dry or clean during a Cambodian or Laotian new year celebration
  3. Ice cubes in beer or red wine is not only acceptable in Southeast Asia, but essential
  4. Mozambique kids with a camera taking photos
    Mozambique kids with a camera taking photos
  5. There’s nothing like the topic of “volunteering in developing countries” to start a heated debate with fellow travelers
  6. After a month of eating Burmese food, Burger King will make you sick. After two months of African camp food, McDonald’s will make you even more sick. After two weeks on a motorbike in the Vietnamese Central Highlands, YES! you guessed it — KFC will also make you sick. Eventually you realize that what you used to think was food is not actually real food.
  7. The Spanish word for “flea” is “pulga” and the only cure for more than five hundred infected bites is antibiotics
  8. An elderly woman dressed in traditional Tibetan clothing, stopping traffic in the middle of a road in Shangri La to chant whilst pointing a crooked stick at you…is not a friendly local greeting
  9. Sometimes ‘no toilet’ is more hygienic than the toilet provided 😂
  10. It’s not easy standing on the back of an elephant whilst washing him in the Mekong River, but it sure is fun
  11. Paying $1 for a meal cooked by locals on a street stall and sitting on a ‘too small’ plastic stool to eat with them in Myanmar is better than any 5-star restaurant in the world
  12. Street food vendor in Delhi, India
    Street food vendor in Delhi
  13. Spiders and insects cooked in garlic in Cambodia simply taste like garlic — cockroaches in Thailand do not
  14. The definition of international stardom is having a 76-year-old blind Malawian village chief break the news of your death to foreign travelers.   RIP Michael Jackson
  15. Karaoke is only taken seriously in Japan and Los Angeles.
  16. It’s impossible to walk past Victoria Falls in Africa without getting soaked through
  17. “The bus is full” is not part of the Southeast Asian vocabulary 😉
  18. There has never been a more accurate saying than the Burmese quote of “why use ten words when you can use ten thousand”
  19. Be prepared to lose weight in Bhutan if you don’t like spicy food
  20. Punakha Dzong, Bhutan
    Punakha Dzong in Bhutan
  21. You can get your hair washed, scalp massaged and hair dried in Monywa, Myanmar for less than $5
  22. If the month of Spanish lessons you took in Bolivia doesn’t help you understand your co-workers at a village day care center, it’s possible they are speaking their own indigenous dialect of Quecha
  23. Altitude sickness doesn’t always prey on the weak and reward the fit — sometimes, surprisingly, it does the opposite. Like in Bolivia.

See More       Bolivia Adventures

And the greatest lesson of all?

There’s no greater education than the one taught outside the classroom.  

Nahargarh Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Nahargarh Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

What lessons have you learned from traveling?

See More       Travel Rants & Rambles   Travel Tips   Destinations

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About Kellie Netherwood

No matter how we travel there is always further to go. The world is full of open doors - new friends to make, different cultures to experience, inspirational images to capture and lessons to learn. As I enjoy life's journey to MY DESTINATION UNKNOWN I am energised by the world we live in and inspired by those paving their own path in life. Through the intersection of my travel, writing and photography passions I share my travel adventures to help inspire you to create your own.

4 thoughts on “25 Lessons I’ve Learned From Traveling”

    • Very true – it was so surreal. We had spent the day collecting water with the local women, cooking, eating and dancing with them in their village…and ended the day with that piece of news from the village chief!

  1. Great top 5 Kellie I could not agree more! Sometimes people get so bogged down with life they become complacent. Its amazing how taking your self out of your environment can change so many things in such a small amount of time.

  2. The best things often happen when you are lost. So don’t be afraid to step off the tourist path and see what’s round a different corner. (But don’t step off the path in Cambodia – too many land mines!)


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