A famous philosopher going by the name of Saint Augustine of Hippo once said that “The world is a book and those who don’t travel read only a page”. What he said is undoubtedly true yet incomplete in my humble opinion. Seeing the world and experiencing for oneself the beauty it has to offer is one thing but immortalizing that experience and blooming into a better individual as a result of it is another. After all, change is the only constant and learning is a lifelong process.
Born in this golden era when travelling has become more affordable and hence more frequent, I definitely consider myself incredibly privileged. From helping out rural areas in Asia in their community projects to spending an entire semester abroad in Europe on my own, I have cherished every such travelling opportunity that I have been blessed with. More importantly, I have picked up some habits that I would very much like to keep with me for lifetime.
The list begins with me being financially aware. When in Europe for instance, I learnt to make financial decisions independently. I formulated a budget for myself and in order to keep within that budget, I ensured that I only bought the items that I really required. Overtime, I not only learnt how to minimize wastage, but I also put in the effort to sort out alternatives that helped me stay within budget. Back at home now, I may not be as calculative as I was in Europe but I am definitely more aware of where my finances are going and how I can minimize them.
The next on my list would be me becoming more responsible and self-dependent. Before I left for Europe, I was accustomed to doing selected household chores when help was required in completing them. It was only when I lived in an apartment abroad did I learn the importance of doing household chores on a regular basis. These included sweeping the floor once a week to get rid of the dust that accumulates, cleaning the toilet to get rid of fallen hair strands and dirt and taking charge of my own laundry. Now that I am back in my homeland, I have certainly become more responsible towards these household duties.
Travelling has also taught me a great deal about appreciating different cultures and adapting to the various lifestyles that we have around the world. In the process, I have become more open-minded and less judgemental. In fact, I have kept by thirst to learn about different cultures alive by continuing to read about them in books and on the Internet. This to me is a very important habit that I picked up because in a globalized world, we ought to have some understanding and appreciation for the people around us. Also, there is some inexplicable joy in gaining this understanding.
Last but not the least, travelling has made me question myself. I have met people from different walks of life with varying purposes but the same degree of passion and ambition to achieve them. This has inspired me to reflect about where my own passion lies. It has also made me question how privileged a life I lead. The answer, I believe is extremely privileged. Travelling has made me question my worries, my aspirations, my ethical practices, my idea of an ideal life etc etc. By formulating this habit of questioning myself, I am certainly doing better at discovering myself.
To sum it up, the beauty of travelling should not stay confined within the schedule that we are abroad but its impact should remain impressed upon our lives for a greater time. Travel not just for picture perfect photographs but for acquiring useful, lifelong habits. After all, just like books whose words have the power to change us, travelling should ignite the same change in us too.