20 Sep 2012

Lessons Learned

My leaving date is drawing closer, it's not long now until I'll be leaving on a jet plane.  I've never travelled alone before, and when I've met people who have I've wondered quietly to myself what it might be like.  Now I'm going to find out!

Luckily for me, I have travelled for extended periods twice before so I do have a decent idea of what I'm getting myself into.  I've gained experience and knowledge and this will help me on my third adventure.  Here are some of the most important lessons I've learned whilst backpacking:




1.  Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.  Last year I 'forgot' to tell my bank where I was going and when (I didn't forget, I was just too lazy).  This resulted in my bank card being blocked in Cambodia, just when I was down to my last six dollars!  You can read about the fiasco here.  Thankfully everything turned out okay in the end, but that is definitely one mistake I will not be making ever again!


2.  Life is what you make it.  You can have two people in the same situation, having the same experience. One could be having the time of their lives, the other could be completely miserable.  Every situation you find yourself in has something positive to offer you, but it's up to you to find it.  Take, for example, the time Kay and I ate dinner at the same cafe as the two unimpressed English girls.  They had an awful lunch, we had a great one with free feline entertainment, read about it here.


3.  People are good.  On the whole the majority of people are incredibly kind, super fun and just lovely to know, so it's always worth keeping an open mind.  Read about a kind Laotian lady helping us out here.


4.  Always consider the other person.  There's a lot to be said for treating other people the way you'd like to be treated.  When you're travelling in groups, you're all in it together.  So when things go wrong (which they always inevitably do) you need to be patient, bite your tongue and consider how other people might be feeling.  If you try and force your will on everyone else you'll only end up alienating yourself.


5.  Love your family and friends.  I never had an 'epiphany' whilst backpacking, I didn't 'find myself'.  What I did learn was that I am incredibly lucky to have my family and my friends, I love them all and I should  remember to show them that I do once in a while.


So there you go, five deep and meaningful lessons, all images are my own.  All this wisdom aside however, I am rather nervous.  So in a desperate plea for support from total strangers any nice, kind words of advice or any remotely positive opinion you have to impart on this post, would be much appreciated left in comment form for me to read later.  PLEASE!

Last but not least, if you want to keep up with my adventures, disasters and general outings when I'm down under you can follow me on twitter, pinterest or like my page on facebook.  If you want to be really awesome you could follow me on all three.  THANK YOU.