101 Ways Travel Changed Me

Travel Changed Me

Whether it’s your intention or not, there is no doubt that travel changes us. Whether it is in some profound, revelatory way or just a few additional skills to add to your life tool-belt.

This month is the 3rd anniversary since I took off on my round the world trip that would ultimately change my life (even if I didn’t know it at the time). These travel anniversaries always spark a period of reflection. So, here is:

101 Ways Travel Changed Me

  1. I get lost (a bit) less
  2. I can ride a camel…side-saddle…for days…without crying
  3. I appreciate my family and friends more
  4. I can make very little money go a very long way
  5. I’m more observant of my surroundings
  6. I feel trapped by the idea of a 9 to 5 and fixed location
  7. Make-up is a rarity
  8. I enjoy talking to strangers
  9. My knowledge of world history has increased exponentially
  10. I’m more tolerant of people and situations
  11. I’m stronger – mentally, physically and emotionally
  12. I can get by with less than 10 items of clothes
  13. I’m not freaked out by dirt and germs
  14. I’m way less stressed
  15. I can procure coffee, pizza and beer in myriad languages
  16. I realise that the sun setting is a phenomenal beauty that should be observed daily
  17. I’ve got a better perspective on what’s important in the world
  18. I have fewer regrets
  19. I understand more religions, beliefs and cultures
  20. I can haggle (politely and in good humour)
  21. I’m more independent
  22. I can swim and snorkel in the deep ocean without panicking
  23. I enjoy a bargain top more than a designer dress
  24. I let my hair dry naturally…and it looks better for it
  25. I haven’t worn a suit in 3 years
  26. Buying gadgets, stationery and books are my biggest material purchases
  27. I rarely drive any more…unless it’s a golf buggy
  28. I can live without beauty products except perfume and nail varnish
  29. I can perform some Kung-Fu moves
  30. I’m less concerned about what other people think
  31. My world geography has vastly improved
  32. I’ve learned that sunshine and the ocean are my quickest route to calm
  33. I’m less materialistic
  34. I’m a more adventurous eater
  35. I realise I can live without TV and celebrity gossip
  36. I realise I can’t live without books or music
  37. I’m so much more grateful for life’s basics – food, water and a dry bed
  38. I plan less and live by impulse more
  39. I’ve been beaten black and blue in self-defence classes…and feel safer for it
  40. I’m confident I can work out bus and train timetables in any country
  41. I understand politics better
  42. I realise we are all different but in many ways we’re all the same
  43. I’m more adaptable
  44. I’m no longer freaked out by bugs, snakes or big spiders
  45. I’ve become an expert at booking flights, accommodation and transport
  46. I’ve learned that going slower correlates with being happier
  47. I can have a mini-spa in an airplane bathroom
  48. I’m calmer in a crisis
  49. I have tackled my fear and swam with whale sharks
  50. I can sleep happily for a whole night in a hammock
  51. I’m better at applying sun cream (despite being English)
  52. I’m more environmentally aware
  53. I’m better at facing my fears
  54. I get excited by airline food
  55. I’m more confident (most of the time)
  56. Putting toilet paper in the bin no longer disgusts me
  57. I can function across multiple currencies without getting ripped off
  58. Instant noodles have made it onto my favourite food list
  59. I can read between the lines of travel reviews
  60. I can sniff out happy hour at 100 paces…in any country
  61. I realise I don’t need to be a lawyer, but I do enjoy working
  62. I’m more adventurous
  63. I’m better at asking questions when I don’t understand
  64. The unknown excites me instead of scares me
  65. I feel alive today – I wouldn’t trade that for any future-planned bucket list
  66. I realise I can’t control everything or everyone
  67. I’ve seen things I can’t unsee…mainly in India…that will endure for a lifetime
  68. I can spend 10 days in utter silence without losing my mind
  69. I know what I want in life – and it’s a feeling not a status or material possession
  70. I’ve learned how to deal with bouts of loneliness
  71. I’ve discovered I’m an ambivert…and things make so much more sense now
  72. I ponder the more philosophical things in life, which help me live happily
  73. I take more rest without feeling guilt at being lazy
  74. I realise life is about people and experiences not bags and shoes
  75. My appetite is smaller
  76. I have realised that where there is a will, there is usually a way…even if it’s not the easy way
  77. I have less worry lines than I used to
  78. I’m better tuned into my needs and moods
  79. I’ve accepted that fast, free wi-fi is a hope not a given
  80. I have one less tooth
  81. I can read people better
  82. I realise it’s ok to fail
  83. I’ve eaten deadly puffer fish and survived
  84. I’ve learned how to start and manage my own business
  85. I don’t enjoy zoos – I want to see animals outside captivity
  86. I know how to disconnect when I need time alone
  87. My stories start more interestingly – “I was up a volcano in Nicaragua in the dark..,”
  88. I’m happier
  89. I’ve discovered you can get travel burn out and I’ve learned how to deal with it
  90. I’ve tasted foods beyond my wildest dreams…and worst nightmares
  91. My foot arches are collapsing from wearing flip-flops too much
  92. I’ve had toilet troubles more than any other time in my life
  93. I take responsibility more and blame others less
  94. I have made amazing friends all around the world, all of whom have taught me something
  95. I don’t care (as much) about looking stupid
  96. I’ve managed to stand up – for whole seconds – on a surf board
  97. I’m determined to grasp Spanish fluently
  98. I get angry less often
  99. I’ve jumped out of a plane and would do it again
  100. I’ve accepted that my ‘to visit’ list will never have an end
  101. I have wanderlust so bad it can’t be cured

That’s how travel changed me. How has travel changed you?

Want more travel inspiration? You might like some of my other posts…

101 Travel Themed Things To Do When You’re Bored At Home

The 10 Weirdest Places I’ve been

10 Travel Experiences Everyone Should have in their Lifetime

My 50 Biggest Culture Shock Experiences

My 20 Worst Travel Stories

Best Travel Videos That Will Make You Want to Pack A Bag

10 thoughts on “101 Ways Travel Changed Me”

  1. This list was so fun to read!! Thank you for sharing 🙂 When I need to build up the courage to travel in spite of my finances and worried parents, I always read through your blog for hours and feel so much better. I’m building my travel blog slowly but surely– you are a big inspiration for me.

    – Amy Farah

  2. I love to travel and truly admire your zest for adventure and how it changed you. My question is…is there a place you come back to? Every Xmas or December? A spot in the world that feels like ‘family ‘ you want to stay longer. I meet a few travelers that eventually found it…may it be in Goa, KoPangahn or Gili Air or Berlin…they decided to return year after year to this particular spot…and some of them settled down, made it their new home, became part of that culture and way of life.

    • Petra, thanks for the kind comments. Every year I return to my family and friends in the UK. After 5 years of travel I’ve not missed a single Christmas at home. But the place I keep going back to that feels like home is Mexico…I dream often on living by the sea there. Who knows. One day?! Happy new year.

  3. Travelling is not all about getting travel insurance for your benefits. There are other things worth doing such as the 101 list you have here. They’re really practical and have the ability to change one’s perspective. Thank you!

    • Ha ha, thanks Ana! Glad this list resonated. Do – definitely write your own list and come back and share it with me. I actually had a lot of fun writing my list and it hammered home the positive changes that travel has had in my life. And I felt a lot of gratitude as a result of this piece of work.

  4. What a great list! I love travelling too although my life is all about family and raising my kids now. But maybe when they’re older I’ll be travelling again 🙂 But some really great tips about life in general on your list!

    • Thanks, Ravi! It sounds like you have the perfect opportunity to teach your little ones the beauty of travel. Hope my list can help inspire your next trip!


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