Travelling usually takes you out of your comfort zone and as we know, that is the only place to grow. So if you want it or not, extended travel will bring you back different from who you were when you left.
1| You become a minimalist
We all packed to much on our first trip. The travel towel you thought you would definitely need and 3 pairs of jeans you never wore (guilty as charged..). Due to airline baggage restriction or simply because you can only carry so much, you have to think about what is most important to take. When you move permanently to another country it even goes up a level, you can only leave so many cartons with friends and family unless you want to ship a container or pay for storage. You start to pay more attention to what you buy, rather spend more on a few pieces of clothing that you will wear all the time and you get less attached to material things.
2| You realize how small you and your problems are
It might be the actual distance travelled or just the people you meet while travelling, that makes you realise just how big this world is and how no one actually cares so much about your little universe because probably they have problems that you didn’t even have an idea about. You understand how valuable the possession of a European passport is. And what you just take for granted for some people means a luxury that will probably never be in reach.
On another note, never try to out travel any problems you might have. Remember they belong to you and so they will come wherever you go.
3| You start to miss things you never thought you would
The rainy days of grey Hamburg city, the trains that come every 5 minutes, the healthcare and social security system, the cultural aspects and closeness of other countries, german cake and bread are just some of the things I miss since living in Australia. But the truth is wherever you go, you will always miss something about the other place. To avoid this, you better avoid travelling altogether!
4| You become more open minded
You get to know other cultures and other peoples views and opinions and you realise that they have a right of existing just as your own. We all grow up in different environments and they will shape how we see the world. There is no right or wrong or at least who are we to judge?
5| You begin to understand how connected everything is
When a nuclear power station blows up in Japan and leaks into the ocean, you can be pretty sure that the fish on your plate anywhere in the world will at some point be affected. When there is a war in Syria or Africa, that people from there will try to flee to a safe country just like you would. That the way the farmer in some part of the world looked after his crop will affect how much nutrients you will get in your body and how healthy you will be as a result.
6| You appreciate what you have
When you are travelling you sometimes don’t know where you end up, how the place is going to be where you will sleep, what you will eat or if your baggage will get lost. All you have for sure is yourself. Enjoy what you have and the moment for as long as it will last.
7| You make friends all over the world
You can never be with everyone you love as they are spread all over the world, but at more and more places in the world you won’t be a stranger anymore. Some people are only meant to cross your path for a brief encounter and some will stay forever in one way or another. You might also randomly meet them again at the other end of the world.
8| You realize how life is about the people you spend it with
Over time I have come to realise that the shittiest places can be fun with the right people and the most beautiful place is not enjoyable if you are in bad company. Life is about moments and making memories with your favourite people. Sometimes though it might not be possible to be with all of them, but when you get to see them make sure to make the most of it.
9| You become adaptable…veeerrry adaptable
Unless you have a golden credit card in your backpack, you will most possible stay in places that challenge your usual luxury level. But you will learn to deal with it all, whether to run out of money, to find yourself alone at a closed petrol station in the middle of nowhere at 2am in the morning or to live in a house full of fleas.
10| You will never feel at home in just one place anymore
Home will turn from just one place to a feeling, which you feel at many places and most probably will be connected to the people you love. And as said before, wherever you are you will the other place.