Travel diary: 3 lessons I learned on the road

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. Or so they say.

I agree. But only if you’re willing to keep your receptors open to the life unfolding around you as it almost always forces you to push past your comfortable and accepted standards of living. 

Travel can be confronting.

It can be terrifying.

Humbling.

And positively exhilarating.

I got to experience a little of each as I made my way through Italy, Serbia, Montenegro and Hungary and now that I’m back home and have had time to process my experiences, I thought it might be helpful to share with you…

3 lessons I learned on the road. (That you can apply to your everyday life.)

1. Adapt or die. Or just be really miserable.

Taking out travel insurance and hoping for the best is as close as I get to a plan B whenever I set out on a new adventure. So when the proverbial hits the fan and sets off a chain of mishaps that promises to derail my holiday mojo, I'm thrust into unfamiliar territory, far from home and all the things I take for granted i.e. healthcare, easy transport etc. Suddenly I needed to rely on my instincts, think on my feet and fast, make on-the-spot decisions, adjust the sails, and reset my course and expectations if I had any chance of resurrecting my holiday goals.

Reminder: At some point, life is guaranteed to throw you a killer curve ball, perhaps leaving you with extremely limited choices and a big decision to make. To adapt. Or die. Or stay miserable. You've got to practice being flexible + agile with the little things so when the big one hits, you can trust your gut and decision-making abilities, get up quicker and keep on marching!

2. Life isn't fair. But happiness is worth fighting for.

Life on the road exposes you to the good, the bad and the ugly in rich, concentrated bursts. From sparkling tourist attractions, to awe-inspiring natural wonders, to the remnants of angry wars, to ongoing hardships and everything in between. The gap between wealth and poverty, opportunity and misfortune growing wider everyday for a lot of folks. Yet some blatantly refuse to give up on their happiness.

Reminder: Life isn't always fair. Many economies are in a slump, unemployment is widespread and people are tired, angry and disillusioned. And hungry. For hope and a better future. You never know when life might take an unexpected turn and chances are you won't have ANY control over the turmoil and disorder happening around you BUT you can take full responsibility for your attitude, choices and actions. My cousin Ivan summed it up best when he said... Everyday I fight for my happiness.

3. Enjoy the little things. It will all be over before you know it.

Creamy gelato dripping down my fingers on a summer's day, a dip in the Adriatic, midnight popcorn talkfests, family gatherings, chaotic road trips, bittersweet time spent with old people I know I might never see again, getting lost in the excitement of new faces and places, being razzled-dazzled with an impromptu magic show from an enthusiastic 4-year old, receiving more rainbow loom bracelets than I know what to do, walking through sacred places, or just drinking coffee and enjoying each other's company.... the list goes on.

Reminder: Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. Looking back it's often the little things that make a good life memorable, so embrace and enjoy them wholeheartedly. 

I hope you liked my short travel diary. It was going to be longer... but then... stuff happened... wifi sucked... so I decided to let go and get lost in the experience. 

You can head over to see a few more photos on Instagram if that's your kind of thing.

Please share the love - like it, share it with a friend and leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you!