For the most part, a week in a new place is all it takes to recharge our batteries. These short-term holidays are just enough to help us step away from our daily lives. And, more often than not, we feel glad to get back home. Though you might not think it, comfortable hotel beds and restaurant meals can get sickly in the end - it’s always a relief to get back to your bed and kitchen - seeing your friends again doesn’t hurt, either.
Sometimes though, you might find that short-term stays no longer refresh you the way they used to. This is especially the case if something back home is driving you to get away. A bad breakup perhaps or a career you can’t stand anymore. In situations like these, you have two choices: continue and stay unhappy or break those chains by getting away for longer.
If you choose the latter, there’s every chance you could change your life this way. Even if you return after a month or so, you’ll likely see your life in a whole new light. Why? Because long-term travel is a learning curb unlike any you will have come across before - to prove that point, we’re going to look at the lessons it could teach.
Perhaps one of the most crucial lessons is that of understanding. Often, frustrations in our daily lives come about from misunderstanding those around us. Rather than considering that Jane in the office is going through a hard time, you’re liable to lose your temper when she gets things wrong. That’s only going to lead to a manifestation of your unhappiness. But, when you travel for extended periods, understanding comes organically. You’ll need to practice it on a regular basis if you stand any chance of connecting with the people you meet. The fact that they live such different lives to your own is sure to enhance your understanding further. These interactions will, after all, open you up to a viewpoint you might never have considered. Isn’t that what understanding is really all about?
They say perseverance is key. But, how many of us keep going when there’s a chance to give up? It’s the main reason we don’t get around to pursuing those things we’d like to do. You wanted to learn yoga, but persevering was too much like hard work, right? But, travel that goes the distance can help you overcome this, too. After all, you’re going to need to learn at least the basics of the languageif you want to get by. It might have been easy enough to survive a week with nothing more than please and thank you. But, you'll struggle to keep that going. Not to mention that it could ruin your chances of getting to know the locals - you’ll have no choice but to see this learning experience through - ensuring you have a new language under your belt, this’ll give you a lesson to return to down the line. Once you know that you have the strength to persevere, you’re more likely to do it later on. You may find that on your return, you’re more willing to see things through at work or keep going with that class you signed up for. After all, by this stage you’ll know how satisfying it can be if you stick at something.
You could say that patience is tied up with the above two points. And, you’d be right, but it also deserves a mention of its own. We all wish we could be more patient, don’t we? But, the sad fact is that modern life has made us into instant gratification junkies. If we’re in a queue for more than ten seconds, we’re liable to get antsy about it. Ahh, the joys of modern living. But, when you’re in a new setting, you’ll have no choice but to sit back and practice patience. This is especially the case if you choose a laid back location. In some areas of the world, life is just a bit slower - you’ll have to put your feet up and adjust to a more leisurely pace.
What’s more, the fact that you don’t know the area or its rules will also force you to slow it down. If you hire a car, for instance, you’ll need to take your time rather than zipping around. After all, these are new roads with new rules and the last thing you want is for someone to file a road traffic accident claim because you didn’t take time to learn everything first. Patience keeps you safe and ensures you take time to appreciate what’s happening around you. Before you know it, you’ll be bringing this newfound patience to your everyday life - that could be all it takes to find more satisfaction in the small things which make up your day.
When we’re young most of us are spontaneous. The world is new and we welcome its experiences with open arms. But, most of us can’t say the same for our older selves. We become set in our ways and we take a suspicious stance to anything new. But, when you travel, everything is new again - you’ll have no choice but to embrace the spontaneity of your youth once more. If you’re wondering why you would want to, consider that spontaneity invites experience and many would argue that’s the spice of life. If you don’t experience new things, it’s all too easy to get stuck and complacent - no one really wants that. Instead, embrace simple things like late-night dining, or a new style of dance. These could work wonders for your happiness and your wellbeing - if you keep that thread going, you could bring this new attitude home with you, too. Forget saying no to bowling with your workmates. Say yes, and remember how much fun new experiences can be.