Life teaches you new lessons every day. Traveling expedites this process and teaches you these same life lessons ten times faster.
Valuable Life Lessons Learned from Traveling
Traveling teaches you great deal about life. It makes you grow, experience, and see more while still keeping you grounded. Many people claim that traveling the world makes them better people. For me, being happy regardless of circumstances is one of the greatest life lessons to learn from traveling.
Travel and happiness go hand in hand. There’s a lot of information on the Internet to prove this point. Scientific research and personal experiences praise travel as one of the biggest contributors to one’s contentment. You might ask what exactly traveling the world can teach you about happiness, what life lessons you can learn from it. Happy travelers insist that traveling broadens horizon and makes them appreciate people and things around them. It brings variety into their daily routine. Traveling teaches them valuable lessons on how to improve some of their relationships and let go of the others. The list goes on and on.
Traveling and Life Lessons about Happiness
It’s hard to disagree with these important life lessons learned from traveling the world. But based on my personal experiences I believe traveling is not a prerequisite for happiness and joy. Happy travelers are not created on the road or on a plane. They choose to be that way regardless of their circumstances.
One of my favorite things to do while traveling is to watch people, not necessary locals, but other visitors as well. These quiet moments that last a minute or so tell you more about people than their words, social media profiles, or countries they come from. I want to share two stories that taught me some of the most valuable life lessons about happiness while traveling the world.
LIFE LESSONS ABOUT HAPPINESS TO LEARN FROM TRAVELING:
Happy Travelers are Happy despite Unforeseen Circumstances
Kalalau Lookout is one of the most visited places on Kauai, Hawaii. There’s nothing special about the observation deck itself. The views you can see from it, however, is what makes the place a must-see destination for almost every visitor of the island. From 4,000 feet above sea level, the Kalalu Lookout presents the best vistas of the Kalalau Valley, one of the most photographed locations on the island. We also were eager to see this magical place.
Our journey to the Kalalau Lookout started in Kapaa. Although it was drizzling in the morning, we hoped that Kauai would do what it does best and change its weather any minute. Moreover, it was our last day on the island. So, we couldn’t afford to postpone the trip.
Upon our arrival at the Kalalau Lookout, parking lot was packed. Furthermore, the weather didn’t get any better. With our umbrellas ready to cover us from now pouring rain, we followed a small crowd to the observation deck. Something completely unexpected and unforgettable was awaiting us here. Thick fog covered everything as far as our eyes could see. Nothing but grayish background replaces the much-anticipated views of the valley. I hadn’t seen anything like this before.
Traveling Doesn’t Always Go as Planned
Immediately, my husband started joking that it was the most amazing view on the whole island. A few other visitors joined the conversation, laughing and even taking pictures to remember the moment. There were no regrets or disappointments about missing the famous views. The journey and good company of random strangers even if for just a few minutes mattered more than the fog, rain, and unseen valley down there. The majority of our new friends learned these life lessons from their previous experiences of traveling the world.
But there also was a completely different category of the visitors. Their frowns clearly expressed their resentment and annoyance with the unpleasant weather conditions and the whole situation. If someone, for some reasons, misread their facial expressions, their verbal interpretation of this misfortunate experience didn’t ask for any clearer explanation. “It sucks. I’m so disappointed,” followed them as they were rapidly leaving the lookout point. I knew these people would find other reasons to be dissatisfied with this travel experience even if they could see the valley. They failed to learn one of the most important life lessons: happiness as well as traveling is a journey, not a destination.
Happy Travelers are Happy despite Location
The second story has neither a big group of the travelers nor different lessons to learn from the traveling the world. It includes only one Asian couple as they, what it seemed like, had their best time in Yosemite National Park.
I was sitting on the bank of the Merced River. It was hot. We just hiked to Venal Fall and on our way back stopped by the river to relax and take a quick dip in cold water. I didn’t want to swim and to kill time observed people around me.
One couple stood out. Something about them captured my attention. They appeared to be in their forties, calm, and absolutely joyous. You know that quiet happiness that is written all over your face. They had it. These two chose the most secluded and, as far as I could tell, the most picturesque spot on the bank. The woman couldn’t stop smiling. It seemed that she enjoyed the place a lot. Not climbing rocks or hiking to waterfalls, but sitting right there was all she cared about.
The man didn’t lag behind in his own excitement about the place. As soon as they got to their beautiful spot, he took off his dress paints and a white shirt with long sleeves and jumped in the ice-cold water. With childish excitement, he smiled from ear to ear while washing his face and splashing the water around him. It was obvious that this couple had learned some valuable life lessons about happiness and traveling way before they came to Yosemite. They were a perfect example of the happy travelers who knew how to cherish their experiences regardless of the location.
Life Lessons Learned from Traveling: Final Thoughts
Sometimes observing strangers teaches the most valuable life lessons one can learn when traveling. You can get as happy as those people just by watching them. In these moments it becomes clear that you don’t need the right type of environment or the best weather to enjoy your travel experiences. All you need are the right attitude and decision to appreciate your adventures against all the odds.