1. I adore getting lost. Usually I find myself somewhere without other travellers or tourists, in a hidden gem. What I’ve stumbled across from the result of being lost is usually better than what I was trying to find.
2. I marvel at ever changing environments. These new environments take me out of my comfort zone, out of my own world and into something new, exciting or perhaps even frightening. Each new place broadens my understanding of the world I live in and that is invaluable.
3. I don’t like getting my shoes wet.
4. I learn new cuisines. I try new meats, new ways of cooking and even bugs (thank you Australia) which all now influence what I eat day-to-day.
5. Expensive is not always best. In fact, often when you’re travelling, expensive is plain boring. To get a sense of the culture, the lifestyle and rhythm of a place, you have to explore it, not shelter from it.
6. People are wonderful. Yes, there will be the 1% of idiots, the mean people who steal from you or the lone-traveller who thinks he is better than you. But, ignore them. They are irrelevant to the 99% of people who will laugh with you, share advice and stories or loan you shoes when you’ve got them wet!
7. How small and how lucky I am. I am sometimes overwhelmed by how much there is to do, to see, to experience in the world. All my fears about my life, my career, my relationships are so minor and so irrelevant when I am away. I see how fortunate I am everywhere I go and how people with far less are so happy, so warm and so carefree. It is a brilliant way to slap yourself back into reality.
8. Planning is a little pointless. I love to plan, to be in control, to trip-advisor the hell out of everywhere, but every time I learn these efforts are fairly pointless. Usually the plans change, you meet people who invite you off to this waterfall or stumble across a secluded beach where you can get a boat out to see whales. Also, buses are late, people don’t turn up, timetables are often seen as rough guides rather than things that our stuck to. You just have to roll with it…
9. Never stand over a a train of caterpillars. They will eject invisible hairs onto you and you will have a rash for four days all over your body. The doctor you see will laugh at you.
10. I’ve learnt to enjoy transient relationships. Not everyone is meant to be a “forever” friend. Some of the most influential people I’ve met have been in my life for just a heartbeat.