Wednesday, 11 April 2018

How Travel Taught Me What I'm Thankful For

Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
Cameron Highlands, Malaysia


We all go about our lives at 100mph busying ourselves with working, socialising and family all while being constantly connected to what's going on in the world through our phones. It can get so easy in this day and age to keep ticking over in our routine without really stopping and taking a breath. Even when we're on holiday and supposed to be relaxing, you'll normally be snapping away while thinking about which photo to post on social media later.

It wasn't until I went backpacking last year for 5 months that I fully stopped and looked at my life. It's funny how sometimes you need to take yourself to a desert island to fully open your eyes to what your life is like. We can get so blinkered with our daily life, but after I found myself sitting on a plane heading to the other side of the world, the veil was lifted and I really started to realise how incredible my life really is. 

There are many factors that I've realised I'm so thankful for in my life, but I handpicked the top 5 to talk about today. If you've found yourself feeling down and uninspired lately, maybe it's time to take a trip stripped back to the basics? You'll be surprised how much travelling can affect you and make you realise what you're thankful for.

MY HEALTH


This is probably the top thing that people take for granted the most. We may complain about getting a cold or an annoying spot, but that really doesn't compare to what some people have to live with. When you travel to places that are outside the resorts, you'll meet people who are may not necessarily have access to healthcare meaning they can't work. In some countries, there is not the support for helping people with disabilities so you may come across people begging on the street or walking into restaurants asking for money. This really broke my heart seeing this, and it made me realise how lucky we are to have free healthcare and our health in general. 

FRIENDS, FAMILY AND LOVED ONES


The support network of those who care about you is something we all should be thankful for. These are the people who cheer you on when you succeed and become a shoulder to cry on when you don't as well as giving you unconditional love in some cases. There's nothing like 5 months away from your loved ones to make you realise how much you love them, and even spending 5 months with Chris has made us closer than ever. Make the most of the time you have with these people- as sad as it is there may be a time when they are no longer in your life so making the most of the time you spend with them now is so vital. 

TRAVEL


Yes really, travel taught me to be thankful for travel! I now well and truly have the travel bug, and planning my next trip brings me immense happiness. Even for those who holiday once a year, this can start to become just another routine that loses spontaneity. One thing that stuck in my mind while travelling in Asia especially, is the number of wonderful people that we met that don't have the opportunity to travel. In Asia, the currency is so weak against the British pound or US dollar that a flight could have them saving for years. Even though I'm not exactly a billionaire, I've realised that I'm so thankful that I can afford to travel, regardless of whether it's a staycation here in the UK or flying long haul. 

THE INTERNET


This kind of contradicts what I was saying at the beginning of this post, but I've come to realise that the internet has done so much for me. It is a wonderful thing when used in moderation, and after spending time on islands that had little to no WIFI, I found I'm now able to switch off from the world a lot easier than before I went away. Nothing is so important that it can't wait a couple of hours or even until the next day, and even though I spend so much of my day on the internet, I can now happily leave my phone at home or turn it off and not have a meltdown that people might be trying to get in touch with me. 

I also found when I was backpacking that I could talk to my parent's every day thanks to the internet. We would Whatsapp and call each other frequently, and they would say it was like I was in the next room as I could speak to them so easily. 

THE MISTAKES I'VE MADE


Sometimes all you want to do is let the floor swallow you up because of something you did, and you'd rather shove it into a box in the back of your mind never to be opened again. However, while travelling I've found I've been faced with some unknown situations that I've ended up making mistakes in...and that it's totally okay that they happened. They say we learn from our mistakes, and I couldn't agree more. Sure, no one's perfect and there has been some things I've done that I do regret and wish I would have handled differently, but how are we supposed to flourish and grow without bumps along the way? You can't know everything, and no one is perfect, so stop beating yourself up for what you said to your ex BFF 5 years ago. Life is too short. 

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What things are you thankful for, and what made you realise them? Let me know in the comments below and have a great day!

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8 comments

  1. I really want to take some time out travelling like this. It does sound like a brilliant way to focus your mind.

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  2. I completely agree with you. Traveling has taught us so many things especially being thankful, enjoying the little things, and knowing how our family and friends are there for us.

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  3. I loved this post to the full xoxo

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  4. This post is so thoughtful and introspective. I think it's amazing that you have this kind of insight and that traveling has done so much for you! It's exactly why I am trying to travel more myself :)

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