As I'm sure you can imagine, it is a life changing experience. I learned so much and now see the world with a new point of view. I urge everyone to make it a priority to travel and to see different cultures of the world.
A few things I've learned...
1. Never say never.
Adventure is everywhere. You don't have to jump off a cliff to feel adventurous (Although, I have and I'd definitely recommend it.) Adventure is in the unknown. Eat a dish you've never heard of. Let yourself get a little lost and find your way back. If you're scared, do it anyway. In fact, if you're scared, that's all the more reason to do it!
2. It's a small world.
It never ceases to amaze me that you can wake up in one place and go to sleep the next day thousands of miles away. Places aren't as far away as they seem to be. The world can seem humongous, but I find it a little less overwhelming when I meet someone from home in a foreign country.
3. You will never regret money spent on experience and it is not a waste of time.
Not for a second do I regret all the time and money I have spent traveling. It never even crossed my mind. To me, getting life fulfilling experience is the most productive thing you can be doing.
4. It's not what you're doing, it's who you're doing it with. This is the phrase that will not stop running through my head in every city I visit. I am so fortunate to have met incredible people and made great friends while I'm traveling. I think this philosophy can also be applied in professional/life situations. I've had different jobs and found that my enjoyment depends more on the people I work with than the work I'm doing. Maybe it's the extrovert in me, but I truly believe this. On the flip side, alone time is important too. I remember a specific instance while abroad, ditching my friends for an hour to stroll the streets alone and just reveling in the thrill of self exploration. It is so empowering. 5. To keep traveling. Since returning, I've hardly slowed down. Now, for the time being the trips I am taking are not nearly as lengthy... But, I've been taking advantage when I can. It's exhausting, but it's better than the alternative. Most happiness is found in novelty. I'm looking to avoid the misery of routine. 6. There is such a thing as too late. Not a lot of people want to hear this. People spend a lot of time saying, "one day." I am not arguing that adventure and travel can't be experienced in older age. However, the two most important things in life are health and happiness. Those are truly the only two things that should take priority. I urge you to take advantage of the time you have in good health. You never know what could happen. Personally, I am determined to grow older and feel like I did everything I wanted to before I have to slow down. Don't let this time pass you by for the future that may never come