29 Things I Learn from Traveling

You will always learn something out of your travel, no matter how many times you have done it. Here is a list I whipped up this Saturday afternoon :

  1. Our memory sucks and keeping a journal is a great way to remember your trip. You can look back on practical details like where to eat, unforgettable moments that you will forget otherwise or random memorabilia of the places you go. I’m reading mine as I write this.
  2. You can apply your own Schengen visa and save lots of money rather than give it to third-party tour.
  3. Take a camera that takes good pictures but still light enough to carry around. When I brought my DSLR, I ended up leaving it at the hotel. Consider a good point-and-shoot or mirrorless camera instead.
  4. Money belt is so uncomfortable. Sorry mom, I have never actually used it.
  5. A large number of people I met don’t know Indonesia, even though it’s huge as.
  6. Talking to strangers is not terrifying, it makes your trip a whole lot more interesting. So go ahead, start the conversation and make new friends.
  7. Save your luggage space from souvenirs, send postcards instead. You can make a wall of postcards back home!
  8. It’s more than okay not to buy oleh-oleh (souvenirs) and people, stop bugging people who travel with oleh-oleh, unless we offer to do so. It’s not that we are stingy, but be considerate ; maybe we want to enjoy our holiday without having to think where to look for this and that.
  9. You may be the first and only impression people has with your country, make it a good one and get educated on what’s happening in your own country.
  10. Always make the effort to learn few phrases in local language.
  11. Are you studying second or third languages? Traveling to the countries where the language is spoken is the best way to learn.
  12. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help or directions.
  13. You’re never too cool to do touristy things, like Venetian gondola or San Francisco tram, and it’s okay to travel the path less beaten, too.
  14. If you found yourself followed, head to a crowded place and stand next to the security. I was in Paris once with my friend and a man (looking quite drunk and out of place with velvet jacket) surprised us from behind – we headed to the nearest supermarket, he followed and we tried to lose him at the elevator to which we succeeded and stood next to the security guard for a few minutes until we thought it’s safe. That being said, traveling is not as scary as you thought it would be, I promise, but use your common sense.
  15. You need less clothes (and more Indomie!) than you think you need.
  16. You can be spontaneous in your travel, but always do your research beforehand. What currency they use, proper dress code and manner, how to go to your hotel or the type of power plug they use. You’ll need it!
  17. It’s okay to spend more to stay in the centre of the city rather than spending all your time in a metro trying to get there.

    We only had a night to stay in Athens, so we stayed in Plaka area and that way, we could enjoy the Parthenon and busy Athens in the early morning.
  18. You can only go to so many factory outlets in the United States, things will be more or less the same – and the more you go, the bigger hole it puts in your wallet.
  19. Always bring a scissor and remember to put it in your checked-in bag *points to dad and sister*
  20. Some food may be more delicious than others, but no food in Japan tastes bad.

    Can’t believe it took me 20 years to fall in love with raw sushi.
  21. Keep your travel document on your phone and on paper, you don’t know when you might need it.
  22. Trust Google Maps for direction, but not for estimated travel time – I walk slower than that and that bus or train may be late.
  23. Don’t rush, double check and make sure you have everything before you leave your accommodation. I left my bag at my Airbnb in Paris and just realised it at the airport so I had to go back to get it, spending hefty amount on taxi with mini heart attack that I might not be able to make it back to the airport on time.

    Very expensive lesson indeed.
  24. Don’t rush, at all. Sometimes we want to see as much as possible in the time that we have, but actually it’s really nice to spend more time in one country and understand it better.
  25. Free walking tour is the way to go! You can usually find it in bigger cities and don’t forget to give some tips.
  26. Traveling is the perfect time to read a book, a real paperback instead of ebook.
  27. You’ll make mistakes, miss your bus or buy the wrong ticket (or tickets in my case in England) – forgive yourself, get over it and be more careful next time.
  28. I always say this and I’ll say it again – the people you meet always matter more than the places you go to.

    Crammed 20 people in a bedroom of four because we’re all in this together.
  29. Traveling is addicting and you are never too late to start doing it.

Until next time,

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