18 Lessons I Learned while Traveling for Seven Months

Last Monday marked the completion of my seven month journey through Europe.  This trip was an incredible experience where I learned a lot about myself and what I wanted to do moving forward in life.

Today I’d like to talk about these lessons.  Some of them are unique to my situation – While others will hopefully provide some guidance in your own life.  I can’t say the entire trip was positive.  But both the good and bad moments provided a ton of lessons that’s helped me grow as a person.  So let’s talk about eighteen things that I learned since April:

Lessons I Learned About Traveling

Lesson #1- Be a Little Spontaneous

Traveling should be about having fun and relaxing.  Unfortunately I’ve met a lot of people who approach it with a “to-do list” mentality.  Typically people like this plan out their entire trip and leave little room for the fun, random events that are often the best part of a trip.

One of the first habits I had to eliminate was over-planning every facet of my travels.  I’ve learned that it’s okay to get a rough idea of what you want to do but leave the finer details to what you feel like doing at a given moment.  To be honest, some of my best memories came when I ditched a plan at the last minute and did something that wasn’t on my itinerary.

Lesson #2- Plan a Broad “Road Map”

This might seem like a contradiction of what I just said, but I also found it’s equally important to know the major things you want to see/do during a trip.  Yes, it’s fun to be a little spontaneous.  But leaving everything to chance often means missing out on stuff you’ve always wanted to experience.

As an example, I knew for certain that I wanted to do the following:

  • Hike in the Swiss Alps
  • Go to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
  • Take a road trip through Ireland
  • See major cities like Prague, Dublin, Edinburgh, Barcelona, and Berlin
  • Do outdoor activities like canyoning, kayaking/rafting, hiking, and scuba diving

During my travels, I made sure to leave time to do each of these activities.  Once I knew these activities would be completed, I left the rest of my trip up to my mood and environment.  Hopefully this shows how you can be both a planner and a bit spontaneous.

Lesson #3- Create a “Next Day” List

Okay, this might seem a little OCD, but I also learned the value of creating “next list” list.  This is basically a rough plan of the sites and activities you want to tackle when you wake up.

Why is this important?  Well, there were certain times I’d arrive in a city during the early afternoon.  During the times I had a list written down, I managed to do a fun activity (or two) before it got dark.  On the other hand, when I didn’t have anything planned, I usually ended up doing nothing that day.

Don’t feel like you have to go crazy with this list.  Just jot down a few key highlights that you want to do in a specific location.  Then do what you feel like at that given moment.

Lesson #4- Overanalyzing Logistics Can Ruin a Trip

I’ve met a lot of people who waste so much of their trip planning things out.  You’ll see people like this hunched over a computer, wasting hours comparing prices trying to save a few dollars.  In my opinion, this kind of ruins the point behind traveling.

The lesson I’ve learned is to pick the best site/resource for each need and only use that.  That way you’re stressed out trying to find the perfect deal.    For instance, I only used the following sites for my trip:

  • Hotels for hotel reservations.
  • Hostel World for low-cost shared and private rooms
  • Trip Advisor for ideas for activity ideas in each area
  • Wikipedia for history and background info on an area (Yeah… I’m a nerd.)
  • Ryanair for low-cost flights within Europe and Morocco
  • Orbitz for all other flying needs
  • Google for other transportation needs

Using only these resources saved me a bunch of time during my travels.  Within an hour, I could have a room booked, with transportation info and a list of what I wanted to do.  Not a bad system if you ask me.

Lesson #5- Have an Emergency Kit

Being a “tourist” puts a target on your back for every pickpocket, mugger, and scam artist around.  Getting your wallet/purse taken can ruin a trip if you don’t prepare for it.  That’s why it’s important to create what I call a “mugging emergency kit.”  This is a small bag you keep hidden away that contains these items:

  • An extra credit card
  • An extra ATM card
  • A copy of your passport
  • At least 200 Euros (or an equivalent of the local currency)
  • Copies of other important documents

My point is you never know when something bad will happen.  Prepare for the worst, but hope you don’t have to use these items.

Lesson #6- Look for Unique Experiences

A few months into the trip I was getting pretty tired of the typical tourist destinations like castles, museums, and cathedrals.  After awhile all of these places seemed the same.  Kind of like the movie “Groundhog Day.”

A lesson I learned was some of the best times you’ll have traveling come from unique experiences – Not looking at an old building, surrounded by mobs of tourists.  As I look back, my favorite memories had nothing to do with a building.  Expericiences like canyoning in France, hiking up the Jungfrau Mountain and sharing a few beers with Norwegians at Oktoberfest.  The greatest memories can’t be found in a guidebook…they come from doing what you love.

Lesson #7- Find Alternative Ways to Travel

While I personally didn’t do this, I met a couple of travelers who met a lot of local through an “alternative” ways of traveling.  Specifically they used two sites to save money, while meeting lots of locals:

  • HelpX– This site lists volunteer opportunities in specific locations.  For a few hours of work each day, most will offer free room and board.
  • Couchsurfing– This site is like the Facebook for travelers.  There are people offering a free bed to travelers and there are people who use it to find places to stay.  Many of my friends use this site all the time and swear that it’s a great resource for meeting locals.

Again, I personally haven’t used either site.  But a lot of my friends say they both help to create a unique travel experience.

Lessons I Learned About Work

Lesson #8- You Can’t Combine Work with Travel

I know some will disagree with this lesson.  Before starting this trip, I thought it would be easy to work 20 hours a week and then spend the rest of my time traveling.  The truth is its way harder than I originally anticipated.

While you might be able to do this for a short period, I don’t think it’s a good idea to combine work for an extended amount of time.  When I was working, I felt like I should be having fun.  And when I was having fun, I felt guilty for not focusing on my business.  Then when combined with the stress of moving from place to place, I found I was often stressed out about all that I had to do each week.

Lesson #9- The “Laptop Lifestyle” isn’t Easy

A popular concept that’s gaining popularity is the idea of the “laptop lifestyle.”  The idea here is that all you need is a laptop and you can bounce around the world, working a little and having fun the rest of the time.

Let me say this concept sounds great on paper, but it’s not a way to run a business.  You can maintain a business this way, but it’s almost impossible to start a new business while hopping around the world.  One of the techniques I use when home is creative brainstorming.  While traveling, there is very little time to sit down and analyze what needs to be done to improve your business.

Furthermore, you don’t have a dedicated work location.  Which brings me to the next point…

Lesson #10- You Need a Command Center

All businesses need an area that’s dedicated to work.  This can be anything from a giant building to a small desk in a corner of a room.  The challenge of the laptop lifestyle is you don’t have a dedicated workspace.  I often found myself trying to do work in a room full of screaming, drunken idiots.  That’s NOT a good environment for getting things done.

To maximize your productivity, you need what I call a “command center.”  This is a dedicated workspace that’s specifically tailored to the activities you do on a regular basis.  This area contains all your important paperwork, whiteboards for ideas, and has inspiring pictures/plaques on the wall.  The idea behind a command center is to work in a productive manner with little to no distractions.

Lesson #11- I Actually Like Work

This one confused the hell out of me.   I still love traveling and I’m already looking for ideas for my next trip.  But one of the things that frustrated me the most about this trip was I didn’t have enough time to work on my business – Specifically this site.

It’s great to have fun, but after awhile I started to miss the experience of growing this site.  After a few months I realized that I actually enjoyed Internet marketing.  Before I left, I always thought this was something I do to pay the bills.  It turns out that honestly enjoy doing what I do.  Yeah, I know this sounds weird.

Lessons I Learned About Life

Lesson #12- Wherever You Go, There You Are

I met a lot of people from a lot of different countries.  The one commonality about them all is they carried the same attitude they had from back home.  So if someone was basically miserable in their country, they were probably miserable traveling around Europe.  I really believe in the idea of wherever you go, there you are.  Don’t expect a long trip to change who you are on the inside.  Real change comes from finding what makes you happy and focusing on that.

Lesson #13- Be Open to New People

Traveling on your own can be a bit scary.  And frankly, it can often be pretty lonely.  So that’s why it’s important to be open to meeting new people.  What I’ve learned is you have to be really proactive about meeting people on the road – Even if you’re an introverted person.  Early on, I discovered the importance of being proactive when it comes meeting people.  For instance, here are 17 tips for making friends while traveling solo.

Lesson #14- Say Yes to New Experiences

It’s easy to get caught in the trap of doing safe activities (like visiting a musty old cathedral) than it is to do something a little scary (like going into a dark Polish forest and shooting AK-47’s). Traveling is about breaking out of your normal routine and doing something unique.  Sometimes that means saying YES to an activity – Even if you’re not sure you’ll like it.

We all have moments when we’re a little nervous to try something new. That’s why it’s important to use traveling as an excuse for breaking through your comfort zones.  Don’t worry about making a fool of yourself.  In all likelihood, you’ll never see these people again.  So you might as well take advantage of your travels and do things that seem a little scary at the time.

Lesson #15- Possessions aren’t Important

I used to be one of those people who kept everything.  What I learned during my travels is that every possession can be replaced or tossed out.  For example, here’s what was lost/destroyed in the last seven months:

  • 2 Digital Cameras
  • 1 Amazon Kindle
  • 1 iPod speaker/docking station
  • 3 Long-sleeve shirts
  • 1 Comfy head pillow
  • 1 Digital 50-Lap Wristwatch
  • 1 Penguin Beach Towel
  • 80 Euros in cash from a crafty pickpocketer
  • And…my favorite T-shirt of all time (This one hurt the most)

During a long period of traveling, there will be some causalities.  If you lose or break something, it’s probably replaceable.  Yes, it sucks to have to spend money on something you already had.  But I guarantee within a few days, you’ll probably forget about it.  As long as you’re still healthy, then learn the lesson and move on.

Lesson #16- S**t Happens

I was pretty vigilant for pickpocketers for the last seven months.  That is, until a girl got my wallet in the last week of my travels.  The upshot is I was with a couple of street-savvy guys from New York.  They immediately noticed what happened and we kindly “negotiated” the wallet back from her and her cohorts.  Of course, during the confusion, 80 Euros were taken from my wallet.

The point is no matter how vigilante or careful you act, sometimes s**t happens.  Be cautious, but don’t think everyone is out to get you.  As long as you implement lesson #5, then nothing is irreplaceable.

Lesson #17- Learn the Lesson

I had a lot of interesting things happen in the last seven months.  Some of them were good, some were bad.  I think it’s important to learn lessons from everything – Especially when things go wrong.  At those times it’s important to reflect on what happened and then figure out what you would have done in the future.   Doing this on a regular basis will help you grow as a person.

Lesson #18- I’d Do It Again!

Someone recently asked me if I’d do this trip again, if I could go back in time and relive my life over.  I think I would.  Sure, I’d change some destinations and maybe plan things better. But overall, I’m glad I took this trip.  I learned a lot about myself and some of the places I’ve always dreamed of seeing.  And while I’m now in work mode, I’m already thinking about where I’d like to see next.

Final Thoughts on Traveling Lessons

I’d agree that some of these lessons are a bit pessimistic.  The truth is I think this trip was an extremely positive experience – One I’ll remember for the rest of my life.  Sure things went wrong, but I felt that these provided a ton of insight into who I am and what I want moving forward.  While I’ll probably never do another massive trip like this, I do feel it’s something we all have to do at least one point in our lives.  What do you think?

Take Action. Get Results.

47 thoughts on “18 Lessons I Learned while Traveling for Seven Months”

  1. Hi Steve:

    I read your blog post in detail. I also sent you an email today. Now I am thinking if I am going to get a chance to do that. So I may use all the experience into this article. It is a very valuable article, sell it to a travel agency or people who plan vacations. You know more than me, you are making outstanding income for a while on the internet.

    However post is great, all the ins and out, what works the best, even being vigilant, you have mentioned every that a person needs to take into consideration including how to have fun.

    fran A

    • Fran,

      Thanks am glad you have found some value in article. I didn’t want to bombard it with links and stuff to keep it interesting for those who might not be planning on traveling anytime in the near future, but I do believe that you only really need those few i linked for the reasons I gave.

      The main thing is to have that rough idea of what you want to achieve, but to be flexible to twists in turns….isn’t that really a life lesson too!

  2. Steve, this is awesome man! I don’t think it’s pessimistic at all because I think a lot of people paint travel as this perfect experience of sitting on the beach with a laptop – the thing to remember is that other countries aren’t all just vacation hot spots – they have real people and real drama; some really fun and some really bad.

    That sucks that you lost so much stuff but you have to be happy about your overall health – ya know?

    Had a blast reading this one; in fact, wouldn’t mind a follow up that goes into the individual places as well – that’s crazy about the AK’s (that’s an awesome story to hear in itself).

    • Murray,

      Yeah, it might also have to do a lot with perception. It is easy to think (or fool yourself into remembering) 1 week in an exotic location as being a “perfect time”. It is a little more difficult to do that for an extended period of time. Hard to think of 6-8 months as a perfect ideal time. If It were…I would still be traveling! LOL

      Not that it wasn’t great, of course.

      I will see if I can’t have a fun and more in depth story in the future. 😉 . Hopefully you got a few sites for some info for your upcoming trip too.

      • Hey Steve,

        I am sure your busy and might have missed it, but could you please check my comment on your Sunday Selections. (Yesterday’s post)

  3. Loved the post, Steve! Thoroughly enjoyed and retweeted. I found myself nodding emphatically at each point.

    I’d like to hear more about exactly how you went about working while traveling (either in a reply here or as a future post). I’ve done a lot of traveling, I’ve done a lot of working, but I haven’t combined the two a whole lot. Did you have anything especially useful in your “mobile” command center? (Other than digital camera, laptop, notebook, etc.). What work-related items did you wish you had.

    • Thanks Tristan,

      It is not easy to both work and travel as I said. I actually thought it would be easier. I got a lot accomplished, but it might have been a lot less if didn’t have some outsourcers taking care of a lot of things.

      Of course I Get back and fall behind on commenting, so maybe I am just making excuses.

      Anyhow I am sure I will go into a few stories from my travels over the next little patch.

      When It comes to workspace, I have always been a fan of minimalism. I really dont have much there. The only additions, a printer, pens and pencils ( I still take notes by hand)

      Thats about it. In a lot of ways I think of a command center as much as a sate of mind as the physical place. I have two command centers and one is a Starbucks….that might say it all.

  4. Hi Steve,

    I bet it was the trip of a lifetime and I’d really love to hear more about it. The places you went and the things you did.

    I think traveling really opens your mind to new things and new experiences. I’d love to hear more about how it changed you on a personal level; your thoughts and beliefs.

    Maybe next time you could do an Oprah and come to Australia?

    • I will certainly be rehashing some of my trip and going more into lessons i learned over the next bit o’ time. I am not sure I was changed on any profound level, but I certainly had a lot of experiences that deepened my appreciation and feelings that I have. Again, I am sure it will be a recurring message to highlight beliefs.

      As for coming to Australia. No firm plans, I am going to stay stateside for a while. But It is actually the next place I was “loosely” thinking about visiting. I have done south america and europe now and Australia seems like it would be a lot of fun. (a shorter trip though).

      MY Brother spent some time in Perth, Sydney and Darwin while in the Navy, and he Loved it. Well at least he loved Perth and Sydney, I think he was a little “let down” by Darwin.

  5. Hi steve,

    It is great to read about the 18 lessons you learned while travelling.

    The best laid plans do not turn out the way we expect them to. This is definitely true of any military campaign. But still, it is good to have a broad plan and objectives which you can adapt and change as your situation changes. I think what you have shown us in your examples is the fine line between planning and adaptability. Too much planning can destroy the fun while too little planning means there is no focus and nothing gets done either. (BTW, I love your emergency kit lesson, it always helps to think of the worst case scenario so that we don’t get caught pants down)

    I don’t like to combine work with play because it makes it very hard to do either. But sometimes it just can’t be helped, ie you are on the verge of burnout and need to relax but you still need to get work done. This is why I enjoy working at a command center or setting aside a space for work. It makes it easier for me to get things done. If there is no designated space, it can become harder to get started.

    I totally agree with Lesson 12: Wherever you go, there you are. You should not expect travel to change you unless you are taking responsibility and making that change happen. And speaking of change it helps as you say to prepare for shit to happen. The moment your guard is down, life pounces on you. Life is patient that way. 😉

    I think your trip was fantastic! There was nothing pessimistic about it in my opinion. Sure things didn’t go as planned, but it taught you and us how to learn to adapt to situations. That is a valuable and vital lesson that we should all take to heart.

    Thank you for sharing! 😀

    • Very true going with your military point there is the famous saying that no plan survives contact with the enemy. It is good to have a plan as a guideline, but flexibility is needed. Being too rigidly attached to your plan, whether at war, on vacation or even simply living, will just get a person to miss out on the very best opportunity.

      …I think experiences help you grow deeper or give new perspective. they will very rarely have you “jump track” and change. a happy and fun person will be happy and have fun a sour person will find all experiences sour.

      Yeah, though there were some negatives, I agree the positives way outweighed them. I just wanted people to see that everything is not always roses. no matter where you are, life happens, both good and bad.

  6. Awesome share Steve,

    Really enjoyed reading this one. Sorry about your T-shirt brother…which kinda reminds me of my own luggage that got stolen in Vienna while I was visiting my uncle in Austria.

    Great guidance on the emergency kits. You never know when things will go sour. Always good to be prepared for the worst or the trip can be a complete nightmare.

    Looking forward to some more of your travel stories, places you visited and lessons you learned about running an online business while enjoying traveling across Europe.

    Later on Steve.

    • Adam,

      Thanks for some great comments. I appreciate the kind words!

      I will definitely have some more lessons, strategies and stories in the next few weeks. Gotta ration these things out! 🙂

  7. Awesome post! Methinks my biggest challenge regarding traveling is, well, I don’t like it. I’m a homebody.

    Give me my family, my mooses, my computer etc., and I’m happy for decades and decades.

    I was born minus the travel gene.

    • There is definetely something to be said for traveling and something to be said for the comforts of home. I am seriously looking forward to the latter for a while. Perhaps evn a long while. I do like to get out and experience new things but like Dorothy said,

      “there’s no place like home”

  8. Great post steve and really useful peice of reflection. I like the next day list – that’s a great idea. Like you, I’ve often arrived mid afternoon in a place and it’s really great to be able to do something quick, like going to the local market or whatever, and getting yourself immersed in the local culture/environment.

    Also you’re right, the command centre peice is a definite plus, it’s a lot harder than I thought being able to work regularly on the road. Even in this day a convenient, reliable internet connection should not be taken for granted.

    • Yeah,

      A few times that was my biggest challenge by far. I couldn’t find a stable wifi and going to some of the internet Cafe’s there were keyboards with some “funny” characters. It made even sending out basic correspondence a real challenge.

  9. Great, great list of tips – I am mad about traveling and we take micro international vacations all the time – hopefully they will become macro when our work schedule is more free, but we do well at around 100,000 miles a year and your tips are very good. We are extremely vigilant about pickpockets too and thankfully we have been spared. I love the ones on introspection of the self….attitude goes along on the trip with us, doesn’t it? :)!
    Thanks for sharing these, Steve!

    • Farnoosh,

      I have noticed your micro vacations from reading your blog. It seems like you almost travel as much as me from the reading. That is really awesome since you can mix the power of home and vacation like that.

  10. Hey Steve,
    Overall, it sounds like a great trip. 7 months in Europe had to be a great experience even though you took work with you. Just the ability to be spontaneous with just a broad brushstroke of things you want to do is an awesome way to vacation!

    • Thanks Richard,

      Yeah I didn’t want to sound too pessimistic. Though I did have to work some and I did have issues, all around it was an absolutely wonderful experience.

  11. This is an amazing post, Steve.

    I especially agree with Lesson 8: You Can’t Combine WOrk w Travel. I know you CAN but it really takes you out of that spontaneous head-space & isn’t so very condusive to creative brain-storming, unless, of course, it happens spontaneously. =)

    • Part of the allure of the internet lifestyle is that you “can” travel and work. And of course you can…but it is not easy, and Like I pointed out it kinda diminishes both work and play time.

      Maybe it would be better if the vacations were longer stays in a single area, like a month in one city. Where you could get the feeling of REALLY visiting a place and setting in some temporary roots.

      • A wonderful statement like “Maybe it would be better if the vacations were longer stays in a single area, like a month in one city.” just goes to show you’re an “anything is possible” kinda guy, Steve! Awesome

  12. I guess you had a great time there, Steve.
    I wonder what countries did you visit.?!

    I like your point on being spontaneous and doing things you would not normally do, because this will be the things you remember and not all those old castle.

    I am glad you got your wallet back and from “They immediately noticed what happened and we kindly “negotiated” the wallet back from her and her cohorts” it seems like you just meet some Romanian gypsies(they are everywhere in europe and beg for/steal money).

    I wish I could do a trip like this it sounds great !

    • Where i visited is almost too long of a list. I went to just about every country in western Union. Some places, like teeny-tiny Luxembourg I was in and out of as fast as the country is small, others I spent a fair piece of time in.

      It could be that they were gypsies. It is certainly better to have lost “simply” money rather than ID’s etc. If there is a “kinder” way to steal, I am all for it. As speed bumps go, just losing a little bit of cash is not the end of the world.

  13. Hi Steve,

    Awesome post and some excellent advice, I wish I had this advice 10 years ago when I went on my travels! I think when we move out of our comfort zones – that’s when our character’s are put to the test and we get to know who we really are.

    Travelling the way you did really teaches us to live in the moment which is really exciting! Ahhh, you made me all nostalgic thinking back on my carefree travelling days although we still travel it’s different when you know there’s limited time.

    Thanks for a great post and some good reminders and for the follow on Twitter!

    • Travelling with time and freedom to travel at will is a definite luxury.

      I agree it is all about living in the moment. Travel teaches that…but it is even better when someone can really apply it to everyday life, because it is a lesson that should not simply be relegated to travel. It is something that people should learn and use throughout life in my opinion.

  14. wow Steve this is one very cool list. I love the fact that you have lived, learned and appreciated what you have done over the past 7 months. So many people will never have that chance 🙂

    I have to ask…. How does it feel to be home?

    • Thanks Nat.

      What can I say…It was really an awesome time!

      I am actually really glad to be home. It has been nice to spend a little bit of time with some friends and family. I have not set about “regular working” as much I would have liked yet…as should be obvious with my tardy comment replies.

      But being home is always awesome.

  15. Hi Steve

    Very interesting read. Sounds like you thought out most eventualities. I did my travelling through Europe when I was young (a long time ago lol) and it was a great experience. When I lived and worked in the UK it was cheap and very easy to hop across the channel and explore and enjoy other cultures.

    I love history and so it was amazing to soak it all up while travelling. Tended to go with the flow and although I had done my research, still enjoyed lots of spontaneous adventures too. Great to hear of your own experiences travelling Steve. Especially as you combined with some work activities too.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Most of Europe is far from “cheap” these days unfortunately, but i agree it was great. I enjoy history and had my fair share of sightseeing, but my favorite parts were definitely meeting new people and doing “adventurous” type of exploring. (rafting, hiking etc.)

      Thanks for a great comment (as always) Patricia!

  16. Hi Steve, despite the fact I’ve never traveled for more than 3 weeks at a time, our travel styles are remarkably similar. My parents are always shocked I don’t have a whole itinerary planned out. I got way too much of that as a child! I have a list of “must do,” another of “may do” and that’s it. Every evening I figure out the major activity or two for the next day and then I wing it the rest of the time. I also like to ask locals what I should do, and many times you can’t find those things on the internet. 🙂

    I’ve never been very productive on the road due to all the distractions. That would be a problem in a longer trip where I kept moving. If I stayed someplace for a few weeks I could get into a groove but otherwise 1 hour a day is a lot of work for me.

    • Jennifer,

      A great way to do it. Specifically asking the locals. I didn’t include that. But I should have. It is a great way to really find some of the best stuff out there.

      As for being productive, I “had to” since it was a working vacation. But my feelings for the future I think might be more along your lines (when I travel again) shorter trips, where work takes a far back seat…if I do it at all

      Or possible a Mini “move” where I go live in a specific foreign area for a period of a month or two. That could be fun.

  17. I’ve been sitting on publishing a post about the lessons I’ve learned the past year after having a birthday, and this post may push me over the fence in completing it. Some great lessons to be taken here. I wish I could do a trip like you have done, but I think that will be several years away until my daughter is older.

    I do have to ask though: isn’t losing a “Penguin Beach Towel” a blessing in disguise? Time to get a better towel!

    • Lesson posts are great. They even help the poster a little bit I think, because it forces you to THINK about what you learned, thereby reinforcing the message.

      Having the ability to do a long trip is certainly based on your family situation and even doing it with a family is really different. Perhaps in someways better though. I went on one trip to Europe as a kid. 27 years ago I guess, when I was eight. I had a lot of fun and it was an experience I remember my entire life. When your daughter is old enough such a trip could be a truly wonderful experience.

      But hey….” Penguin Beachie” was really comfortable. Like losing an old well worn in pair of slippers.

      Well…that is how I imagine it at least..since I don’t own slippers.

  18. I’m jealous Steve. You’re right, I think everyone should break away from normality and experience as much of the world as possible.

    I was in the Holiday Buisiness most of my life so I’ve travelled quite a bit, but all on short 8 – 15 day breaks. (That’s ‘travel-speak’ for one or two weeks, we count the day you go, and the day you come back) 😆

    I connected to your lesson #12. I used to deal with holiday complaints. 50 people on a coach all staying in the same hotel. 49 have a great time, but 1 person has the worst holiday of his life.

    Reading the letter it’s obvious why, his attitude stinks! Wherever he goes he is unpleasant or arrogant to people and he gets reactions. The world is a horrible place for him, and it will be the same wherever he goes.

    The best holiday I ever had was the nearest I got to your experience. When I was 26 I bought a European railway ‘rover’ ticket, which let me travel anywhere for a Month.

    Visited Denmark, Communist Russia, Berlin, all over Germany including Heidelberg and Berchestgaden, Salzburg and Vienna. The queer thing is it rained nearly every day, but was still a great experience. 8)


    • John,

      Yup! that 50th person need to learn that you can escape your boss, your area and your work but you can never escape yourself. Travel can help someone unwind, but a generally miserable person remains miserable.

      Just cutting loose and traveling is a great experience for people who can manage it. I did have a great time. I think it likely my future trips will be your “8-15 day” variety, but you never know… I never close any doors.

      Thanks for dropping by and leaving a great comment.

  19. Whenever I want to travel, I’m looking forward to more unique experiences. Not really an adventure but at least a memorable one. Something that I can remember when I go back there or see my pictures in that particular place.

    • Yeah, in hindsight the trips do always become even more thrilling. You are able to remember the good parts and forget some bad. Even more importantly you get a real perspective on what you saw that you may not have had while, “there”

      Thanks for the comment Aaron, I hope you weekend is going well.

  20. great list! if i created a list of lessons i learned while traveling, i’d include that traveling with kids isn’t as hard as it seems. i’d encourage every parent to just get out there & do it.

  21. Steve, spontanaeity is important, especially on a vacation. Life is what happens when you go with the flow. If you plan everything down to a single minute, I just do not see how that could be fun.

  22. BTW, Steve, sorry for double post, but I forgot to tell you that the mugging emergency kit should be something you have all the time, not only when you travel. You never know when you will need it. An emergency kit can save your life.

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