It's time for another travel linkup blog post again and this month the lovely Angie, Jessi, Emma and Nano have come up with the theme of Lessons Learned Whilst Travelling. And boy have learned a thing or two.
Learn to Eat Differently
I'm not exactly a picky eater, but when you travel you learn to eat different stuff. You learn that not everywhere they breakfast on porridge or croissants. Some countries you have to make do with a curry or a fried rice. You try something new like guinea pig, snake or dog because that's the only thing on the menu. You learn to eat with chopsticks or even with your fingers.
Learn New Languages
When you travel, people speak differently. Sometimes they speak English, a lot of times they don't. Not to mention the lack of Dutch language skills in pretty much all of the other countries. So you learn a few words, or do a couple of courses while abroad (Nice way to meet the locals as well.) or you just make up your own language, with sounds and gestures. A very effective way to order a chicken dish in Japan or any other country for that matter, is to flap your arms and make pokpokpokpok sounds. Although having said that, I'm not so sure if a Japanese chicken says the same as one in Argentina.
Learn Survival Skills
When you travel, stuff goes wrong. Trains are cancelled, snow falls from the sky or stuff breaks or gets lost. The first couple of times it's perfectly normal to go into a frenzied panic, but the more often stuff happens, the more resourceful you become. You get on a bus if the train doesn't show up, you make the most of an extra day in Philadelphia till the snow stops falling and when stuff breaks or gets lost, you cut your losses and you just buy new stuff.
Learn to be Adaptable
When you travel, stuff is different. Different food, different weather, different ways of doing stuff, etc. You can't go anywhere without being open-minded. Now I like different food and weather that is different from UK/Dutch weather, but the different ways of doing stuff sometimes catches me off-guard too. Like going to the loo. People do their business in different ways in other places. Don't think that a sit-down toilet, or toilet-paper, or even a private cubicle is universal. In many Asian countries you squat to p and afterwards use a water hose or a bucket to clean up. In Thailand I even found myself doing my business among some curious chickens and pigs.
Learn to Love Your Own Company
The last few years I've travelled by myself quite a bit and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. The first few trips you'll feel a bit apprehensive, but soon you'll love not having to argue over what to do and where to go, you'll appreciate having hotel rooms to yourself not to mention ownership of the AC control, the TV remote, the bathroom, king size beds and oh the absence of snoring. Utter bliss.