What travel is teaching me

I thought I’d take a minute to let you know what travel is teaching me. Steve and I are having such a fantastic retirement. Since the date we retired at the end of 2018, we have spent far more days on the road, in the air, or on cruise ships than we have at our home in Bayou Vista.

Things do not have to be completely planned

Itineraries, destinations, and reservations do not have to be thoroughly planned out. Spur of the moment adventures can be so much fun.

What travel is teaching me

I remember one trip where we saw a sign on the freeway in Georgia that gave directions to the Laurel & Hardy Museum. So spur of the moment, we turned off the highway to take a look and had a terrific experience. See the post about new friends to make and new fun adventures.

I often tell my friends who are thinking about retirement and travel that it’s best to have a plan. A plan is a good thing to have even if you don’t do it as you thought. We didn’t have a written plan for what we would do when I retired. But we did know one thing: we didn’t want to stop traveling.

Learning to appreciate the wonder of nature everywhere

We are learning to take time to notice the beautiful sunsets, star-filled skies, simple meals cooked outside, or sitting quietly in front of the fire with our dogs, Tank, and Lilly.

We keep finding more and more that travel helps us focus on the present moment and realize that anticipating the future is an illusion and a complete waste of energy.

“This very moment is the perfect teacher, and it is asking of you to be present.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn
What travel is teaching me

One of the surprising lessons I’ve learned through retirement is that the little things can make all the difference in the world. They’re the ones that don’t demand a lot of time, money, or energy. But they’re the ones that can make a big difference in making your life worthwhile.

Learning to appreciate the life I have and count my blessings

What travel is teaching me

I cannot believe how many things we have been able to do in the past few years. But I’m enjoying every single minute. I’m very blessed in many ways. My health is acceptable, I have a great family, and I do what I enjoy; I write blogs and take photos.

Getting lost can be a really good thing

I never thought I’d say this, but after having lived a few years on the road, getting lost can be an excellent thing.

What travel is teaching me

Depending on your perspective, getting lost means not following your planned route. But to me, it means allowing myself to get so engrossed in what I’m doing that I lose track of time and location. It’s not that I enjoy being lost – it’s just that I’ve learned to appreciate the adventure and the thrill of coming across something entirely unexpected.

What travel is teaching me

The advice to not sweat the small stuff is useless because there’s nothing small about life — or about what we spend too much time thinking about. All we have is now, which means now is all there is.

What travel is teaching me

Yes, we did get a little bit lost at this cemetery in Arizona, but we lived to tell the story!

As we motorhomed over thousands of miles around the USA last year, we had plenty of opportunities to get lost. Sometimes it was ultimately out of our control, and sometimes it was entirely our fault. Either way, it led to some of the most treasured memories of our trip.

Experiences far outweigh owning things

I can guarantee that in five, ten, fifteen years, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So take risks and venture out into the world home and create and enjoy all the experiences you can.

The travel lessons we are learning will fill a book — maybe several. But here is the biggest one, in one sentence: Experiences far outweigh owning things. Learn how to find the freedom and space to do what you want when you want.

What travel is teaching me

In everything that you do – whether it’s work or play – remember this one thing: Life isn’t about how much you own; it’s about how much you experience.

How to step outside my comfort zone, even baby steps

I’m learning it’s not difficult to step outside of my comfort zone in retirement travel and take that leap of faith into the unknown. You’re not sure what will happen, but you’re excited about the adventure.

What travel is teaching me

For example, I was not comfortable the first time we spent the night in a rest area alongside 18-wheelers. These days, this is a pretty regular and relaxed thing to do. See post: What an amazing two-month-long RV adventure.

I am learning to appreciate and learn about different cultures

Traveling provides us the opportunity to see and appreciate different cultures. It’s a way to expand our minds, learn how others live, and see places we would never have thought of visiting.

What travel is teaching me

So, what have I learned while traveling? People are essentially alike worldwide: family is important, hard work is required, and a positive attitude can overcome most anything. It is important to attempt to learn the language and try to fit into their culture as much as possible.

I have learned that there is no hierarchy for humanity; the poor, those less educated, and those who have different skin color are all entitled to be respected as you would expect others to respect you. I have a lot more in common with many people than I ever thought.

Making new friends

Discovering new friends every day is the number one reason we enjoy travel. Some will become life-long friends while others are just in the moment friends.

Travel is the best education ever

After each trip, we discover how much we have to learn. I thought traveling would make me an expert, and I would feel like I had “arrived.” Instead, it has made me more aware of all the places I have not been to and things I have not done. I see just how much there is still to see and do.

Experiences and new knowledge help us grow as people. Travel has helped Steve and I see that we become different people each day, each month, and even each year. We are adding new experiences shaping who we are and how we see the world.

What travel is teaching me

We have so much that is good to share with the world, so much history, culture, good food and entertainment, and so many beautiful people who are so kind and helpful to visitors. I want to share all of this with you through our blogs about travel.

I always want to go, excited and waiting to see what our next destination teaches us about ourselves and the world around us.

What travel is teaching meWhat travel is teaching me

2 thoughts on “What travel is teaching me

  1. And….you still are enjoying each others company!

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