Lessons I’ve learned being a young traveller

Chloe Arentz
Chloe Arentz

Travel is something that’s always excited me. I don’t know if there was a particular light bulb
moment that sparked my ongoing case of wanderlust but for a while now, travelling has
been my number one aspiration.

I still have a torn out piece of grid paper from my year 12 math book with a list of bucket list
destinations scribbled around the quadratic formula – obviously my brain was elsewhere.
Suffice to say I’ve crossed off some destinations on that original list since then and I am
continually adding more.

I’ve only seen snippets of what the world has to offer but I’ve learnt some important lessons
so far.

Wanderlust is definitely a real thing

Once you start travelling, the constant desire is always there. My first overseas trip without
my family was to Vietnam, and I hadn’t even fully unpacked before I was brainstorming
where I could go next. I had a trip to New Zealand booked within a month!
People will give you their opinions even if you don’t ask for them.

I’ve encountered a fair share of negative nancies when telling people about some of my
trips. People telling me why I shouldn’t go here, how they didn’t like this or to make sure I do
that. Whether it is cultural ignorance, an attempt to be helpful or expression of their concern
I’m not sure. I’m learning not to take what people say too seriously nor to let their negativity
water down my excitement. It’s nice to hear others’ advice but I’m learning to take it on
board with a grain of salt, and let my own experiences do the talking.

Travel is invaluable, but it does come at a cost

I hear all the time that I should be thinking about my future – how am I going to afford a
house in this market if I’m always on holidays? My response to this is that whilst I’m still
studying and fortunate enough to be living at home, I’m going to make the most of the
opportunity to adventure. I pride myself on the fact I’ve never let myself book a trip without
considering how happy I’d be to come home to my savings account. Plus, there are a
thousand nifty ways to save for a trip!

It puts things in perspective

There’s much more to life than working 9-5. It’s easy to fall into a routine where we become
so accustomed to everyday life that we forget that things are going on around us. There is
so much more going on outside of our own bubble and travelling reminds us of that. Some of
the most humbling encounters I have experienced have been on my travels.

It’s okay to miss home

For me, it’s always after the first four or five days that the biggest bout of homesickness hits.
After the excitement has settled and sometimes a bit of culture shock, it finally kicks in that
I’m really far from home. It’s happened no matter what kind of trip I’m on – when I was on a
group tour in New Zealand and even when I was with my cousin in Cambodia. Technology is
a godsend for this because at least I know a familiar voice is only a phone call away.

Capture the moment but enjoy it too

This one is a lesson I’m definitely still learning. I try and take as many photos as I can when
I’m overseas. I want the memories to share with my family when I return and I’m always up
for a some iconic snaps for gram. But sometimes I’ve caught myself so focused on looking
at everything through the camera lense that I’ve missed the moment itself because I was too
worried about capturing it.

Learning opportunity

Travelling is the perfect opportunity to learn. Knowledge is power and there’s a definite
wealth of knowledge to gain when travelling – history, culture and social custom to name a
few. One of my favourite things about visiting a new country is being able to immerse myself
in the local culture and learn more about yourself as a person than anything else.

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