What Truly Living Has Taught Me and Can Teach You Too
By Lindsay Sibson
I’ve always been a list-maker. I used to find joy in making daily “TO DO” lists and feeling that little burst of happiness you get when you cross something off to mark it complete.
One list I frequently neglected due to long hours at the office and a gaggle of bills to pay was my Bucket List. From skydiving to learning to play the ukulele to traveling the world, I had all of these hopes and dreams… on paper. My number one item was ALWAYS to travel, so I decided to finally do something about it.
Through a series of lifestyle changes and mindset shifts, I centered my life on fulfilling my dream of traveling the world. Now I am a little over a year into my adventures and when I look back on my experiences so far, I realize how much I have learned and changed.
So, what have I learned in the past year?? SO FREAKING MUCH. About me. About other people. About relationships. About the world. And about life in general.
Here are 12 of the biggest things I’ve learned from traveling that can be put to use in your day to day life.
1. Life Is All About Doing What Excites You – To me, the beauty of travel is the unknown. I never know who I may meet, what food I may taste, or what new word in a foreign language I may learn – it’s spontaneous, it’s exciting and it is what makes me feel fully alive! Keep your focus on what makes you feel happy and inspired.
2. Living On Less ROCKS – Living out of small backpack with a minimal amount of things has been so EASY and simple. Gone are my days of trying on 10 outfits before I find one that I “kind of like.” It takes me all of 15 minutes to shower and get ready nowadays – which gives me more time to enjoy my life. Evaluate areas of your life you can simplify (Grocery shopping? Cooking? Your closet?). By doing so, you will gain more time/money/space for what you WANT!
3. Listen To Other People’s Advice… And Then Do What You Want To Do Anyway – I’ve learned to trust my gut even more. Those “gut feelings” are significant! Whether it’s feeling another person’s energy and intentions or breaking off a good relationship with a guy who was super nice BUT I knew wasn’t going to be my forever… Learn to listen to people (like REALLY listen), but then ultimately make decisions based on your own thoughts and feelings.
4. SPEAK Up – I’ve always been an expressive person and I love to share stories and experiences with others. More recently, I’ve learned to REALLY speak up in regards to my thoughts, feelings, life lessons etc… Have an opinion – and express it kindly!
5. Most People Are AWESOME – I’ve met so many amazing, generous, interesting, kind, funny, silly, FUN people in my travels. So many people have offered their homes and dinner tables to me – it has been such a loving and fulfilling experience. Keep an open mind and heart to everyone, we are all human, after all!
6. Drinking A Glass Of Wine With Lunch Does Not Mean You Are Unproductive – It’s part of the culture in Italy and Spain to enjoy a glass of wine with lunch. People here sit, enjoy, laugh, indulge and look into your eyes when you speak to them! During my busy days when I was working in the USA, I barely even SAT DOWN to eat my lunch. Now I find myself having a TWO hour lunch with amazing food and company.
7. Traveling Is NOT Expensive… At ALL – I feel if you want to travel… you can. Yes, you do need a small bit of money to get around. But I’ve still spent less than $5,000 in the past year! Even if you asked me to, I couldn’t put a price tag on all the incredible memories I have made – they are truly priceless!
8. Find The JOY In All Situations – I’ve slept on a floor. I’ve run out of money. I was driven around London in an Audi R8 (50 Shades of Grey whaaaat whaaat). I’ve drank homemade limoncello. I’ve sunbathed topless in Spain (so liberating!). I rode a bike through pitch black streets in Tenerife. No matter where you find yourself, find a reason to be grateful.
9. It’s OKAY To Wear The Same Clothes 3 Days In A ROW… NO ONE CARES – It happens when you live out of a backpack. I still get a teeny bit self-conscious when I wear the same outfit ALL THE TIME around the same people. But at the end of the day… I know they don’t care. Laughing and enjoying each other’s company is what matters!
10. Stop Self-Criticizing And Just Enjoy Yourself – I’m a Virgo. I’m a super thinker. I overanalyze most situations. I have a constant stream of opinions and thoughts in my head at all times. I don’t expect myself to be perfect – but I would (and still sometimes do) put A LOT of pressure on myself to be better. Whether it’s eating healthier, exercising more, or working on a project… it’s my natural state to want to GO GO GO. I’ve learned to let go and just enjoy myself! Live in the here and now. Pay attention to those around you – FULLY (for all your phone addicts out there…. put down your damn phone already — it’s super rude!). Refer back to the “glass of wine with lunch.” In the USA I would tell myself that that is not appropriate…. WHY NOT? Live your life and enjoy!
11. Let Your Weird Hang Out… Sometimes – If you ask any of my closest friends to describe me, they would most likely say “free-spirited” – which I think is a polite way of saying I’m weird, haha! With travel, I meet other “free-spirited” people, which makes me be even more “ME.” And I’m starting to notice the more “ME” I am, the more people are attracted to my personality and spirit. Be uniquely YOU and express yourself as such!
12. If You Want Something In LIFE… Take Action – Create your vision of what you want in all aspects of your life… and then get after it! Ain’t nobody gonna hand you your dreams :). Take one step towards what you WANT and you will discover that more of what you want will come your way – it’s the law of attraction, baby!
What have been your most important life lessons so far? I would love to hear from you!
Lindsay Sibson turned her lifelong dream of traveling the world into a reality when she first stepped on a plan in April of 2014. With the simple intention of learning more about this beautiful world, she stepped away from corporate America to explore an alternative lifestyle of long term international travel, volunteering, blogging and pursuing a blissfully happy and fulfilling way of life.
Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life. Connect with her on her website and follow her travels on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/_traveloholic_).
Through her blog, Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life.
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