5 Life Lessons Learned Through Traveling

Posted by Olena Mytruk

My family and I just returned from a 7-day vacation in Belize, and I’ve gathered five life lessons learned through traveling.

When you only live in your daily life, you’re kind of in a bubble. But, when you travel, you get to see how other people live their lives and gain fresh perspectives.

In this week’s Spark Your Life podcast, I’m going to share those things I learned traveling in Belize and how they can help you live a more fulfilling life.

Keep reading to see how you can learn to live more intentionally.

LIFE LESSON #1: SLOW DOWN IN YOUR DAILY LIFE

We’re all living at 70 m.p.h., and sometimes it makes sense to slow down.

When I was living in Los Angeles and went to visit New York, I remember thinking how crazy busy New York was and how laid back and relaxed L.A. was in comparison.

It’s funny because these are the largest cities in the country with millions of people.

When we arrived in Belize on a little airplane, they joked that they were on island time now. There was no rush, only daytime or nighttime, and nothing else mattered.

You can really sense that feeling of slowing down. And it’s not just slowing down in your life. The primary way of transportation on the island was a golf cart that drove 10 M.P.H.

The best part is you don’t feel like you’re falling behind like you might in the States. It was amazing.

The takeaway —

You don’t always have to live your life running around, rushing, and driving 70. Sometimes, you can really slow down and enjoy your life.

When you slow down, you enjoy and notice your life more.

LIFE LESSON #2: NOTICING AND APPRECIATING WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND YOU

How often do you look around and see what’s happening around you when you’re walking down the street, going to the grocery store, or walking your kids to or from school?

How often do you look around to see what’s there?

When you’re in tourist mode, you’re more likely to look around and find joy in simple things —. A pelican on the beach, seeing a hummingbird, watching an iguana wandering around and sunbathing, or a cool-looking palm tree.

As tourists, we notice these things and enjoy them.

But, for some reason, when we wear our busy woman hats, we’re much less likely to find joy in the little things.

The takeaway —

There’s no reason not to look around ourselves in our daily lives and see what’s beautiful out there.

Let’s do this more often.

LIFE LESSON #3: STOP STRESSING ABOUT THE LITTLE THINGS

Yes, we have many things in our lives that are stressful, and they’re stressful for a reason. But sometimes, we stress about things that are not that important and aren’t worth stressing about.

For example, when we arrived at the hotel in Belize, they put us in the wrong room.

We unpacked our rooms, went on a walk, and when we came back, we realized we had a key to the wrong room.

The receptionist admitted they gave them the wrong room, but they didn’t seem stressed about it. In turn, we didn’t feel worried about it.

Everything resolved naturally, and there was no reason to stress about it.

How often do we stress about simple things and spend way too much energy on them?

The takeaway —

Let’s spend more energy on positive things, on doing what we love, and on making a positive impact.

Remember, the more energy you preserve, the more energy you will have to spend on something worth spending it on.

LIFE LESSON #4: TAKE SMALL STEPS TODAY INSTEAD OF WAITING FOR A BIG STEP IN THE FUTURE

When I share this life lesson, I’m talking about sustainability and trying our best to protect our planet and its resources.

When we were snorkeling, the guide reminded us not to touch the coral because of how fragile the coral reef ecosystem is.

I knew that already, but I needed to teach this lesson to my daughter.

She’s new to snorkeling and diving, so I had to give her a couple of reminders that she shouldn’t be touching them.

We also fished and talked about how you release the ones that are too small. It was wonderful watching how the Belizeans are protecting their marine life.

This all comes back to those little things we can do today which doesn’t require anything big.

The takeaway —

Instead of trying to do something big and impactful someday and never actually doing it, do something small today and every day.

It all adds up.

LIFE LESSON #5: THE MOST EXCITING THINGS AWAIT YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE OF YOUR FEAR

We went to the jungle for a zipline tour 200 feet above the ground. They also had the fastest line where you can go up to 35 m.p.h.

The longest zipline is a thousand feet above the river, and for those of you who have been following along on my journey, you know how afraid I am of heights.

So, although I was excited to try it, I was worried that I’d be too scared to try it.

But I did it, and it felt incredible. I felt absolutely fearless, and it was the highlight of the whole trip.

My husband actually shared that he had the same fears.

The takeaway —

If we hadn’t tried it and embraced our fears, we never would have had this experience.

We knew that it was worth it for us to try, and we were rewarded.

So, it’s ok to feel scared sometimes. You need to put your fear on one hand and the possible reward on the other and compare them to see what’s important to you.

You might realize your fear is valid, or you might see that your fear is just trying to keep you within your comfort zone.

If you truly want something, go for it.

BONUS LIFE LESSON #6: DON’T LIVE FOR YOUR NEXT VACATION

No vacation is going to be long enough to replace your actual life. And living your life from one vacation to another isn’t how you should be living.

If you only wake up in the morning waiting for the time you get to go back to bed, and you only survive the Monday knowing that Friday will come, you’re wasting so much time.

The takeaway —

We miss an opportunity to live our life between those experiences, those vacations and bedtimes, mornings and evenings.

There is so much time in our lives where we can and should enjoy it.

We owe it to ourselves and the people around us.

No matter what happens in life, you either get the results you want or the lessons you need.

Choose to live a fuller daily life. Don’t spend your days waiting for that next vacation. It will happen. Live your life now and every day.

I hope you feel more inspired to make your today more colorful, fun, and enjoyable, whether you have a vacation you’re looking forward to or not.

Remember, life is happening today, and you have everything you need to live it to the fullest.

Until next time,

Olena xx

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