From cooking skills to social etiquette to uplifting moments that change your whole outlook, travel can have effects on life that you never even realized. Check them out…
You know how the saying goes: once you've caught the travel bug it's difficult to cure it. And it's true. Once a traveller always a traveller, at least in the LBW fam. That means no matter how far afield you've been, you'll always be after more adventure and experiences abroad. Your budgeting and banking will change because of that, so that you're no longer setting aside cash for a new sofa or TV but rather a long-haul flight to Jakarta or Bali, Santiago or Dubrovnik.
Having tasted your way through the bamboo warung taverns of Indo and the spice-scented tiffin houses of India, the ceviche stalls of Peru and the hearty pubs of Croatia, it's going to be harder than ever to return your same old culinary habits. Just be sure to take a few cooking lessons as you hop between Thailand and Rajasthan, the pizza houses of Italy and the earthy farmer's markets of South America. That way, at least you'll have the know-how when you get home.
After dealing with the rucksack countless times, and somehow managing to stuff in all those board shorts and Chang beer vests, hippy yoga pants and Beer Lao tops, there's no question that you're going to be a maestro on the packing front. These days you smugly watch others trying to fold everything in stacks, while you're neatly rolling those shirts (begone creases!) and hiding away the socks in the depths of your shoes.
With memories of your backpacking days always on the mind, it's more likely you'll ditch the traditional family holiday model later in life and opt for something just a little more adventurous. Perhaps that means hauling the whole bunch over to Thailand for some jungle trekking instead of lazing on the Costa del Sol for the week. Or maybe it means swapping the hotel resort on the Dalmatian coast for a yachting odyssey through the Greek isles. Sounds pretty good, eh?
Your taste in films
Once you've traveled the world, you'll look for any old excuse to indulge the wanderlust back at home. And if that means forcing your mates to watch biographical epics about Alexander Supertramp over and over again, or re-running episodes of Michael Palin in the Himalayas until the player breaks, then so be it!
Your taste in books
While you might still enjoy the odd trashy crime novel or two, and often delve into the occasional fantasy, you also can't help but flick through the pages of a Paul Theroux or Bill Bryson book these days too. After all, those guys get it. They've travelled the globe too, and if you can't keep exploring like you used to, then you can have the next best thing: reading about other people exploring like you used to!
It might have been a particularly hair-raising tuk-tuk ride through the traffic-choked streets of Bangkok, a swerving "VIP" bus around the hills of northern Thailand, or a close shave on a purring scooter in Vietnam, but the chances are you've had a few close calls on the roads of Asia or South America or India. Wherever it was, those sorts of experiences really make you value the calm and collected drivers you have back at home, getting you to appreciate the slow-paced cruising that keeps to the speed limit. Oh, and you'll have learnt to hate the horn, too!
Meeting new people
After countless re-runs of the ubiquitous hostel bar introduction, it's likely you'll have developed a niftier way of skipping the same old questions: Where are you from? Where have you been? Where are you going? Yes, the small talk does the job, but as a veteran of the travel world, you're just a little tired of answering and asking the same darn thing.
The hippy coffeeshops of Pai and the vegan eateries of Chiang Mai, the ashrams of India and the undeniable comfort of those loose yoga pants have really had an effect on you. These days, straight-laced suits and pinstripe are no more. You prefer baggy trousers with elephant-print patterns, and laze around all day in a Chang beer vest, nostalgically remembering the time you haggled for it in the market stalls of Khaosan Road. Nice.
When you finally get enough time off to head away from the office on a weekend break, you'll want to squeeze every last bit of adventure out of those days away. There'll be no more lay ins in the hotel room and no more lingering in the lobby. Because you've just got a limited time to sate the wanderlust like you did back in those backpacking years, you're going to spend every moment you can people watching with a coffee, meeting the locals, partying at night and experiencing the culture by day.
Once you've wondered at the majesty of a sunset across the Bali Sea, or encountered the crumbling ruins of Machu Picchu, seen the shanty towns of India and the ramshackle barrios of Brazil, it’s likely that you will have discovered a new perspective on life. It's likely that the old stresses and worries of the modern world will take a back seat, and a whole load of new priorities will take over. That's what travelling is all about, after all.
Gone are the days when you pined for magnolia walls and comfy sofas. Now it's all about infusing your home with a taste of your adventurous days. You stuff those living spaces full of maps and vintage travel posters, you decorate the plaster with polaroid shots of you jumping on the sands of Maya Bay, and frame your old passport pages to hang in the downstairs toilet. At the end, things might look a little jumbled, but they also look downright cool!
If you can think of any other ways that travel changes your habits and outlook on life, then we'd love to hear about them in the comments below. Or, if you think it's time you started on your life's adventure, take a look at LBW's range of tours.
We believe that travel is not a reward for working, but the most valuable and impactful form of education for life. We aren’t just a travel company; we were built to introduce you to the rest of the world. LBW Travel is about more than taking vacation time. We connect you with people and offer experiences that will change the way you look at your world. Travel reminds us what is truly important: family, friendship, love, exploration and adventure.
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