10 Things I Have Learned From Traveling

November 25, 2017

As the year is coming to an end I have been thinking about everything I have learned this year and how my life has changed. Obviously the biggest learning experiences have come from travel. So here are 10 things that I have learned from traveling this year!

1. The world is a small, small place. It's funny being in a country that you have never been in before and feeling like you aren't too far from home. While we were in Thailand we ran into a man wearing a Boise State hat. I automatically thought that he must be from Idaho so I went up to him and asked. He replied in a very thick German accent saying that he was actually from Germany, but has a friend that lives in Boise and he has been to a football game on the blue turf! We talked to him and his wife for a while and ended up exchanging emails, and making plans to meet up in Germany. It was so funny to me how small the world seemed and it was a true example of how we can connect with anyone from anywhere.

2. Europe and Asia have the most amazing airports. I'm talking high-end mall looking airports. I remember Donald Trump saying that America has the worst airports on earth. And that is one thing he is actually right about. The craziest airports we have been to this year were the Reyjavik Iceland airport, and the Bangkok airport. Reyjavik has crazy technology and architecture making you feel like you are in a futuristic world. I remember washing my hands in the bathroom and thinking "Wow this is the coolest bathroom I've ever been in", and it was in an airport! The Bangkok airport is incredibly clean and full of high end stores. The entrance has Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and tons of other stores. I'm not sure who's shopping there while waiting for a flight... But somebody is!

3. I know you have heard me say before that we want to adopt from Thailand someday, and here is why. After spending 2 months in Asia we absolutely fell in love with the people and had started talking about it. We spent our last day volunteering at a Children's Home which sparked my interest even more. While at the home I learned that they currently host over 500 children, and this at only ONE Children's Home. Each country has multiple Children's home throughout the region full of kids that may or may not be given a home. Later I found out that out of Thousands of kids, only 15 a year are adopted from the entire country of Thailand. From Cambodia there are 10, from Vietnam there are 20, and I think you get the picture. This was so eye opening to see how great of a need there is for adoption in these smaller countries.

4. The world is actually a very safe place. Growing up I feel like I always learned that the outside world is dangerous, use the buddy system, and never travel alone. To an extent I still think this is true. But while I have been roaming the streets of Europe or Asia in the middle of the night.... I have never felt so safe.

5. Jet Lag is a real thing. If you remember us first leaving the US... We went from Seattle to Iceland to London to Bangkok all within 72 hours. I got to a point where I was falling asleep without being able to control it. I have never had such a thing happen to me! Thankfully Gavin has super power abilities to stay awake because I would've ended up passing out in the street if I was by myself!

6. Americans are inferior to the rest of the world. Here is why. While traveling to different countries I have seen people go from speaking English to Spanish, to French, to whatever else like it is nothing! The rest of the world is fluent in at least 2 languages. While our high schools in America require 2 years of a language... We don't actually learn anything. These people are bi-lingual from the time they enter school. It is so amazing that they can connect with so many different people because of it!

7. How to roll with it. Going into a trip we always expect to have everything work out perfectly, and if it doesn't we are suddenly stressed out and panic. One of the biggest things we have learned is to just go with the flow. If our bags are lost... Eh we'll get them back eventually. If our flight is delayed.... Eh we can go explore the airport. If we end up walking 6 miles in the heat and then find out we could've taken a free shuttle (true story by the way)... Eh at least we got some exercise???? Life and adventure is so much more enjoyable when you are worry free.

8. 3rd world problems are more devastating then I ever thought. Next time my phone is dying or I run out of milk, I will never complain again. I have watched families living in one room with kids, aunts, uncles, parents and grandparents. I have watched mothers mix flour and water on a stove on the floor to feed their baby. We are so privileged and spoiled in our lives and tend to think about all the negatives in life.

9. How to live in the moment and unplug from the internet. While traveling and not having phone service or any tie to the internet (unless finding wifi) it has made me appreciate real life more and live in the moment. The months that Gavin and I had together with no phones or internet are days that brought us together and made us learn more about ourselves and each other. Now if only we lived 100 years ago and I could keep it like that forever!

10. My favorite eye opening experience of all. While in Thailand we met a man named Bobby who had lived in the USA for 20 years and just come back to live in Thailand again. After talking with him about the US he gave us his opinion on Americans. He said "American's think that they have the best lives and are the happiest people on earth. They think that everyone would love to have their life and live in America. But if they traveled to a small place like where we live, they would see that we are so much happier then they are. And we have nothing and don't know any different. We are just happy." My mind literally exploded thinking about how many people only travel to resort destinations. They never go to the small villages and see how people live. The people in the small villages of Thailand are the nicest I have ever met. And definitely the most happy.

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving and got to spend some quality time with their loved ones❤️ This Monday we are doing a Cyber Monday Sale for our eBook on How to Start Traveling. Stay Tuned!

45 Comments

  1. Camille

    November 25, 2017

    Loved reading about what you’ve learned this year. So proud of you guys for not being afraid to try new things and explore the world. Love you both!

  2. Anonymous

    November 25, 2017

    great blog

  3. Anonymous

    November 25, 2017

    That’s very impressive work you have done and very good information you have gathered. very nice!

  4. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    November 26, 2017

    Thanks! Miss you and love you!❤️

  5. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    November 26, 2017

    Thank you!

  6. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    November 26, 2017

    Thank you!❤️

  7. Anonymous

    November 26, 2017

    Great insights Kels! I’m glad you’re learning all of these things and connecting with the human family across the globe. There is much for which to be thankful. Most of all are those friendships and relationships we have.

  8. Tamy

    November 26, 2017

    Awesome Kelsey! By the way, i missed you at thanksgiving!!! I️t looks like you are doing great!!! Hope to see you soon!❤️

  9. Jennifer

    November 27, 2017

    I love your reflections on lessons learned from traveling. I was blessed to make several trips abroad a few years ago before I got married. I feel that nothing else could have altered my world view quite the way travel did. Looking forward to more entries. 🙂

  10. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    November 27, 2017

    Thank you! That’s awesome that you could have those years like I am. Life changing for sure!❤️

  11. Pavel

    November 27, 2017

    Oh, we are so spoiled. It is ridiculous! Somewhere there a child needs to walk 5-7-10 milew to get fresh water and in the west John is complaining he didn’t get enough cream on his crapochino. We are so bloody spoiled. Halfway through my project I not only wanted to give people the curious part of the history but also make then realise that they have nuch better life than their grandparents and make them understand it.

  12. tonyhiroaki

    November 27, 2017

    Amazon blog 🙂

  13. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    November 27, 2017

    Thank you❤️

  14. TracyNicole

    November 27, 2017

    Loved the insights! I discovered how efficient my husband is at reading maps when we went on a cruise to Canada in Sept. and had no cell service to use the GPS – it was a fun challenge! Sometimes it is nice to be able to disconnect from the world and use your brain and bond together!

  15. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    November 27, 2017

    I agree! Now I’m addicted to traveling places with no phones or internet. I love it!

  16. forfatterwannabe

    November 27, 2017

    Loved this post👌 I love to travel as well and I do belive that travelers are more openminded and know that there are so many great people everywhere❤ I am a Norwegian,but lived in Minnesota for å year (many years ago) You should visit Norway if you havent already🇳🇴

  17. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    November 27, 2017

    Thank you! We want to go to Norway soon! We might do a trip there when the weather gets relatively warmer.

  18. michaeljw79

    November 28, 2017

    The country I feel farest from Germany is strangely but indeed the UK as so many things, as the aura, that I like, the housing, the landscape, the weather and the people there is all more alien than Mexico for example. There you still have the one glass window or the two water taps like, sometimes just cold water-at least at service stations at the motorways- comes out and, with regards to the evil imperio and their people who support it, it is the people in the UK who presume their country to be the best wordwide! They are right but only when it comes to them as they are really soo kind. The country, on the other hand, is many (!) decades behind Germany, even Mexico or Poland! Concerning airpots, when it comes to me I like old, maybe even run down airports, that have history and not all the modern stuff where one looks like the other. You still find them- not in Poland, all is modern there, more than in Germany- but in Colombia. With regards to the imperio, they love to send people to the scanner, which is not the case in the EU or Latin America. The world might be safe, but there are countries where you should not walk alone at night. Most are in Europe, Latin America and never walk alone in American cities. I sometimes got a free shuttle by the flight attendands. Things I had to say..

  19. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    November 28, 2017

    Great insights! Thank you!

  20. cynephilia

    November 29, 2017

    Hello Kelsey, I love your 10 things you learned while travelling. Travelling is definitely the best way to learn about life, the world, and the beautiful people in it, everywhere. And YES, you were right, the world outside “home” is actually very safe and full of hospitable and nice people, who want the same as we do – a decent place to live, safe for the family, love and respect and kindness, and especially for their different religion if they have one. I am a lot older than you, but I still travel the world a lot, (I’m a Sagittarian, so I just can’t help it, Also because my son, wife and 2 grandchildren live in Belgium, My son’s wife is Russian, so last year I met them there in the capital city of Siberia for a month there and some time in Moscow together. As I used to live in Java, Indonesia, ( it was a wonderful contrast – the cold, I mean.) Russians are wonderful, and they are NOT anyone’s enemy. I see you are American, so although I am aghast at Mr Trump, most of the time, I DO appreciate his wish to “get along with Russia and try to solve the world’s problems together”… as he has said. That is a VERY good idea. Thank you for enjoying my review of the film about Balinese children, immersed in their own culture, which is particularly beautiful.
    Cynthia

  21. Kovas Palubinskas

    November 29, 2017

    “3rd world problems are more devastating then I ever thought.” I try so hard to instill in my kids how great they have it, but I think it’s something you have to experience to really understand.

  22. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    November 29, 2017

    I agree! I wish every person could go on a humanitarian trip or something to see it💔

  23. Michael

    November 30, 2017

    This is 100% true, all of it. I’ve been home barely a week from an overseas trip and many of these thoughts crossed my mind then and still now. Shame on me if I ever forget them.

  24. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    November 30, 2017

    Same! Thats why I had to write them down!

  25. LivingOnTheDiagonal

    November 30, 2017

    Great perspective. Love your attitude!

  26. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    November 30, 2017

    Haha thank you!😊

  27. Louise_IJpelaar

    November 30, 2017

    Heya! Cool topic, something different, and so true! Traveling does make you aware of the world being not big at all, but still so many differences. Crazy right?

  28. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    November 30, 2017

    Thanks! Yes it’s so crazy and life changing!😀

  29. sorrygnat

    December 1, 2017

    Lovely blog; my husband and I lived in Ukraine and Belarus; so many Americans are unaware; but we will become so; hardships don’t stop at our shores; and we are tried by same. best of luck

  30. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    December 1, 2017

    Thank you! and what a cool experience!

  31. haisacalatorimsite

    December 1, 2017

    Great perspective! I was smiling when reading no.7. Many years ago I was very sad if it was raining during my holiday. Now It doesn’t bother me, so I can find other things to do. Very good post!

  32. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    December 1, 2017

    Thank you so much! Glad you feel the same!😊

  33. Silver Screenings

    December 2, 2017

    I agree with you re: the world being much safer than we may think. I used to be horrified at the thought of a woman travelling alone, but I’ve done a little of that myself and had great experiences. (Not to mention the interesting people you meet.)

    Liked your description of the bathrooms in the Reyjavik airport. I’m going to do an online search of them! 😉

  34. campnatural

    December 3, 2017

    Great post! I have always felt you never can truly see or understand where you live until you have spent a fair amount of time away. And how the world can seem so big, and so small like you mention, at the same time amazes me.

  35. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    December 3, 2017

    Thank you! I completely agree with all of that!

  36. BC

    December 6, 2017

    I like your blog because you like my blog

  37. Neelamma Neeraj

    December 6, 2017

    Very interesting write up.

  38. No Compass Wanders

    December 8, 2017

    I just came across your blog and I love it, btw! And this post is spot on…I especially like # 7 about learning to roll with it. What a great reminder to have that kind of approach to travel! It’s so easy to, when you’re traveling, want everything to run smoothly, but it usually doesn’t work out perfect, there will always probably be some kind of mishap, and that’s okay!

  39. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    December 8, 2017

    I totally agree! Thanks so much for reading. I’m glad that other people feel the same!😊

  40. rjctdprnczz

    December 10, 2017

    Interesting post! I love travelling too though I don’t get as much opportunity as you do. Thanks for reading my page and liking two of my posts. 🙂

  41. vagabondurges

    December 10, 2017

    Essential lessons, one and all! 4 and 8 in particular are good ones to hold close (and spread far and wide among the folks back home!)

  42. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    December 10, 2017

    And thanks for reading mine! Keep it up😊

  43. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    December 10, 2017

    I agree!😊

  44. thequestionablejourney

    December 10, 2017

    Amazing post, absolutely love seeing people grow!

  45. kelseysimmons12@gmail.com

    December 10, 2017

    Thank you!❤️

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