4 Ways Travel Changes You Forever
Airbnb’s newest campaign talks about the power of travel and how it can transform our perceptions of the world and our place in it. We asked 15 bloggers to share their own tranformative travel experiences. Angie from Angie Away shares hers below:
When I quit my PR job in 2010 to travel around the world, I was adamant that it was not some sort of Eat, Pray, Love quest for fulfillment. I didn’t need a life makeover; I wasn’t seeking answers to big questions or trying to get over a lost love. I just wanted to take time off of my demanding New York City life to relax and see the world. When I’d seen enough in about a year’s time, I planned to come home and pick up where I left off, as the same person with a few more stamps in my passport.
Whether I wanted a perspective makeover or not, I certainly ended up with one. Three years after my initial departure date, I can say for sure that I quickly discovered that travel changes everything from your palate to the way you handle train delays to the manner in which you relate to strangers.
Travel can free you. The detail-oriented planner I once was has taken a backseat to a more go-with-the-flow version of me. Five years ago, I never would’ve considered showing up in Prague with no map and no plans, but now I “wing it” more often than I coordinate in advance. I am more open to spontaneous experiences. Bowling alley karaoke in Laos with a bunch of strangers? Why not! Popping over to Pamplona to run with the bulls? Nothing better to do. There’s something freeing about making travel decisions, both large and small, with a whimsical, carefree attitude.
Travel can change your diet. After a month in Italy, I grew to appreciate the farm-to-table concept, and the taste of real, delicious, locally grown, seasonal produce. My mouth waters just thinking about it. Now I am more mindful about what I eat, and I really can taste the difference between real foods and processed ones.
Travel can change your pace. It’s not just my personality and palate that have evolved since I kicked off this grand journey; my travel methods are different, too. When I first set out, I mostly chose chain hotels, thinking that where I stayed wasn’t as important as what activities I did. But months into my trip, I started booking Airbnb apartments so I could buy food from local markets to cook in my own kitchen. Contrary to my intention to whizz around the world in a hurry when I started, I realized I loved to travel slowly, getting to know the neighborhood bartenders and baristas and enjoying the cultural rhythms of each destination. I barely had time to do that in my own neighborhood back in NYC, so it was a treat to slow down and have tea with Bedouins in Jordan, or get to know a friendly tour guide’s family in South Africa.
Travel makes you grateful. Having been around the world, and having met people in every conceivable financial situation, I am overwhelmed with gratitude on daily basis. I’m thankful for the opportunity to travel, and the gift of storytelling so I can share it with others. I’m grateful I come from a place where women have the same rights and freedoms as men. There are so many reasons to be thankful – seriously, if you get me started, I could go on and on, and that’s been one of the most transformative aspects of living a life of perpetual wandering.
Do you have a travel story that tranformed your life? Share your story using hashtag #AirbnbViews. See the campaign and find your next adventure at Airbnb.com/Views
Traveling has shown me my place in the world, shining a light on corners of the human experience I may never have seen from the comforts of my own bubble. I have friends in dozens of countries, people whose joys and hurts I now share in from any place with wi-fi. It’s remarkable how small this big world has become for me, and I’m left speechless in wonder more often than not.
And you know how I said that after I’d seen enough, I could go back to life the way it was? What a naïve idea. The world can’t be experienced in a lifetime. There will never be “enough.” Travel changes you and you can never go back to who you were before you started.
Frankly I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In partnership with Airbnb. “Book a home. Get a unique view of the world.” Watch the Airbnb video here.
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