I am a huge advocate of travel and I am a bigger fan of travel for extended periods of time (living in a country), especially for youngsters who have left school or university and have not settled into a career or managed to rake up responsibilities yet.
As a South African I have travelled to places vastly different to home and some quite similar, including Sweden, England, France, Portugal, Mauritius, Mozambique, Singapore and Dubai.
Here are twenty things that my travels, both extended and short vacations, have taught me:
- Snow is not as fun as it looks
- Walking long distances is non-negotiable
- Snow sledding down an incline on a round piece of plastic is painful on your rear-end
- My favourite flavour of chips-salt & vinegar- is not available worldwide
- Jetlag is a bitch!
- Sunshine until 11pm is a real thing (darkness at 3pm is just as real)
- Textbooks and University cannot teach you what travel can
- English in England can sound like a foreign language
- Crime- there is no escaping it
- Temperatures as high as 40 degrees celsius and as low as -15 degrees celsius, is no joke!
- Roads are awfully tiny in some parts of the world
- Your patriotic self emerges, often.
- Blink and you might miss the Northern Lights
- You learn to do things yourself, like pump gas (we call it ‘putting in petrol’) and ring up your own groceries
- When in doubt…Mac Donald’s
- Don’t talk about someone next to you in Afrikaans (especially in South West London)
- What people know about South Africa: Nelson Mandela, Crime, FIFA 2010, Springboks, Cape Town
- Laws are laws, no matter how “stupid” you may think they are / were (affection in public, chewing gum etc..)
- Some tourist attractions are disappointing. Marketing creates expectations of bigger, better, and a closer view! But for the most part, many leave you in awe and so happy that you got to see and experience the attraction during your lifetime.
- We ALL smile in the same language 🙂
What has travel taught you?