Inspiring Conversations

7 Lessons I Learned While Travelling


  • SumoMe

I love being a curious face in a foreign country, I dig airplane rides and enjoy being away from home. I grew up with family vacations overseas and even today, I try to squeeze in some holiday time whenever I can. Travelling keeps me sane; it keeps from going beyond the yellow line and best of all, travelling inspires. So I thought I’d share the lessons travelling has taught me and here’s 7 of them.

Penny C can’t wait to travel again.


1. Try, try, try

What they say is true – don’t give up a once in a life time experience. Be it various kinds of exotic food or an exciting activity, try something new! I skydived for the first time in New Zealand earlier in 2011 and I still can’t stop talking about it. Depending where you stand on the scale of “OMG this shit’s scary tell me again what the hell am I doing here” when you’re attempting something new, understand that it’s normal that your second thoughts will try and get the better of you but listen, never give in! The adrenaline you experience will all be worth the unnecessary anxiety. The experience will change you; you won’t be looking at life from the bottom of a well anymore.

2. Document your trip. But be smart about it.


Don’t get carried away and forget about safety when immortalizing your holiday memories. Calculate your risks. Photographing glaciers down at the bottom from the top of a hill is a beautiful sight but please, be careful. If you’ve got to climb to the edge of a cliff to get the best shot, get zoom on your camera. Once, I tried to photograph a herd of large cows and as I got nearer, those cows stopped grazing, gathered together in a straight line and slowly (thank goodness they were really, really slow) sauntered in my direction with the ‘head’ cow moo-ing like a boss.  I don’t know about you but that really freaked me out. And no, I did not continue photographing them. I am not a cow chaser.

3. Understand your body


Know your body well because it’ll carry you throughout your trip. Understand what makes it tick and what keeps it healthy. You don’t want to waste precious time sleeping indoors because of a fever. Bring along medication, know the kinds of food you can or cannot consume and be aware that your body is different abroad. Take care of your body and it’ll love you back by keeping you fit. Fit enough to go out there and take in the sights. Fit to enjoy your holiday completely.

4. Don’t over analyze


Meticulous planning is always what we do to minimise hiccups on the roads like shortage of food, cash and time. Plan well, but don’t get frustrated when things don’t go your way on the roads. There’s really little you can do to stop the universe dropping in on your plan so chill out and adapt. Holidays are meant to be enjoyable getaways and not an everyday routine where you’ve to ensure that everything turns out perfectly well which in any case, is also quite impossible too. So pop some chill pills and carry on.

5. Go a little nutty

There was this one time in Sydney when I decided to roll around in large patch of grass. The weather was pleasant, the grass was so green and I couldn’t contain myself. I felt like a child high on lemonade. I admit, rolling in the grass isn’t your standard ‘crazy’ but it’s definitely something I don’t do at home. And because you’re on holiday, you have the permission to go little mad in a foreign country. Sure, you might as well be known as the crazy tourist but really, does anyone care? Plus, the sheep poop I spotted while tumbling around the grass didn’t stop me either. It didn’t kill me too so double yay!

6. Remember, patience

You should be feeling confident of your friendship even before you begin to plan your travels with friends. This is definitely not a good time to test your compatibility with each other. Differences will arise, no doubt about it. So be patient when travelling with friends. Be accommodating to one another’s needs, listen and communicate while on the trip. And if all else fails, remember our other good friend, patience. She can do the job when you can’t.

7. Never forget your manners

Know the culture and live like the locals. Travelling also means taking time to acquaint yourself with the country’s customs, traditions and etiquette. Be mindful of your social behaviour and observe the unwritten rules in the country. Adapt and pick up simple and common phrases and use them on your travels. Your efforts will be appreciated by the locals, even if you don’t look as cool as the Romans do when in Rome.

All images are property of Penny’s Daybook unless otherwise stated.

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