I changed my life completely over three years ago when I moved away from my native country of Australia into Asia. I now hold a residence permit, teach in China, and have recently signed another 12 month contract.
At other times, I have moved internationally and domestically. Unless it is only just around the corner, there is usually some significant life changes particularly if you are on your own.
Please share your own experiences with us ...
It hasn't been anything as drastic for me, but I still think travel has changed my life. Growing up near Boston, I never really went anywhere until college--my family never travels.
Right after college I did the typical backpacking Europe thing, and not only discovered a love of Europe and of travel, but also of the wandering lifestyle and being outdoors and in the mountains. Now I travel somewhere every month and am also working on getting to all 50 states in the USA.
I'd say travel has made me a much better person, more well rounded, certainly more appreciative of other cultures and lifestyles. I grew up in a very conservative home, but now consider myself a liberal person with a positive and inclusive world view.
[ Edit: sorry, no promos in the forum please. ]
This is a great thread, as it would be to me.
When I accepted the offer to take my first-ever flight to a new university branch opened in Pulau Labuan, leaving my family and my very close fellow buddies, my familiar house and hometown behind me completely.
All behind me. In year 2001/02.
In Labuan, I realized a new life was began; it's a university situated by a long sandy beach - where you can sleep on an armchair and stare at the sunset every 5.30-6.00p.m.; where you can jog or ride on a bicycle along the beach; the sea smells salty but warm. I soon further my steps onto a bicycle along the road, accompanying by the balmy palm trees and atap houses. "Haloo, apa khabar?" ("Hi, how are you?")was the most common words I used to greet those local people by the road - they are 'amazingly' friendly, not wearing any masks like most of the city people do - very true and warm-hearted! I even got to know a family who spent most of their evening cooking by the beach, with a hammock made of fishing-net; they have a nice and small atap-wooden house built by themselves by the beach; they invited me on a dish with fresh white-crabs caught in the nearby small isle (they are working as fishermen tho retired long time ago) although the first day I got to know them...
One thing for sure, my long awaited travelling journey, the part which silently hidden within myself was ater that, alight and aroused fiercely; I expand my journey to all the main islands in Sabah & Sarawak; almost all the small main villages of specific ethnics; canoeing along the Rajang river fulled of crocodiles; mount-climbing the Mount-Kinabalu and explored a lot of old caves; dansed happily with the indigenous villagers and even played with a young black piglet in the mud...hahaha...tasted the fish caught from the sea and almost met the Death as jumping into the sea fulled with poisonous jelly-fish!!!
The 3 years experience in Sabah & Sarawak is completely changing my life for better! I still keep nicely one wooden 'trumpet' - serumbu gave by my Iban friend today, where I place it in front my bed.
Family members and my friends find me change a lot after my return to home in 2003/04; happier, extremely confident, bravier and the most of all: I would always look on the bright side of anyone's life eventhough I realize there's always a dark side on every of us but I take it as a challenge and a norm to perfectise our lives.
That's one of my greatest-ever experience in my life.
I think I do owe Borneo so many things.
I had just turned 29 when I decided I wanted to try a trip around the world on a ship (180 ft. former Coast Guard vessel used to chart the oceans). I was new to travel having been to Mexico and Canada for very brief excursions and having spent a week in Hawaii. Travel by ship is by far the most comfortable way to travel and nothing can compare to arriving in a port in the early morning hours. I joined 65 people in the Bahamas and eleven months later returned to the Bahamas more worldly than I ever imagined. We stopped in 60 ports of call, stayed in places from 4 hours to 16 days and sailed only north and south of the equator to ensure the best weather. I did not met the other shipmates before the departure but I soon learned that everyone has something to offer someone else if given the chance. I learned how to use a sextant, learned to needlepoint, learned conversational french, edited the ship's newspaper and read well over 50 great books. I still travel and I read extensively about places I am about to visit before I arrive. When I am on holiday I always carry my wallet in my front pocket, learn a few words in the native language, seek out the open air markets, take public transportation, buy the local english language newspaper if available, and ask the residents (or cab drivers) questions about their city/town/island. I am retired now and have travel benefits from the airline company I worked for. My list of places I want to visit (and revisit) is endless. I have seen a great deal of this planet and I would encourage everyone else to do the same.
Your words indeed inspire me to do so! Undeniably, your voyage (I prefer your travelling would use this word) seems mystically beautiful - something which you give and take, dealing with known and unknowns, spinning around your sensation and sequel - marvellous!
Wel done, Jac.
At 16 years old I won a scholarship consisting in a travel for almost two months over Spain and Mexico. I should sleep on the beach and in the jungle, face up to a bull and climb a volcano. It was not all, we were almost 300 boys and girls of the same age coming from 39 different countries over all America and Europe.
It definitely opened my eyes and made me grow a lot. Probably now I am who I am because of that (hope a good thing ) Now I not just love travel and know different places and cultures; in some ways I'm now some kind of pioneer, I'm doing things that are completely news in my country because that travel made me more self confident, independent and, of all things, not conformist.
In my thread of Introduction, I already descrived my opinion. I hame also dream to travel allover the world. But due to some limitations, it seems not possible. Main thing is financial problem, another is tight job schedule. Other hand, it is not so easy to get visas of European & Amercican countries as I am a perosn from an POOR country. The reason is that,there is a chance to stay in Rich countries, if I get the visa(!!!!!!!). That is tragedy for us also.