Since my Spain posts have proved to be fairly popular, I decided to write another travel post on unexpected lessons you may learn during your travels. And they are:
- You will learn a new language: If you travel to a country where English is not the primary language, you are going to pick up on the native tongue by osmosis. From street signs to menus to listening to people converse, you can expect to pick up words and phrases you may have never known.
- You will find yourself: It took a six-hour flight and a new country for me to find my independence and passion. I learned that I love to write about my travels and here I am today still writing about my experience in Spain. Furthermore, you will discover significant components to your personality that weren’t visible to you before in your normal routine at home.
- You will want to travel to other places: Once you take that step and go on your first trip, the wanderlust will spiral out of control. I remember while in Spain the next thought on my mind was: Rome! Seeing the architecture and history right before my eyes fueled my interest to see more countries and more…well, just more. It’s hard to believe how much is out there.
- You will know if you get homesick: If you are the type to get homesick, and you go away for long enough, it will hit you eventually. In my case, it was my second to last night in Spain, and I called my family in the middle of the night sobbing because I finally realized it was going to take a ten hour plane ride to see my home again. And if you don’t get homesick, there is nothing wrong with that. However, it is a valuable thing to know before you head off to college!
- You will learn about history: One cannot visit a magnificent cathedral or palace without learning the fascinating stories of how they came to be. Oftentimes, the history is what makes a site so eerily fascinating: when I saw the doors that Boabdil passed through after losing his beloved Alhambra, I almost cried.
- You will appreciate your home: I don’t know how similar I assumed Europe would be to home, but there are some major differences. Travel made me aware of the things I take for granted at home.
- You will find new loves: I couldn’t believe I was leaving Spain and going home to subpar ice cream because let me tell you, those cones of creamy European deliciousness were hard to let go of. I fell in love with Spanish omelettes, Spanish music, flamenco dancing in the streets, and gorgeous mountain views, all things I had limited exposure to back home in the states.
- You will want to come back again: It’s hard to admit to yourself that you might only have one opportunity to see this place. I was in such denial that I would live without seeing Toledo again that I decided to save my sword purchase for my next trip. Risky!
- You will learn about geography: It is hard to have a feel for the terrain until you are physically there. I could never imagine the literal size of Spain until I was on a bus for a ride from one city to another. I was pretty familiar with the distances between Cleveland and Pittsburgh or Chicago, and even to further destinations like Nashville or Florida, but I never would have known the amount of hours it takes by bus to go from Cordoba to Barcelona. That’s one of those things you start to pay attention to once you’ve arrived.
- You will learn what type of traveler you are: Perhaps the most important lesson is learning who you are when you travel. Your home self and your travel self can be very different people, and I found myself saying ‘yes’ to a lot more overseas. I was able to let go of preoccupations that usually worried me and roll with the punches. Spain did that for me. Thank you, Spain.
Have you experienced any of these lessons before? Let me know. 🙂 Thanks for reading!