View from Popeye Village in Malta

Travel can help you be your best self

All photos in this post are from my trip to Malta last December.

Traveling allows you to do so many things you never do when you’re home. The lessons you can learn about yourself and others are invaluable. I’ve found some basic ways to make sure I enrich myself while I’m traveling.

Break out of your comfort zone

View from Popeye Village in Malta
View from Popeye Village in Malta

Challenge yourself to do things that you normally wouldn’t try. Do you have trouble talking to strangers? Talk to everyone. Don’t like trying new foods? Taste at least one thing you usually would say no to if offered. Not a hiker? Hike. Having second thoughts? Just go for it.

I’ve found it easier to try new things when I travel because everything is already different, what’s one more new experience. And who knows, you may end up bringing one or more new things into your life.

Learn as you go

You end up spending a lot of time in transit. Why not take the time to learn something new while you’re on a plane, bus or train? Podcasts are amazing for this. Time goes by so much faster if you listen to music, or someone tell a great story, or interviews with experts. You can gain new knowledge about any topic.

Learn from the people around you

 St. John's Co-Cathedral in Malta
St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Malta

You can learn so much about different cultures and traditions by talking to people. Make it a point to speak to people that live there. Basic English is spoken across the world, so it’s easier to communicate than you might think if you’re in a country that doesn’t speak your language. Hand gestures and body language also help get your message across.

Try not to be judgmental. You can learn a lot by listening to others’ points of view, even if you don’t agree.

Treat your body well

Sunset in Valetta, Malta
Sunset in Valetta, Malta

Traveling can throw your body and schedule out of whack. You tend to sleep less, workout less and eat worse than you would at home. It doesn’t have to be this way.

It’s not difficult to exercise on the road. Read my keep fit while traveling guide for ways to stay active. You can also walk or bike as much as possible. Choose healthy options at restaurants. You’re on vacation so I know you may not want to do that all the time, but if you manage to eat well for the majority of your meals, your diet won’t be completely turned upside down. Try to get enough sleep; if it’s loud where you are, ear plugs can help. Stay hydrated and use sunscreen.

Splurge at least once

I’m a fan of budget travel. It allows you to go away for a longer time and more often. That said, budgeting everything can get boring after a while. With some upfront planning, you can see if you can spend some nights on the town or eat in a top restaurant.  Before I go, I figure out where I’m comfortable cutting back costs so I can use some of my travel money to indulge.

Watch what’s going on around you

If you want to get a feel for a place, spend a few hours sitting in a park, a coffee shop or on a busy street corner to people watch. You can see how people interact with each other and what daily life is like there. If you pay close attention to details around you like colors, the interactions, sounds and smells, you’ll see stuff you’ve never noticed before.

Don’t take yourself too seriously

Mdina, Malta
Mdina, Malta

Don’t be afraid to mess up. You’ll most likely do something foolish at least once when you’re visiting a new place. I learned a long time ago not to get embarrassed.  Instead, I laugh at myself. Try it! Laughing at yourself is much better than feeling bad or shame over doing something you might think is silly.

It’s a beautiful and fascinating world. Explore it in ways that give you lasting memories.

24 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your Amazing post,which is my bucket list, Informative Travel Tips.

  2. Thank you for this post, the pics are great and it spoke to me, I am a young woman about to travel the world and this has inspired!

  3. I love this! I have always wanted to go to Malta since it is not as high on the general radar of beautiful places to travel… and DEFINITELY don’t take yourself too seriously. I learned that very quick from my travels! haha

  4. Love the advice! This is a huge way to grow but so challenging for most. I pushed myself into a job that allows me to travel for the exact reason of stepping out of my comfort. It’s helped but it’s a progression for sure !

  5. I completely agree with all of these things. I think traveling helps one know themselves on a whole different level. When I was in Morocco volunteering for eight weeks, it was one of the most challenging times, but I learned so much about myself and how capable and independent I could be. It gave me confidence and taught me how to be adaptable and flexible and I am so grateful for that! Love this post!

    1. Author

      Thanks so much for sharing!! Eight weeks volunteering is amazing. That is such a wonderful way to learn so much about yourself and what you are capable of. I really appreciate you sharing your story! Have a wonderful day!

  6. Good advice and nice pictures. I just returned from a 15 week solo trip through Asia and Europe and there were times when all I could do was laugh at myself. I love that travel also teaches patience. Never hurts to carry a good book. Thanks for sharing

    1. Author

      Thanks for your comment and for sharing your story as well! It really does teach patience. How was 15 weeks alone? Would you do it again, if you don’t mind me asking?

  7. I would love to travel more. It’s been awhile since I’ve been away. These seem like great tips! Malta looks so beautiful!

  8. Travel is my favorite pastime! Great post and love your pictures of Malta Sam




  9. Who doesn’t enjoy travel? It’s such an enriching experience.

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