The Six Biggest Lessons I Learned From Working Traveling For Six Months
A whole 182 days have gone by since I boarded my L.A to Barcelona one way flight.
A lot has changed since that day so I’ve created this little round-up of the six lessons six months of travel/work has taught me (bonus: you might just save yourself the trip and learn from these lessons as well).
#1: You are what you’re looking for
**Spoiler alert ahead**
If you haven’t already read “The Alchemist” then just stop reading this post right now and go download/buy yourself a copy.
In the book, the main character leaves his home country in search of a treasure. For years he travels solo and goes through so many hardships, good times, losses, gains, adventure…
The things he learns from the people he meets and experiences completely change his life and all along he holds on to the promise of finding his treasure.
I’m shortening it for time sake but basically, after years of being on his journey, he gets to the “promised land”. Once he gets there he finds out that the treasure he was looking for was actually where he started his journey!
You might be thinking that he wasted his time in the process of finding his treasure BUT if it wasn’t for the journey, he would have never found it.
The treasure he was after is the type of treasure we are all in search for.
When I started this trip I thouht I’d find what I was looking for but now six months in I realized I already have it.
The treasure we are all in search of is just a better version of ourselves.
I’m not where I want to be but this trip has made me realize how capable I am of getting there.
Yea, I could have stayed home and not “wasted” time traveling but instead focused on building my business but the thing is that I needed this trip.
I needed to grow.
I needed to meet the people I’ve met.
I needed to feel free.
I needed to burn out.
I needed to cry.
I needed to laugh.
I needed to become a better version of myself.
#2: Let go of expectations
I debated on including this one since I do believe in positive thinking and expecting good things to happen
What I mean by “let go of expectations” is to let go of the how and just enjoy the ride!
Take things for what they are and move on. Stop trying to force things to happen and let go of shoulds. Before starting this trip I had a whole list of things I needed to accomplish, feel, and do but instead of helping me, it only stressed me out.
Here’s a prime example:
Coming to Bali has been one of my biggest dreams and I’m happy to say that I got here four days ago! It’s amazing but I thought that getting to Bali would be the best day of my life but instead, I found myself crying in my hostel last night.
Do I hate Bali?
There’s nothing wrong with Bali but when I made up these expectations I didn’t take into account that I’d be feeling burned out from travel, trying to get my health back in check, stressed with all the things I need to do in my business, etc...
I’ve realized that instead of saving my happiness for a time and place that might not be what you expect why not just take advantage of it in the present?
#3: You’re allowed to change your mind (just don’t tell the whole world about it every single time)
My friend Tom Kuegler said it best:
You don’t need to broadcast everything on social media/tell your parents about every little detail of your life. Why? Because a lot of the emotions you feel are fleeting things. Moral of the story: Many of us can feel happy then wildly stressed in the same 4-hour period. 😆
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve changed my mind about my travel plans, services, day plans, whether I wanted to change my biz name or not, etc …
Most of the time no one else really cares as much as we do and/or can really help.
We are usually the only ones that have the answers to our dilemmas. It’s good to vent but it’s also good to sleep on it sometimes and see whether you feel the same way the next morning.
You are 1,000% allowed to change your mind and feel the way you do but you don’t owe anyone an explanation for your choices.
#4: You’re never really alone
How alone you are is a direct result of how alone you choose to feel.
The #2 question most people ask me (right after asking what’s been my favorite city/country so far) is:
Isn’t it hard to travel alone?
Most of the time they have a concerned look on their face like they almost feel bad for me. I was actually super excited to travel solo and six months I feel the same way! Traveling alone has pushed me out of my comfort zone and brought so many amazing people into my life. I’ll be honest though… it’s exhausting!
Meeting people requires time + energy and sometimes I don’t feel like investing either but I do it because I know I’ll be better because of it. Don’t get me wrong though, sometimes I want to be alone so I purposefully don’t meet people and that’s ok also! By alone I mean not with anyone but this doesn’t mean I feel alone. I’m an introvert so I need my alone sometimes.
There have been instances when I’m in a city for a short time and don’t meet someone on the first day so I am alone. These instances do suck a bit but I don’t take it personally because I know I know I am capable of making friends.
#5: No one really has their ish together (although it looks like they do)
Those IG squares make it seem like everyone has their life together but it’s far from the truth.
We are all constantly growing and that means we will probably never have our shit together! Imagine how boring I’d be if we had every single thing figured out!?
Yea, me either but I still think no one really has life figured out.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. — Lao Tzu
#6: Just because someone got where you think you want to go one way doesn’t mean you have to copy them
Have you heard the phrase:
Success leaves clues
It says clues not “A roadmap of the exact steps you need to take and if you don’t follow the exact path then you will never get there”.
Once upon a time six months ago I wanted to build my IG following and be an IG influencer because I thought that was the only path. After getting super burned out from six months of travel I now know that I was trying too hard to be something I’m not. I’ll never be able to travel for three years in a row and only go home once a year. That’s not me and that's ok.
Truth is I like living in the U.S and having a bit more stability in my life. This is just one example but I’m sure you get the point. Look at others for inspiration and clues but not to be a wannabe version of them.
Hey , I'm Jessica!
I am the designer and owner behind JNL Media Co.! I help creative entrepreneurs & small biz owners create a beautiful Squarespace site that converts. After almost two years in corporate I left so that I could pursue my love for design + marketing and help other #girlbosses do the same through their business.
Obsessions: Traveling✈️ , Fitness💪🏼, and Writing ✍🏼