25 Things I Wish I Could Tell My 18-Year-Old Self About Travelling

Travelling at 18

– Written by Victoria Philpott

Bright eyed, bushy tailed and a fiver in my pocket to buy a coffee at the airport from dad. That was me off for my first trip abroad without the parents at 18.  Mistakes, I definitely made a few… if only I’d had these 25 nuggets of advice to send me on my way, life could’ve turned out so differently, but then I probably wouldn’t have listened anyway…

10 things I wish I could tell my younger self about travelling

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1. Learn to do something: play the guitar, scuba dive, or at least speak the local language.

2. Experience all you can and be open to everything, but just be careful and trust your intuition.

3. This is your big chance to learn about yourself and do exactly what you want to do; choose wisely and embrace it.

4. Mum and Dad are just worried (and jealous), phone them every week.

5. Make friends in your hostel straight away, you’re in for some fun times with them.

Travelling as an 18 year old

6. There’s more to travelling than drinking – you don’t need to travel around the world to do that.

7. Volunteering with those less fortunate is one of the best experiences you’ll ever have and will change the way you view yourself and your place in life.

8. Don’t worry about the future, it’ll all work out as it’s meant to, enjoy the now.

9. Appreciate just how lucky you are that you have the opportunity to travel and try to learn something from everyone you meet.

10. Think hard about that tattoo.

11. Experiment and buy food at the local markets to make in your hostel – don’t just eat noodles. Embrace new foods, it’s all part of travelling.

12. Don’t see the world as a tick list, but take the time to get to know the area you’re visiting, including the people.

18 year old away from home for the first time

13. Have confidence in yourself, your decisions and your beliefs.

14. You definitely don’t need to take all that stuff; remember you’ll have to carry it for the next six months.

15. Stop worrying about what’s going on at home – they’ll be ok and unless you actually go home there’s nothing you can do so don’t waste your energy.

16. Don’t fear travelling on your own – it’s often the best way and can open up the world in a way you never knew.

17. Learn to choose your fights.

18. There’s no need to plan every move – just go with the flow.

19. Take an alarm and use it; cities are a different place when the sun’s up and everyone’s asleep.

20. Don’t just hook up with people because everyone else is, but spend the time getting to know them properly and then decide.

21. You don’t need another picture of you and your new friends drunk – photograph that beautiful view instead.

Photograph incredible views

22. Don’t feel pressured to feel or think a certain way by others, but be open to different ways of thinking.

23. Dare yourself to try something different every day.

24. Give everyone you meet the same amount of respect, be open and don’t judge them too soon.

25. It’s one of the best things you’ll ever do so seize every opportunity and appreciate the ups and the downs of travelling life.

Thanks to orlandk,  DonkeyHoteyGrand Canyon NPS for the excellent images from Flickr. Please note, all images were used under the Creative Commons License at the time of posting. 

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