I’m so grateful for everything we have experienced these past couple of years and I truly believe this situation has made me a better person. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d live abroad and continue to move around every 6 months. And never did I think I’d be married to a man interested in exploring the world with me. When you start traveling and experiencing wonderful, life-changing things, you realize the possibilities are endless. My family can live anywhere and we can do anything — we just have to figure out how!
If you’re new to this blog, you might be wondering why we moved in the first place. You can read the entire story here, but long story short, my husband was offered an assignment in Aberdeen, Scotland so I quit my job and we moved right after our wedding. We lived in Scotland for a year and have continued to move around the United States every six months. Right now we’re located in Boston, Massachusetts. We love exploring new places!
Like I said, the list is long. But here are a few of the ways travel has forever changed me and my family.
1. It has taught us to communicate better
Moving right after our wedding was stressful, chaotic, and a lot to deal with after being husband and wife for only a week. We had to pack up all of our belongings, move them into a storage unit, and ended up staying in a tiny hotel room for a while. Newlywed bliss? I don’t think so. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. Of course we fought, but I think it made us stronger in the long-run. We didn’t have family and friends in Scotland so it forced us to rely on each other and communicate in a positive way.
2. It has taught us that memories are more important than “stuff”
Like other women, I enjoy purchasing new clothes and the latest purse that everyone is craving, but traveling has made me realize how little I need. Most of the time when we traveled through Europe, we brought a small backpack each. I packed a few shirts, one pair of jeans, and some comfortable boots and flats and was good to go. Sure, I probably looked like a wrinkly mess by the end of our vacation, but I didn’t care; I was having way too much exploring to worry about my clothes, makeup, and hair!
When we move back to DC and go through the storage unit we haven’t seen for 2 1/2 years, you can bet we’ll be donating around 90% of our belongings. We just don’t need it all.
3. We appreciate what we have so much more
Building on the point above, we are more appreciative for everything we have. After handing out pencils and candy to children in the Atlas Mountains and seeing how excited they were just to receive something to write with and munch on, we’ve realized how much have. We have food, shelter, clothing, and so much to be grateful for. Travel definitely changes you in this regard.
4. It has made us more adventurous
We’ve tried “weird” foods, we’ve been on camels and hiked up mountains, we’ve had lunch at an Imam’s house in Morocco, and we’ve stepped out of our comfort zone on numerous occasions. Travel makes you adventurous! When we discuss our travel bucket list with family and friends, some of them think we’re crazy but we don’t think anything of it because our goal is to see the world and experience new cultures. I feel like our life is one big adventure now.
5. It has broadened our horizons
I used to work in politics and that turned me into a very narrow-minded individual. Obviously I wanted to make our country better, but I believed my party was always right and I was stuck in these ways. Now that we’ve traveled around and met so many wonderful people, I’m more open to hearing different ideas. And I’ve realized that all we need is love and respect.
6. It has made us more flexible
We used to be planners and slowly, we’re learning to roll with the punches. We’re not as type-A and we’ve realized that a change in plans isn’t always a negative thing. Flights get cancelled, travel plans are disrupted, and maybe our rotation assignments won’t always work out, but we’re able to deal with that now.
And that’s how travel changed me. How has travel changed you?
Filed Under: Expat, Travel