Luxury Travel Blog

How Travel Changed Me

I used to think a person’s DNA controlled who they were going to be.  I thought that my genetic make up predetermined the life I was going to live, the person I was going to be.  But what I have learned over the last 33 months is that there is only one thing that can be held responsible for the person you become – YOU!

Its very cliché to say “travel has changed me”, but as cliché as it may be, it is also very true.  I am no longer the woman I was 3 years ago.  In fact, in some ways I am a very different personI didn’t believe a person could change their attitude or personality traits but I have witnessed it first hand and I now see that if someone is ready and willing, change is always possible.

 

How Travel Changed Me

 

The changes started in small ways; I’d not get upset if our flight was running late or I wouldn’t get worked up if I got the wrong order at dinner.  The ‘old me’ was a complete stress head and would get worked up over everything, even the small things.  Now though, that’s all changed.  I am aware that little things can and will go wrong and not only am I aware but I embrace it – It could be great hook for a blog post!

I used to be a rigid planner.  I had to know what I was doing and where I was going at all times. I had lists, schedules and plans in abundance.  I knew exactly where I was going and what I was doing.  Now, my life is completely the opposite! And not only do I not plan out every little step, the plans we do make change often and I am completely okay with that! In fact, I love it!  I love living by no rules, no schedules and no set plans.  The plans we make are ‘penciled’ in as ideas but whether it happens that way or not is another story.  We have changed our travel path more times than I can count and it doesn’t cause me stress like it would have 2 years ago, instead it excites me that one day we could be on one path and then the next, it’s completely different.

 

How Travel Changed Me

 

I have become braver in my new life.  I have faced my fears and relished in joy when I have conquered them.  I would never have faced my fears 2 years ago.  I was quite cozy in my comfort zone and I wasn’t going to get out of it.  Now, I am so out of my comfort zone, I’m in another universe!  And it feels great!

The biggest change I see in myself though is how happy I am.  I was so stressed in my last life (running a business will do that to a girl) and I very rarely had a real smile on my face – I was very good at faking it though.  But now, I not only smile every day but I laugh every day; big fat belly laughs too!  You know those fits of laughter where your tummy muscles get sore and your crying from laughing so hard? That’s what I’m talking about – Real laughter!

 

How Travel Changed Me

 

And I can’t forget about gratitude.  I’ve been more grateful in the last 33 months than I have been in my entire 39 years on this planet.  I was too busy being angry and bitter at the world for the rubbish it bought my way that I forgot to be thankful for all the good there was.  Now though, I am grateful every single day;  I guess it helps when you have so much to be grateful for.  I feel blessed that I am living my dream life and that I get to share it with the love of my life.

 

Has travel changed you?

 

26 comments

  1. I totally relate to the metamorphosis you have undergone and still undergo. I recently wrote about my first year travelersary in my blog . You can find it under reflections . For me I am amazed at how I have embraced simplicity and how easygoing I feel about life. The creature comforts I was once prisoner to, no longer play a role. I’m currently house sitting in France – it’s wonderful to have a home and a car and to be around dogs again. But personally I have realized that I don’t long to have these possessions anyone. The dog maybe . Congrats on your travel adventure.
    Natasha recently posted…Life on the road – a one year travelversaryMy Profile

    • Nicole Connolly /

      Hi Natasha, So glad you can relate. And what you said about the simplicity and easygoing attitude; I feel that too. I feel lighter than ever before.. that’s a nice feeling to have 🙂 House sitting in France would be wonderful! We would love to have a long term sit there once we are ready to slow down a little (not stop, never stop!).
      Nicole Connolly recently posted…New York City at Night Photo EssayMy Profile

  2. Isn’t it wonderful?
    Talon recently posted…My introduction to Saigon street foodMy Profile

  3. I can definitely relate. Traveling has made me much more patient with things I cannot control. Sometimes it feels so much better to just go with the flow rather than stress about making it ‘perfect’. Traveling has also made me more confident in myself. Travel really is transformative.
    Dallas recently posted…What To Do In TorontoMy Profile

    • Nicole Connolly /

      Hey Dallas.. I love going with the flow! I used to be such a rigid planner but now all I do is go with the flow and it feels great! You are very right – Travel is transformative!
      Nicole Connolly recently posted…Interview with a Traveler WanderTheMap.comMy Profile

  4. Love it! Travel definitely makes me a calmer, less-stressed person, too. I notice the differences most when I travel solo- I’m still working on improving my coping mechanisms when I’m with another person, though. It’s a lot easier to get stressed when there’s someone there to listen 😉
    Megan recently posted…Underwhelming Tourist Attractions: “Dracula’s Castle”My Profile

  5. I love this and yearn for that permanent zen moment you describe.
    trininista recently posted…Mind the Foodie Gap in London TownMy Profile

  6. Just imagine how the next 16 months on the road will change you. The biggest changes happened to us around 6th and 7th year of our nomadic ramblings. Another big game changer is getting only a one way ticket with no schedules or plan, and not leaving anything behind.
    Global Nomads recently posted…Tripadvisor Practise Censorship In Discussion ForumMy Profile

    • Nicole Connolly /

      Wow 7+ years on the road! Thats amazing. I hope we can say the same thing in 5.5 years 🙂 We love the life of no schedules, no plans and no return ticket. All the changes that have happened are all positive so I hope we can keep going keeping on 🙂
      Nicole Connolly recently posted…Interview with a Traveler WanderTheMap.comMy Profile

      • There can be negative changes, too, or at least many people perceive them as negative. After being away long time from your country of original you become foreigner and your former countrymen may start to reject you. You pose a threat to their sedentary lifestyle by challenging their choices with your own choices. A common question is: What if everyone else did like you?

        Another negative can be close-mindedness, especially towards nation states who limit your travel with their passports, borders and visas. That has happened to us after we left Finland in 2004.

        We wrote a book about how long-term travel affects to travellers and interviewed 30 global nomads (definition: has travelled 4 years or more continuously in multiple foreign countries without a steady home or job) for the book. That book could give you some insights about the travelling lifestyle. It is called Free as a Global Nomad.
        2 Global Nomads recently posted…Top 100 Travel Websites in the WorldMy Profile

        • Nicole Connolly /

          There a lot of negative people in the world, you are right. However I refuse to take it on board. Im living life the way I want and Im happy doing so, if that annoys someone thats their own issue to deal with.

          I wouldnt expect everyone to do as I do, that would make for a very boring world if we all lived the same way 😉
          Nicole Connolly recently posted…Fun at Universal Studios OrlandoMy Profile

  7. We booked a one way ticket out of a stressful life two years ago and I have noted a lot of the changes you mentioned. I am so much more in tune with the world and quite at ease in new and challenging surroundings. Great post, I don’t think it’s cliched at all!
    Charli recently posted…Tree Hugging Travel Tips | Go GreenMy Profile

  8. This is great! I think travel has changed me as well–the more I travel the easier it is to go with the flow and not get as stressed. It’s always nice when something as exciting as travel can change us for the better 🙂
    Jenna recently posted…Visiting Iceland’s Wondrous Blue Lagoon‏My Profile

    • Nicole Connolly /

      Hey Jenna 🙂 I don’t think someone can travel without being changed in some way, even if small. That why travel is so wonderful and so important for everyone to experience 🙂
      Nicole Connolly recently posted…Interview with a Traveler WanderTheMap.comMy Profile

  9. Nicole, this is what I’m talking about! Something to really sink my teeth into. I couldn’t agree more that travel changes your perceptions about how you relate to the world at large! It’s always interesting to think about our old selves and how frustrated we would get at the simplest of things. And… suddenly we realize that all of those petty things really don’t matter anymore. Best post you’ve written… keep em coming!
    Brock recently posted…Is YOUR life your Favorite Adventure?My Profile

  10. Greater happiness is probably the best thing one can learn from travelling. I can definitely relate to this post. 🙂 Thank you for sharing 🙂

  11. That is wonderful. So happy for you 🙂 Travel is really fulfilling and puts life into the right perspective. Glad you had the courage to change your life once you recognized what gave you true joy!

  12. Reading this, I am nodding along to the point where I think my head may drop off. The way you describe how you use to plan for everything and get completely stressed out if things didn’t follow this I can see in myself. At this point I am in the process of trying to change what I am doing to achieve what is my true passion, travelling and writing. Is it going to be easy? No, and it is definitely going to take time. Unfortuately I am not able to just quit and start travelling but I intend to work at both until I do get that opportunity. Reading this has inspired me to continue to commit putting in those extra hours blogging in the evenings and making sure that when I can travel I make the most of each experience. I know one day I will get to the stage were I can live my dream.
    Travelling Book Junkie recently posted…Written English – the problems people face!My Profile

  13. I am self defined as a psychotic rigid planner. I try to cram as much as I can into my vacation time from work. I am pretty damn good at it.

    On my last trip, I could not plan the last leg because the internet refused to show me any information I needed. So I ended up with the tiniest taste of what it is like to be out there and FREEEEEEE and planning as you are going. I have to say, it was quite surprising to me to not freak out over this. It actually felt really great to be so freeeeeeeeeee and have to make plans as I went.

    I’m so happy for you that you are living a life that makes you happy. Everyone should be doing exactly that.
    jennifer recently posted…Las Vegas, Nevada: Closing Day at the Westward Ho, Crazy Lady at the El Cortez and My Revenge on Loud Hotel GuestsMy Profile

  14. Great post – I feel the same way. I’m not the same either. I still love to plan and organize my trip but I’m way more flexible. Plus I’ve done quite a bit of solo travelling which I think has made me more brave and willing to try new things. Travelling is so fulfilling! Great post.
    Marsha recently posted…Neuschwanstein CastleMy Profile

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