• Travel and Culture
  • Work and Travel
Posted 21/04/2022

8 ways travel changed my life

Getting out of your comfort zone is worth the risk!

By Rebekka

Hello beautiful people! I’m going to share some things that I’ve learned during my time as an au pair—by traveling by myself, by living abroad. I just want to give you an idea of what you can learn by having an experience like this. You start to grow in different ways, and this is something that nobody can take away from you. This experience is priceless for me personally!

1. Take responsibility for my own life

 

Traveling and living abroad by myself really taught me how to take responsibility for my own life. I’m so used to living with my family in Germany with parents around me. My mom just took care of certain things that I never really paid attention to.

 

Once you live by yourself, you realize that there’s so many things that you have to take care of and that you are responsible for your own mess. You’re responsible for the way you’re going to live. You are responsible for the decisions you make.

 

2. Be confident in myself

 

That’s another thing I’ve learned—to make decisions with confidence. Whether a little decision or big decision. I have failed a lot with my decisions. But I think it is so important as a young person that you are in situations where you fail. That you make mistakes—so you can know what is best for you the next time! This experience has also made me realize how strong and capable I am. You will never know how strong you are and how capable you are until you go through things on your own.

3. Figure out who I am

 

The more I’ve traveled the more I’ve learned about myself and about my personality. There’s a quote that says it says: “We travel not to escape but to find ourselves”. And I think there is so much truth in it.

 

I’m a really extraverted person, I really love to be surrounded by people. I love to connect with people. I remember myself when I first arrived, I thought: “This is just me—I have to be around people”.

 

But traveling by myself really showed me how beautiful it can be to be on my own. Reading books and journaling and meditating and those things you just do by yourself. I never thought that I was that kind of person. But since I’ve been here, I’m starting to do those things that I’m not used to. I started to recognize different interests and characteristics that I have.

 

4. Appreciate my own and other cultures

 

I have to say I had a really hard time appreciating my home country sometimes. But the more I traveled, the more I saw different cultures and that every country has their pros and cons.

 

I know that Germans are more punctual and organized and like to plan ahead. And Americans, for example, are super, super friendly. They’re super thankful, and they apologize for every little thing, at least in the South! And Spanish people are also super open, and super friendly and expressive. I love Spanish people. I love South America and their culture and their food.

 

Every culture has something special, and I just love to learn from them. I think that’s why it’s so important to be open and observe and to learn from each other.

5. Get out of my comfort zone and take risks

 

Getting out of my comfort zone and taking risks has really changed my life. So many beautiful and amazing things can happen on the other side of fear. There were so many times that I felt so much fear here in the U.S. But from the moment that I took the step and did the thing I wanted to do, I knew it was gonna be worth it. And I knew it was gonna be fun. As soon as you turn your fear into excitement, there’s so much more value in it.

 

6. Gain a better understanding of people

 

I’ve gained so much more perspective by seeing not only my culture, my way of thinking and my way of living. Traveling has helped me judge less and be more empathetic. Because you don’t only see your own way—you see different ways of being.

 

For example, I admire my host family because they already hosted seven different au pairs from seven different cultures and because of that they have such a bigger view. They understand different cultures, they understand why people are acting certain ways.

7. Choose experiences over possessions

 

The more I traveled, the more I started to prioritize great experiences over possessions, over material things. Because material things can be gone one day. But your experiences and your memories will be there forever. I would rather fill my life with a lot of adventures and stories that I can tell than material things. This mindset can be something that might change your life—might change your way of being, living.

 

8. Think outside the box

 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s to think “outside the box” and to think bigger. The more I see of this world, the more I realize how little I am and how little I have seen. There are so many things that exist that I don’t even know because I haven’t seen them! There’s just so much more.

You can learn more about what I’ve learned by traveling and about my experience as an au pair, please visit my YouTube channel.

 

In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make. I’m so grateful for all I’ve learned as an au pair and for all these incredible memories!

I am Rebekka and 23 years young. My passion for traveling the world started from a very young age, and the older I become the more I understand how much these experiences shape the person I am. I love meeting new people and learning from and about them!
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