Five Things Travel Has Taught Me

Pearl McCallum

I have been in the travel industry for many years and have travelled to many different places. And in all these years and all the different places, I have learned quite a lot. Here is my top five things that I have learned while travelling:

  1. Always, always have insurance. The importance of travel insurance cannot be overstated.  Medical costs in a foreign country can be exorbitant, and it may be difficult and costly to return home on short notice should the need arise.  Great Canadian Travel recommends quality providers that offer valuable support in any emergency: direction to the nearest medical facility, notifications to family, flight arrangements, in some cases even translation services.  Insurance is your best friend when travelling. 
  2. Be flexible. Airplanes break down.  Weather does not always cooperate.  People make mistakes.  Accept that in some circumstances things will simply not go as planned.  Depending on the circumstance your travel professional may be able to intervene and help to find a solution.  However, ultimately your attitude will go a long way to determining the quality of your journey. 
  3. Fully engage. Recognize that the opportunity to visit a place outside your home is a privilege.  Whether travel takes you on a wild outdoor adventure or to a serene seaside oasis, be present and appreciate the experience.  Use the time to really connect with your travel companions and others you meet along the way. 
  4. Be respectful. It is easy to become accustomed to thinking and behaving in certain ways, and believing our ways are the best.  Experiencing another culture is an opportunity to broaden your knowledge and understand how other people perceive the world.  Keep an open mind and realize the beauty within diversity. 
  5. Be grateful. For opportunities to see the world, but also for your home.  Travel is, by nature, fun and exciting.  We may spend more, eat and drink more, laugh and relax more when we’re out of our normal surroundings.  Carry those memories home and think of them often; they will bring you continuing pleasure.  At the same time, recognize how truly fortunate we are in North America.  Living with gratitude opens our eyes and hearts to people near and far. 
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