On September 14 2021, I caught a flight to set off on a grand adventure to explore the world.
Fast forward 365 days…
On September 13, 2022, I boarded my return flight home, having successfully visited 12 countries.
Little did I know that this audacious journey would unfold into the most exhilarating 12 months of my life. Those 365 days of my life were arguably the most incredible ones of my life.
Each country I visited on my journey taught me a unique invaluable lesson, and I’d like to share these lessons with all you fellow world travellers.
Here are 12 lessons I learnt travelling to 12 countries in 12 months:
1. Portugal 🇵🇹
"Make your start memorable, unleash yourself."
Landing to a beautiful sunrise at Lisbon’s International Airport, I discovered the power of beginnings. A remarkable start can set the tone for your entire journey. So, unleash your inhibitions, embrace the unknown, and watch the world unfold before your eyes. Make sure you make it memorable!
2. France 🇫🇷
"Life is short, celebrate It."
Amidst the romantic ambiance of France, I learned to seize the fleeting moments of life. From savouring exquisite cuisine to dancing under the moonlight, celebrate every joyous occasion and infuse your travels with an everlasting joie de vivre with the ones closest to you.
Every day is a gift and it can be taken away at any moment! Go out and have fun, try new things, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
3. Greece 🇬🇷
"Travelling off season can be quite the treat."
While exploring the ancient wonders of Greece on a week-long December stopover, I stumbled upon a hidden secret—the magic of travelling off-season. Embrace the tranquillity, relish the uncrowded streets, and witness a quieter side of the world that only a few have experienced.
4. Turkey 🇹🇷
"There’s always beauty in chaos."
Don't be afraid to explore the chaotic side of a city in all its vibrance. It's often where you'll find the most interesting things. Amidst bustling markets and lively streets, be open to the chaos and let it guide you toward the most remarkable experiences. Get lost in the backstreets, talk to the locals, and experience a place in all its messy glory.
5. Singapore 🇸🇬
"Open up to the world, and the world will open up to you."
Singapore wasn’t originally a strong contender when I was planning my travels, but the opportunity presented itself and I said yes. Singapore welcomed me with open arms and showed me a world one can only dream of. Open your heart to possibilities and witness how the world reciprocates by unfolding its wonders in unimaginable ways. Be open to new experiences and connections, and you'll make memories that will last a lifetime.
6. Thailand 🇹🇭
"Traveling with a goal changes the way you experience your journey."
There’s a beauty in wandering aimlessly which I truly love, but there’s a fulfillment in travelling with intention. In Thailand, I embarked on a journey with a clear goal in mind which led to meaningful encounters and a deeper connection with the places I visited. Discover your own purpose and allow it to shape your travel adventure.
7. United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪
"You don’t always have to like the flavour of the month."
Each person's perspective is unique, and while some may find a place to be everything they dreamed of, it may not resonate with you in the same way. Don't be disappointed if you don’t see the value in a place that the world may love. It's important to manage your expectations when you're travelling. Instead of fixating on the grandeur or hype, surrender yourself to the flow of the journey and see what you can make of it.
8. Mexico 🇲🇽
"It’s okay to go slow and take your time."
When you're travelling, it's important to slow down and take your time. Enjoy the journey, not just the destination. In Mexico’s fast-paced culture, I discovered the art of slowing down. Amidst bustling cities and breathtaking landscapes, I learned to savour every moment, to pause and appreciate the charm all around us. Take your time, and the world will reveal its hidden treasures. Don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.
9. Panama 🇵🇦
"Don’t expect it, but the next corner might just have a surprise for you."
Out of all the countries I visited, Panama caught me by surprise! I had zero expectations and plans when I arrived in Panama, and the country pleasantly unveiled itself to me as the most underrated destination I visited. I realized that the most remarkable surprises await us when we least expect them. Panama reminded me to stay open and curious, for the world is full of delightful surprises.
10. Colombia 🇨🇴
The lively culture of Colombia taught me to embrace every moment and to live with more intensity. Every once in a while, you should turn up that flame in your life. Your travels are yet another opportunity to live passionately and feel a little bit more.
11. United Kingdom 🇬🇧
"Travel to forge stronger bonds with those you love."
Travelling doesn’t have to be all about yourself, it could be about building a deeper connection with the people you care about. Go visit your best friend who lives far far away or travel with a loved one to a place they’ve been dying to go. Seeing the happiness you can bring to their life is an awesome feeling.
12. Ireland 🇮🇪
"Share a song, share a dance, share a laugh, live in the moment!"
In Ireland, I experienced the joy of living in the present. Sharing songs, dancing with newfound friends, and sharing heartfelt laughter reminded me to cherish every moment. It is the simplest of pleasures that shape our most treasured memories — and making memories is what travelling is all about!
And That’s A Wrap!
These lessons from my 12-month world tour are quite open-ended, so take your liberty and find your own meaning in them. So, pack your bags, open your heart, and embark on your own unforgettable journey. Who knows, perhaps the countries you visit will whisper their own profound lessons in your ear.
My travels were an unforgettable experience that I will cherish forever. I learned so much about myself and the world, and I made memories that will last a lifetime. Here's a quick 15 second recap of what those 12 months looked like:
How did I manage to travel so much? Well, I started a remote business and embraced the digital nomad life. Also, I quit caring about what other people thought and started travelling solo to fulfil my dreams and ambitions. It’s a fun challenge and it’s working out quite well for me so far. If you're thinking about becoming a digital nomad or solo traveller, I highly recommend it.
Let's embrace the world together and unlock the secrets that await us in every corner of this beautiful planet!