Lessons are found everywhere. They’re found in your home, found in schools, found at jobs, and even found at the grocery store.

While you may learn some of these these lessons “at home,” we’ve found that some lessons are well enforced while traveling.

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1. Love others for who they are, not who you wish they would be.

It’s important not to compare yourself with others in a way that lays judgment on whose way of doing things is better. Accepting it—and them—is the most essential step in showing love and respect towards others. If you show people that you respect and appreciate their methods or traditions, they will respect you back.

2. Patience is a virtue!

As you may know, patience is not my strong point. Sometimes I laugh as I consider what might occur if Jared and I were on “The Amazing Race” together. We love each other dearly, but we don’t always see eye to eye—particularly when it comes to driving, directions, or travel plans. Add to that a child who refuses to walk, a child who loves to run away, and another child who could at times use an attitude adjustment…and I can attest to the fact that traveling is indeed an ongoing lesson of patience. If you think going to the grocery store with kids is stressful…then try taking them to tour castles and walk long distances, and you’ll get my point fast!

3. Adaptability is key!

The willingness to adjust and changes plans is key to being happy on the road. If you insist that everything must go as planned or expected, then you might as well quit before you begin. You must learn to roll with the punches, adjust your expectations, and give up some “extras” in exchange for necessities (i.e. It doesn’t matter what size the towels are…at least we HAVE towels!)

4. Make more time for your kids!

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say this again—traveling has provided us more time for our kids. With flexible works hours and the lack of a household to maintain, we have a lot more time to spend with our kids. Generally, when we are on the road we find ourselves saving the night hours for working, and the day hours are spent together as a family. I’ve never been the type that wants to sit down and play dolls with my girls for hours, but we can bond as we skip through the park and pull out a picnic lunch. When we grow older and our kids leave our nest, I hope they will cherish the memories we’ve made as much as we do.

5. Please, don’t be ugly!

Having served baby-boomer tourists for 8 summers, I have seen the good, bad, and the ugly. I have even yelled at tourists. Yes, I have yelled at people, ordering them to leave my store. Do I feel bad about it? Yes, and no. Yes, I wish I could have been kinder…but for GOODNESS SAKES…couldn’t they have been reasonable or even the slightest bit kind? More than anything, those lessons have taught me about what kind of person I don’t want to be. How could complete strangers treat someone with such disrespect, discourtesy, and hatefulness? I don’t want to be that person, and I hope that I can treat everyone with the same respect that I would like to have returned to me. This is especially important when traveling, as you represent not only yourselves, but the country in which you are from.

6. Learning is a life-long pursuit!

Education isn’t something just for your school years. True education is a lifelong openness to learning new things and being willing to adjust your perspective. You open yourself up to indefinite growth when you are willing to change your opinion about stereotypes, as well as adjust your daily habits based on new knowledge. Learning should be incorporated into daily life, and not just in a cram-and-take-a-test fashion. Perhaps a particular culture does something in a particular way…but why? Seeking the answer through experience will have so much more meaning and impact!

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My name is Alisa, and I am off traveling the world with my adventurous husband and rambunctious 3 small children. I love mountains, outdoor living, and I am crazy about vegetables. Most of all, I love making memories with my family, and I enjoy sharing our travels with others!

We’re not the only ones that think you can learn some great “Life Lessons” from the road. Check out what these other families say they’ve learnt from being on the road:

Bohemian Travelers: Can You Embrace the Unknown

The Nomadic Family: I Know Nothing (and 99 Other Things The Road Has Taught Me)

PearceOnEarth: 5 Life Lessons Learned from Traveling

TravelwithBender: So it’s been 6 Months – You won’t believe what we have learnt!

A King’s Life:  Two things I know for sure

Family on Bikes: Complaining won’t change a gosh-darn thing

Family Travel Bucket List: 3 Things We’ve Learned While Living Outside of the USA

Flashpacker Family: Lessons From the Road of Life

Life Changing Year: Life Lessons From The Road – A Little Bit Of Planning Goes A Loooong Way!

Grow in Grace Life: By Any Road..Lessons from the Journey

Our Travel Lifestyle: Travel: Teaching us about ourselves

The Lovely Travel of a Nomadic Dad: The 10 Thing I Learned on the Road that I did not Want To

RambleCrunch: 15 lessons I’ve learned Traveling the World 

15 Responses to “6 Life Lessons from the Road”

  1. Your point of patience has me still cracking up! i could run the Ameazing Race with my son but NO WAY with my husband:) I also have a child that could use an attitude adjustment a lot of the time and am still honing in on those patience skills. Toughest part of parenting I swear, then add in needing to be quiet, walk, or try a new dish without making others feel bad and whoa…

  2. Great post! I laugh thinking about being on the Amazing Race, too! I know I would be the one who got angry because we got lost…and it would be all MY fault! LOL! And your first lesson is one we’ve been learning, too.

  3. Alisa, sorry but I’m having a giggle picturing you YELLING at someone in your store.

    What wonderful lessons you’ve learned from your traveling life. I love that you guys are able to focus on family activities during the day and save work for the evenings. Our days are still a lot more work-focused than we’d like, but we’re getting there.

    Great post!

  4. Jennifer Pearce says:

    I’m not too patient myself at times, but traveling together as a family has sure helped me learn to be more so. It’s taken quite a lot of “loving others as they are, and not who I wish they would be.” Thank you for the reminder. Once I figured that out, things got much easier. I learned that my unhealthy focus on expectations was blinding me to the amazing things that already existed within my current reality. Once I started seeing all the good, I realized it was already way better than my most coveted expectations could ever hope to be. 🙂

    • Yes…indeed, Jennifer! I’ve had to give up high hopes of my kids acting like perfect little travelers…and just taking it as it goes. I’m trying hard to enjoy the fact that they are young and cutely difficult (!!!) like THIS at only one time in their lives–so I better appreciate this part, too!

  5. All great messages! Especially “learning is a lifelong pursuit”. I completely forgot about that one when I was doing my round up of travel learnings from the past few years. When we were in Thailand we visited Kanchanaburi and discovered all the WWII history there. I couldn’t believe how much we didn’t know – the extent to which the Japanese army spread through Asia and the Pacific, the amount of lives lost, the enslavement of Asian people, how the Japanese bombed Darwin in Australia. Truly, it blew our mind! And it made us really want to deeply explore more about history in every place we went. We’re both maths & sciencey people so really identified a big gap in our own learning.

  6. Hi, Just found your site and have been reading your latest posts. I love this one in particular. We always have lessons to learn. Flexibility (go with the flow) and enjoying the moment (make the best of what you have) are two of my favorite lessons. Thanks for sharing.

  7. GREAT! I never knew learning was life long, I always pictured it as school years. But now I love to learn. … I hope that passion never dies in my children, it’s why we do what we do.

  8. Love the lesson of accepting people for who they are. I spent much of my life thinking everyone needed to believe the same things I did in order to be truly happy. Turns out there are very happy people who believe all sorts of different things. Travel is enlightening that way. 🙂

  9. wow. i love what you wrote dear. patience even in the face of those who you just want to slap, adaptability. loving others for who they are, make time for your kids… lovely. very strong reminders of how we want to make our lives lives of true essence and quality, meaning and light. thank you. and, that picture of your three… is precious. thank you for sharing. gabi

  10. Fantastic advice!!!

  11. I always watch the amazing race and fret over how much the contestants are missing out on seeing!!! I would be devastated to run around the world not seeing the sights or meeting the people except to beg for help!! These are great lessons that you’ve learned. They sure are different lessons than someone who travels would have learned – I think that’s always interesting too!

  12. Good concise advice and I love the lessons you have learned. I could benefit from #1 and #4. I think that getting out of our home environment and embarking on world travel would help me on that. Being home is nice and secure, but it’s also got so many physical responsibilities attached. It’s wonderful what you and your family are able to do now.
    Susan

  13. Making more time for kids is the entire reason we ever decided to travel full time. It has proved to be one of the best decisions we ever made for our family. Great article!

  14. Agree. Good lessons, everyone needs to learn. 🙂

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