10 Things I’ve Learned After 10 Months Of Travel

I hit the road in January 2018 and haven’t looked back. These are 10 Things I’ve Learned About Myself After 10 Months Of Travel. The past 10 months have been nothing but incredible and I can’t wait to see what the next few months have in store for me.

10 Months On The Road

I learned a lot, I cried a lot, I had good things happening and I had not so pleasant things happening. I’ve come to appreciate everything that I have in my life and everything that I’ve not.

I’ve always wanted to travel the world for a year, something that I didn’t do right after I finished school. The time wasn’t right, is what I told myself. Fast forward to 2017. It was time, I started planning and I took the leap.

The truth is, there’s no such thing as the right time. Things always come up, there’s no such thing as the perfect moment. I knew that I’ve been wanting to do a trip like this for a long time and without looking back I threw myself at it.

These are 10 Things I’ve Learned After 10 Months Of Travel.

1. I really don’t like hotels

I’ve never ever paid to stay in a hotel as an adult. Except for this one time, in India. A hotel in Hyderabad was the most economical option. We paid less than $20 per night for a nice room with breakfast. And you know what? While the room was incredible by local standards, I didn’t like it one bit.

I felt like a tourist, a tourist with too much money from the West. I felt removed from the local experience, I didn’t really feel like I was in Hyderabad at all – I could’ve been anywhere.

Hotels always cater to a particular type of tourist, they shelter you. Everyone caters to your needs, your taste and cleans up after you. I am a traveler, not a tourist and I really don’t like hotels.

10 Things I’ve Learned After 10 Months Of Travel
The view from the only hotel I ever paid for as an adult.

2. Animals give me life

I did my first ever house sit in July. My man and I looked after a cat and a dog in Chengdu, China and I was absolutely loving it. I forgot how good it feels to hang out with animals, to care for them. This is one of the most valuable things I learned about myself after 10 months of travel. I freaking love being around animals, I crave it!

I’ve since house sitted in China, South Korea, Thailand, and Denmark. Every single time I had an absolutely amazing experience! The best part? Except for our house sit in China, all our other hosts were vegan!

My man and I also recently won a free 5-year membership for Trusted House Sitters. I’ll be using the site for years to come and can’t wait to connect with more animals around the world!

10 Things I’ve Learned After 10 Months Of Travel - house sitting
House Sitting in Chengdu, China!

3. I need routines to thrive

I am a routine person and I love getting up at the same time every day. My days usually start with one hour of meditation followed by 30 minutes of yoga.

Not following a routine makes me uneasy. While I know lots of people who thrive without a routine, I’ve learned that I am at my best, whenever I do follow a certain routine.

Routines give my days structure, they make me feel good. During my 10 months of travel having a daily routine and sticking with it hasn’t always been easy. On certain days it’s been impossible. That being said, whenever I make it work, I felt so much better.

10 Things I’ve Learned After 10 Months Of Travel - house sitting
Practicing vipassana meditation.

4. Slow travel all the way

This trip has given me the opportunity to deeply explore places. If you are on the road for a year then you’ve got the chance to stay in places until you want to move on. You can take it all in.

Staying in places for a longer period allows me to settle in, have my routines and truly explore a place. I love staying in places for two weeks minimum and that’s something that I wasn’t really aware of prior to starting this trip.

Turns out that I love slow travel. I don’t need to run around from 9 AM to 9 PM every single day. I get up, meditate, do yoga, write, make lunch and might not head out until 3 PM.

10 Things I’ve Learned After 10 Months Of Travel
Trekking in Sa Pa

5. I am not a night owl

When I was a teenager I loved staying up late, it gave me life. Today, I don’t like it at all. I love getting up early and going to sleep early. I am not a night owl, I love for mornings.

That’s something that I didn’t truly appreciate until I embarked on this trip. Some people love the night, they love partying and all it entails.

I can do without that. I am at my happiest when I get to go to bed early.

10 Things I’ve Learned After 10 Months Of Travel
Bedtime 😉

6. I live for the mornings

Mornings give me life! I don’t even consider myself a morning person and yet I prefer mornings over evenings any day. Morning time is my time and it’s something that I truly treasure.

On the road, mornings aren’t always as smooth as they are whenever I am living somewhere. Mornings on the road can be rough. I spent heaps of mornings on buses, taking trains to airports and making breakfast in kitchens that weren’t kitchens at all.

This is one of the most valuable things I learned about myself after 10 months of travel. I live for smooth mornings!

10 Things I’ve Learned After 10 Months Of Travel

7. Beaches aren’t for me

I don’t like sunbathing nor do I enjoy spending time in the sun. Plus, there are the statistics. Apparently as much as 90% of all visible changes attributed to aging may be caused by sun exposure.

I wear sunscreen on my face every day, whether it’s winter or summer, and have been doing so for years. When I am out in the sun I am usually covered up, wear sunscreen on exposed body parts and rock an umbrella.

Whenever I am somewhere where there’s a beach then I usually go once, just to see it and preferably in the evenings, when the sun is down.

10 Things I’ve Learned After 10 Months Of Travel
Enjoying the beach .. my way .. in Goa, India

8. It’s best to cover up

As I mentioned earlier, prolonged sun exposure with or without protection isn’t healthy. Traveling through countries such as China, South Korea, and Thailand has taught me that you need to protect yourself with more than just sunscreen.

Whenever I go outside these days I wear an umbrella, sunscreen (as usual) and preferably long pants. I always have my shoulders covered.

Covering up when out and about is the way to go. Yes, it might look a little funny, but it’s so worth it.

10 Things I’ve Learned After 10 Months Of Travel
I usually wear long pants instead of shorts. The umbrella is a must for me when out and about in the sun!

9. Vipassana meditation is everything

In May 2018 I attended a 10-day vipassana course and it completely changed my life. I’ve been practicing vipassana meditation ever since and I am absolutely loving it.

Don’t get the wrong idea, it doesn’t come easy and on some days it’s really difficult. That being said, I find it incredibly rewarding and I am looking forward to diving deeper into the practice.

Practicing vipassana meditation while traveling is always something that I am looking forward to. I am so glad that this trip gave me the opportunity to attend a 10-day course!

khon kaen vipassana course
Vipassana center in Khon Kaen, Thailand

10. Being with someone 24/7 drives me insane

I love being alone and highly treasure my alone time. At the start of this trip, I wasn’t sure how smooth it would be given that I’d be spending 24/7 with my man. Turns out, while we do make a great team, we both need to prioritize alone time in order to remain sane.

There’s a lot more room for friction when you are spending so much time with someone. While having him around is overall good, we both need brakes and big chunks of alone time.

As much as I love being with him, traveling with someone for such a long time can be difficult and prioritizing alone time is key for me.

10 Things I’ve Learned After 10 Months Of Travel
Exploring Penang, Malaysia

10 Things I’ve Learned After 10 Months Of Travel

This trip has so far been nothing but incredible. Traveling the world for $1,000 per month is a lot of fun and my passion for budgeting deepened.

Traveling the world for a year is something that I’ve been wanting to do for the longest time and I can’t believe it’s happening. Right. now.

If it wasn’t for making traveling and moving my priority, I wouldn’t be typing this today. I feel immense gratitude that it all worked out.

10 Things I’ve Learned After 10 Months Of Travel is heavily inspired by Allison from Eternal Arrival – her writing gives me life!



  1. November 16, 2018 / 1:19 AM

    I love this!! Can you recommend a good natural sunscreen for your face that doesnt make you a shiny, oily mess? <3

    • Nina
      November 16, 2018 / 9:16 AM

      I’ve made a video about my favorite one a while back. Have a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExDIENFdHF4

      I’ve used this particular one for several years now and highly recommend it despite it being packaged in plastic! 🙂

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