Cape Town Travel Blog

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My daughter, in the park.
It's been over 3 years since I departed for my around the world trip and over 2 years since I completed it. Since then I've frequently been asked the ca-joined question "what have you learned from your travels and how has it changed you" (the 2 points are inextricably linked). And every time this question has been posed I've struggled to give anything other than a bog-standard answer, such as 'well maybe now I'm not so quick to judge others, because I've seen first hand the many different belief systems in the world", or "I'm now more grateful for my fortunes, because I've seen how very little half the world has to live on".... but does this really cut it???  Are these little pearls anything more than I could have learned form reading a sociology text book? Does it justify my vastly inflated carbon footprint bought about by all that flying??


The question of "Wisdom Acquired From Travel" has played on my mind continually, even through my transition from energetic single adventurer to exhausted suburban mom, and today I was blindsided by something of a revelation. it's this; If anyone is reading this and poised to take a round the world Gap year, Do yourself a favor and book two tickets.. to exactly the same destinations, 6 months apart. On your first trip do nothing but go to your destinations and absorb the experience like a sponge; if ever you find yourself forming an opinion, stop it & have another beer, deep breath, whatever. Then at the end of round one, take a week or two at home with family and set off again.  Follow your own footsteps but this time instead of being in the moment so very much, become just a fraction more observational and follow through with thoughts that might lead to opinions, comparisons and so on.

I reckon this might be the secret to acquiring wisdom on ones travels and I'd love to hear back the experinces of anyone whose ever taken this 'Repeat & learn' approach......(of course the cost to budget and to planet would take some serious justifying.. but still....)

But for me , who has only seen most places a humble once, I'd rather not be asked how it's changed me because all I know for sure is that more I see the less I'm sure off... :)

londonstudent says:
You're right: "londonstudent" isn't accurate now (I've vowed never to take another exam again), but I'm afraid that it would be too confusing to change it, as so many people on the site recognise me by that name!
It's freezing here :( South London is under a blanket of snow at the moment - which looks very pretty, but you can imagine the chaos that it's been causing on the roads!
Posted on: Dec 19, 2009
Natasha says:
Thank you thank you thank you - you always say the nicest things :) I hope all is well with you too. Surely you're not still a student after all this time? Londongraduate now maybe???
Posted on: Dec 18, 2009
londonstudent says:
Hey Natasha, it's great to find that all is well with you and your daughter - I can't believe how the time has flown! And I reckon you've made a pretty good suggestion for a travelling strategy.
The pics are lovely, btw :)
I wonder if you've got back on a motor-bike yet ...
Posted on: Dec 16, 2009
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My daughter, in the park.
My daughter, in the park.
Me & my girl...
Me & my girl...
91,966 km (57,145 miles) traveled
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photo by: v10