Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2012 Part 2

Here’s the continuation of our Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2012.

We asked our fellow nomads, What’s the biggest realization that you’ve got out of travelling? And here’re their response.

Nicole Wetzelberger of 2 Nomads 1 Narrative: “How simple life can be! In the western world things tend to be so complicated with big homes, lots of bills, and a long list of rules to abide by. In Asia, life comes as it is. People make do with what they have, and don’t worry about what they don’t have.”

South Korea Temple

Michael Hodson of Go See Write: “The world is massive. The best thing about almost exclusively traveling via overland travel (and circling the globe that way, without ever flying) is the simple realization that we live on a truly huge planet. It is amazing. I appreciate the time savings that plane travel affords everyone, but if you haven’t done any significant overland travel, you have missed out on experiencing the planet from the proper perspective: the ground floor.”

Michael Hodson

Billie Frank of Santa Fe Travelers: “That I have to be flexible, because, no matter how well you plan, it won’t happen the way you think. Take what’s before you and make it work and more than work; make it special.”

Billie Frank

Emma and Justin of Rolling Tales:

“Travel makes you more aware about a lot – possibly the most important personal realisation is how lucky I am to have been born in a country where water is safe to drink from the tap.”

“No matter which country we travel in people are friendly, curious, warm and hospitable. We often get asked things like “But isn’t country XYZ terribly dangerous?” but I have realised while travelling that view of a country and its people as portrayed by various media is often worlds away from the reality.”

Cycling through small village

Lindsay Hogg of The Traveller World Guide: “That life just keeps getting more confusing and to stop trying to figure everything out in one day. Just ride the wave and enjoy every second.”

Lindsay Hogg

Neil Barnes of Backpacks and Bunkbeds: “That my life is good and I am lucky, simple as that. Not all of us can travel full time, it would be nice, but like a few other bloggers I know, I work the 9-5. Its easy to get lost in cubicle life, working with tunnel-vision and dreaming of the next paycheck. I can get really stressed at work, but I try to remember that in some countries I’ve visited, people have it a lot lot worse. Whilst I’m worried about crappy deadlines, they’re worried about clean water and where their next meal might come from. I guess I get caught up in what I consider ‘the norm’, but for many others around the world it would be a dream.”

Neil Barnes

Robert Fitzsimmons of Adventure Rob: “That the world is a small place filled with big culture and too much consumption. Oddly I’ve not learnt much about myself though, but have had reassurance on who I am, my values, interests, etc.”

Robert Fitzsimmons

Rory Cummins of Traveling Round the World: “The biggest impact that this trip around the world has had on me is the fact we are all connected! Before I left home, when I’d watch the world news and see what’s going on around the planet, it had never affected me quite like it does now. After traveling for a while, you’ll quickly realize this planet really isn’t as big as you thought it was and you come to learn how each country and its people are interconnected with others. After almost a year of travel now, I hold more of a ‘global’ view than I ever had and I’ll never see things the same as I used to no matter what country I end up living in.”

Rory Cummins

Audrey Bergner of That Backpacker: “People are good. You grow up being told not to trust strangers, but this quickly changes when you’re in a foreign land with no one to rely on except the genuine kindness of strangers.”

Audrey Bergner

Sam Kynman Cole of Sam’s Playground: “Things are not always the same as they are at home, in fact they’re mostly different, sometimes you find things that your home does uniquely different. I always find the differences interesting. “It’s not wrong, it’s just different.” My Contiki tour guide in Europe said this to us all the time, it’s simple, but I think if you keep this in mind at all times you open up and you can get more from your travels.”

Sam Kynman Cole

Tanya of Magic Travel Blog: “That the world is really a massive place and that unless I travel really really quickly, I have hardly any chance to see everything I want to. I can have fun trying though.”

Tanya completing visa paperwork to enter Laos

Andrew of Magic Travel Blog: “Fundamentally people want the same things. Food on the table, a safe place to raise their kids, the opportunity to do something worthwhile. When you first arrive in a new place you tend to see all the differences. After a while the similarities start to become apparent. Families eating together, kids reluctantly doing their homework, tired parents struggling with a tired toddler, teenagers sneaking off. You see the same human moments everywhere.

If I can sneak in a second one, the world is massive. If you don fly from city A to city B and instead take the train, bus or something similar and stop at the places in between you quickly realize that the world is really really big. We’ve spent a year in total in various parts of Thailand. There’s still vast sections of the country we haven’t seen and that’s just one country.”

Andrew on the bridge to Penang

Nisha Jha of Lemonicks: “Travel is one realization after another. Some experiences are good, some are bad but travel always adds a new chapter to our character. The most important thing is to be out of our comfort zones and take the things as they are, respecting other cultures and people. The point is without trying to change others, you change yourself.”

Nisha Jha

Nick Knowles of On My Walkabout: “That for some reason most people think travel is a hard thing to do or something that is a rarity…like that one vacation of a lifetime type of thing. I’ve made it my mission to help people break that mold.”


Vago Damitio of Vagobond: “You don’t really have to go anywhere to travel. Some of the greatest adventures show up at your doorstep. Still, I keep going for some reason.”

Vago Damitio

Agness Walewinder of eTramping: “I have come to realize that impossible is nothing and if you really want to do something, you will find the way to do it and nobody and nothing will be able to stop you. That is actually what I have learnt from my travel companion and best friend- Cez.”

Agness Walewinder

Dan Arif of From Malaysia to the World: “Travel makes me think differently. It gave me the opportunity to see with my own eyes how people struggle to make a living in various parts of the world. From the sulphur miners of Kawah Ijen, Indonesia to the laundry workers in Dhobi Ghatt, India, all the hard work they did made me realize how fortunate I am and should be grateful of what I have now.”

Skydiving - Queenstown

Diana Edelman of DTravelsRound: “I can make it through anything. Traveling brings out the best and worst in people, and also tests people. I’ve learned a lot about myself through the challenges and experiences travel has given me. And, now I know I can overcome those obstacles and come out smiling. Or at least looking back and laughing.”

Diana Edelman

Peter Shaw of Nomadical Sabbatical: “I think the realization of just how unbelievably lucky I have been in my life. If you don’t experience the grinding poverty much of the world live through day to day, you might take a life in Australia (or any other wealthy country) for granted. I think travel’s the best way to open your eyes to the fact that no matter where you’re from we’re all people, and our privileged position in the 1st world really is nothing more than a lucky roll of the cosmic dice. Travel directly led to my understanding of this realization and it’s something i’ll keep with me always.”

Peter Shaw

Turner Barr of Around the World in 80 Jobs: “That the people make the experience. You can be in a really crappy place but if the people you are with are great or the locals there are always smiling you will come out on top. Traveling also has taught me that you need to find a purpose in what you are doing, otherwise after awhile traveling aimlessly will become unfulfilling. And lastly, it has taught me to go slower and try to pay attention. A lot of cool stuff is going on and if you are not patient and mindful it can pass you by.”

Meet the Nomads - Turner Barr of Around the World in 80 Jobs

Lisa and George Rajna of We Said Go Travel:

George: “I have found that in a basic way people everywhere are the same. Also, that people can be happy with very few material possessions.”

Lisa: “I have realized that I think I am traveling to learn about other people and other cultures, but the main lessons I learn are usually about myself.”

Lisa and GEorge at Hilo Milo Bagan

If you want to see the archived “Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning”, click on the corresponding links below:

Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2010 Part 1
Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2010 Part 2
Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2011 Part 1
Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2011 Part 2
Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2012 Part 1

Happy Holidays!


  1. […] the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2011 Part 2 Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2012 Part 1 Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2012 Part 2 Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2013 Part […]

  2. […] Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2010 Part 1 Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2010 Part 2 Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2011 Part 1 Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2011 Part 2 Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2012 Part 1 Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2012 Part 2 […]

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