Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2013 Part 2

Here’s the continuation of our Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2013.

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

Ben West of The Red Rucksack: “In early 2011 I was trekking down in Patagonia somewhere. Letting my mind wander as I talked to the trees I realized that: There are no rules – there is no right or wrong way to live your life.

I knew this on an academic level but the full emotional understanding of this concept hit me like a train. When I owned the pharmacy I was trying so damn hard to do all the ‘right’ things: settle down, house, picket fence…all that. I am not looking down my nose at people who live a settled life. I think it’s great if that is what really makes you happy, It just is not for me.”

Meet the Nomads - Ben West of The Red Rucksack

Marina Villatoro of Travel Experta: “This is the only true reason to live!”

Meet the Nomads - Marina Villatoro of Travel Experta

Charli and Ben of Wanderlusters: “I think we’ve realized that there’s more to life than earning a wage. Life should be a myriad of experiences and while finance can restrict the opportunity to take part in activities there’s a lot to be gained from the act of travel itself.

We’ve met some fascinating characters and made incredible friendships through the course of our journey, the like of which we may never have come across without travel.”

Meet the Nomads - Charli and Ben of Wanderlusters

Sam and Pete of Travelling King: “That the world is a huge place! There is so much so see and not to take the small amount of holiday time for granted, even on your own country there is so much to see. If you go to a different country don’t be afraid to try new things, that is the whole point, if you are just going to go to “maccas” and KFC then you may as well stay home. Holidays are about living :D”

Meet the Nomads - Sam and Pete of Travelling King

Ronald Robbins of Active Planet Travels: “Hands down would be the lifestyles people live. It makes me extremely grateful for what I have and what I grew up with. While some countries are fruitful, others are stricken with poverty and struggle to survive. It’s a real head turner when you tell friends and family back home just how different our lives are from those of other countries. But needless to say, no matter what “status” people are living they never cease to amaze me with their hospitality.”

Meet the Nomads - Ronald Robbins of Active Planet Travels

Adrian Qais of SuitQais Diaries: “Wow… these are good questions! I suppose the biggest realization for me is the importance of travelling. Through travelling I really believe that you become a better person. Not only do your social skills increase, but also your self-awareness. After you experience a different culture I think you appreciate things in your own much more. Not only are you able to get along with people from all walks of life but also you are much more astute and understanding of cultural differences.

If true be told I was going to say, that the biggest realization I’ve got out of travelling is that, you can achieve anything you set your mind too – the only limiting factor is the one you set yourself. I didn’t write this first because I thought it might have been a little too cheesy.”

Meet the Nomads - Adrian Qais of Suitqais Diaries

Jessica Dawdy of Ways of Wanderers: “Traveling has taught me a lot about who I am. There are so many extreme highs and lows when you’re traveling, and a huge amount of self-discovery comes from facing yourself at your best and at your worst. Being on the road has really pushed me to overcome my insecurities, and showed me that sometimes I’m stronger than I think I am. Traveling has been like a second adolescence for me – I feel like I’ve grown up a lot.”

Meet the Nomads - Jessica Dawdy of Ways of Wanderers

Steph and Andres of Discovering Ice: “I think that everyone in the world is essentially the same. We tend to put up big barriers between ourselves and other countries and cultures, assuming that foreign people are nothing like us; that they are ‘different’ and we don’t understand them, that their religion, language or dress make them somehow alien. Actually, for me, it’s the complete opposite. Everyone in the world is essentially the same. Everyone wants the same things in life; to be happy, to be healthy, to be safe, to find love, to get a good education, to do the best they can in life, to be with their family etc.”

Meet the Nomads - Steph and Andres of Discovering Ice

Chris and Angela of Tieland to Thailand: “That it’s harder to stay on budget than we’d thought! Since we have no set schedule and every day is different, it’s hard to budget for the unknown. Plus, every day feels like the weekend, and what do people do on weekends – go out and have a good time, spend money and eat and drink, right? We had to learn to cut back on living like it was the weekend every day, take it easy, and slow down a bit.”

Tieland to Thailand

Savi and Vid of Bruised Passports: “Life is too short to be spent worrying about accumulating material possessions. It should be about crazy adventures, amazing people, sumptuous memories, and deep kisses.”

Meet the Nomads - Savi and Vid of Bruised Passports

Micki Kosman of The Barefoot Nomad: “We are all the same, despite our skin color, our religion, our language, our age or even our gender. At the core, we’re all just trying to make our way in the world as best we can. This is something that I knew, intellectually, before I traveled. But now, thanks to the people I’ve met on the road, I know it in my gut. It’s part of who I am.”

Meet the Nomads - Micki Kosman of The Barefoot Nomad

Kristin Addis of Be My Travel Muse: “Just do what you want in life. Maybe it’s travel, maybe it isn’t, but whatever it is, just do it. Life is so damn short, why worry about tomorrow when it’s not even guaranteed? I realized I can’t wait to live out a dream. There’s just one shot at life and no reason to squander it slaving away for someone else’s dream. I’m going to go after mine, even if I fail.”

Meet the Nomads - Kristin Addis of Be My Travel Muse

Trish Velarmino of Are We There Yet?: “Lessons learned. Every blog that I post, I always see to it that I post about the lessons I learned. I was more compassionate. I understood different cultures and how this world is ran by the human race. I saw people being hungry in the other side of the world; I witnessed that not everyone has access to education; I realized how religion greatly affects a culture/society; I learned that language divides the world in many ways. Above all, I realized that I should appreciate my life more because I have a good life back home — no matter how much they label the Philippines as third world. I felt lucky to have a home, eat three times a day and finish my studies in good schools. I realized that I {and the rest of us} should stop complaining about what we don’t have and start appreciating what we have because not everyone has it.”

Meet the Nomads - Trish Velarmino of Are We There Yet?

Yeison and Samantha of My Tan Feet:

Samantha: “For me, it was a big deal coming out of the “bubble.” Growing up in the states, I was used to a certain way of living and traveling truly opened my eyes to the thoughts, lifestyles and routines of other cultures.

I think I realized that everything is so easy in the states and that comfortableness makes you lose a little bit of common sense (at least for me). I learned how to think and act fast in certain situations and to be more of a problem solver.

Traveling also gave me a greater and deeper appreciation for my own culture, being Taiwanese and growing up in the United States.”

Yeison: “The biggest realization is that it doesn’t matter how much money you have to be happy. On my travels, I have seen people with next to nothing but incredibly happy, poor families but the most grateful people, and indigenous people who live on a secluded island but loving life.

Then I have also seen people who have money to feed a whole tribe but still miserable and dysfunctional families with huge houses. Money is important but traveling has taught me that people can be happy with or without a lot of it and I have seen that with my own eyes.

You have to appreciate what you have and keep everything in moderation. Traveling has taught me how to keep a balance in life of work and pleasure and how to be grateful for what I have been given.”

Meet The Nomads - Yeison and Samantha of My Tan Feet

Kevin Cook of Monkey Abroad: “Since traveling, I’ve reflected a lot on my home country and on American culture. I’ve come to realize that most of the USA lives in a bubble, and I was stuck in it. The rest of the world is far more inclined to whip out a passport and explore while most Americans forgo this adventurousness to pursue a lucrative career that they probably won’t enjoy. America is a great place and it’ll always be my home, but as a country, it lacks worldly perspective.”

Meet the Nomads - Kevin Cook of Monkey Abroad

Clelia Mattana of Keep Calm and Travel: “I know, everyone expects something really deep from travelers, such as the realization that the world is wonderful and our culture is not the only one that matters, and yes, of course I realized these things too… but if I had to point out the biggest one, I’d say: I discovered that I’m incredibly messy and disorganized! this was a surprise even for me, but i guess i need to deal with it!”

Meet the Nomads - Clelia Mattana of Keep Calm and Travel

Mark and Steffy of Born 2 Travel: “Well we have realized, one more time, that we have only one life and this only life we have to, we MUST, live it as more intensively as we can, trying to realize all our dreams and in love. Our biggest dream is to travel around the whole world and get as much as we can from all the meetings, from all the adventures that can happen to you day by day.”

Meet the Nomads - Mark and Steffy of Born 2 Travel

Dan and Casey of A Cruising Couple: “Same same but different. It’s a popular saying in Vietnam but we like to apply it to travel. All people basically want the same things in life: love, happiness, success, and security. What those words mean and how to obtain them might vary greatly, but the foundations are the same.”

Meet the Nomads - Dan and Casey of A Crusing Couple

Sam and Zab of Indefinite Adventure: “That we’re not backpackers. At least not in the traditional sense, though we do carry backpacks, and they’re actually pretty small. What I mean is that we’re no longer interested in finding the cheapest dorm room and ticking off all the ‘must-see’ sights wherever we go. We prefer to have a little more comfort (and don’t mind paying for it), and rather experience places by wandering around, people watching in cafes, shopping at local markets, making friends and having them over for dinner instead.”

Meet the Nomads - Sam and Zab of Indefinite Adventure

Stuart and Eloise of Am I Nearly There Yet: “Without sounding too deep and meaningful, we’ve learned a lot about ourselves, and that you can live a happy life without the usual ‘stuff’ we obsess about in the developed world. We’re happy with the simple pleasures in life – Clean sheets, hot water and electricity after visiting so many destinations that lack these basic things! Travellers with first world problems make us laugh, we feel very lucky that we’ve had the opportunity to see some of the world’s most beautiful places.”

Meet the Nomads - Stuart and Eloise of Am I Nearly There Yet

Megan Claire of Mapping Megan: “That I don’t need much. I never used to be able to fathom how people keep everything they own in a single backpack, but after getting back to basics this year and selling a lot of our stuff to travel I’ve realized I don’t need “things” to be truly happy. I would rather have experiences.”

Megan Claire of Mapping Megan

Lauren Metzler of The Wandering Orange: “When I started to travel, I met so many people who were considered poor in my country, and yet they were happier than any of my friends and family back home. These people had absolutely nothing, and yet they always had a smile on their face and the most humbling outlook on life. It was then that I started realizing the bigger picture. Money cannot buy you happiness. A boyfriend, nice house, great job or brand new car- all of these things will disappear one day. True happiness is not circumstantial or fleeting, it comes from within.”

Lauren Metzler of The Wandering Orange

Gigi Griffis of “Slow down. Love yourself. Love others. Practice gratitude. And take joy in the simple things.”

Gigi Griffs

If you want to see the archived “Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning”, check out the list 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
Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2012 Part 2
Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2013 Part 1

Happy Holidays!!!

Next: Sofie Couwenbergh of Wonderful Wanderings Previously: Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2013 Part 1 For more interviews with travel bloggers, check out the archives of Meet the Nomads.


  1. […] Drew Evensen of After Globe Previously: Meet the Nomads – A Year of Learning 2013 Part 2 For more interviews with travel bloggers, check out the archives of Meet the […]

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