Travel Lessons Learned 2012

Being home for the holidays has given me some time to reflect on all the lessons that I learned on the road in 2012. As I traveled, I kept a list of all my mistakes, notes, and lessons so that I could share them with you, in hopes of making your own journey a bit smoother. Enjoy!

Travel Lessons Learned & Re-learned

Health, & Hygiene

  • Always carry hand sanitizer and a small first aid kit
  • When possible, take the stairs
  • Showers and a good night’s sleep are the best remedies for a bad mood
  • Travel burnout and homesickness are unavoidable
  • No matter how well you take care of yourself, you’re bound to catch a cold at some point
  • When traveling during the summer, showers become pointless due to endless sweat
  • Laundry also becomes pointless because, let’s face it, clothes will never be truly clean again until you get home
  • In unforeseen circumstances, a jar of peanut butter is your best friend
  • What you resist, persists
  • Keys to beating a head cold: Lots of liquids, rest, and sweating out the fever in your sleep

Baba Ganush Peace


  • Collect souvenirs
  • It’s important to balance big city visits with nature
  • Markets over malls, mountains over museums
  • Travel is not about discovering who you are but realizing your own strength and capabilities
  • If it makes your soul smile, who cares what anyone has to say?
  • Traveling is both a self-medicating and self-destructing addiction
  • Just let go of what you can’t control




  • Pack for all seasons and weather patterns
  • A safety whistle and headlamp come in handy for more than emergencies
  • Duct tape is an all-purpose savior
  • Pack a shower towel
portland opening party world domination summit

Hanging out with my new friend, Carey!


  • Aussie and German travelers are everywhere
  • English is the universal language, but you shouldn’t expect it
  • People are more willing to help than you’re led to believe
  • ALWAYS be polite and respectful of the countries you’re visiting
  • Don’t wait for people to talk to you, be proactive, start the conversation
  • Not everyone you meet will be interested in talking and that’s okay



  • London’s Heathrow is a mall, zoo, and airport all in one
  • Berlin airport looks like a Costco warehouse
  • There’s no need to figure out airport transfers in advance
  • America’s transportation systems are inferior to the likes of Japan and Europe
  • It’s an effort to get anywhere from the USA and Australia
  • Airports and tourist destination shops have the highest markups of food and consumer products
  • Airports are also some of the best places to people watch
  • Window seat on short flights, aisle on long flights
  • Most international airports have free wifi

Travel Planning

  • It’s important to know km/mile conversions, Celsius/Fahrenheit conversions, and military time
  • Don’t always follow the summer months because it can get too hot, crowded, and expensive
  • In most cases, American citizens can get visas at the border
  • Travel planning is work in itself
  • It is not necessary to plan months in advance
  • It’s also not necessary to book more than one week in a destination. If you want to stay longer, extend while you’re there.
  • Use to search for accommodation but book with hostel directly via email
  • Before visiting, researching culture customs is a must


What I Did Right

Riding ATVs in the desert in Jerusalem

Riding ATVs in the desert in Jerusalem

What I Should’ve Done Differently

Share your most valuable travel tips and lessons from 2012!


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