Life Lessons I Learned from Traveling

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Life Lessons on January 12, 2015

December 29, 5:00 AM and a few days before the new year. I was at NAIA Terminal 2, alone and checking-in for my flight to General Santos City.

The airport terminal was busy, but not crowded. And after five minutes of watching people, my mind began to review the presentation that I’ll deliver that day to the GenSan Chamber of Commerce.

I reached the counter, checked-in my luggage, and started to walk towards my boarding gate.

Because I might not have enough time to change, I went to the airport in my business suit and never considered that I will look silly wearing that with my large, carry-on North Face transit backpack. Looking like a jetsetter is the least of my priorities, I justified.

I still had an hour before boarding time, so I calmly settled in one corner, and like most people there – I took out my smartphone, connected to the free airport wifi, and surfed the internet.


I opened my RSS reader and checked the latest articles of my favorite Pinoy travel bloggers, most of which have already posted their “Year in Review” and wrote about their best travel stories for the past year.

Upon reading their narrations, I can’t help but review my own year, and be thankful of all the travel opportunities I had in 2014, which was three countries, five provinces and 9,155 Mabuhay Miles to be exact.

There’s a famous saying by Saint Augustine that states, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.

Indeed, to travel is important because it’s a powerful experience that can fundamentally transform us. Its life lessons are invaluable and some of it can never be learned in any other way… these below are just a few of them:


Traveling is a great way to learn.

If you asked me where Sultan Kudarat was seven years ago, I’d scratch my head and simply say Mindanao. Traveling has vastly improved my knowledge of Philippine geography. It has enhanced my appreciation of our heritage and history. And has taught me to understand our various local dialects.

Traveling helps you discover business opportunities.

One practical advantage of travel is that it puts you right in the center of an unfamiliar market. By observation and exploration, it is possible to stumble upon a great business idea that you can bring back home.

Traveling allows you to slow down.

When everything’s seems boring and meaningless – go out and go somewhere. Traveling forces you to break from your daily routine. The refreshing change in pace and scenery allows your heart and mind to heal, reduce stress and regain your enthusiasm for life.



Traveling helps you realize what’s truly important.

Do you know one of the reasons why it feels good to travel? Because it gives you the chance to live minimally – without unnecessary clutter and only the bare essentials. It forces you to mentally, physically and emotionally break away from the material things and extraneous stuff that burden you at home.

Traveling forces you to face your fears.

If you want to grow as a person, then you must get out of your comfort zone. Travel to a foreign country and you’ll learn how to be resourceful and to be curious. You will realize that getting lost is not necessarily bad, and it’s often a great way to find yourself.

Traveling takes you to a journey of self-discovery.

Traveling is more than just about making memories. It’s also an opportunity for you to reflect upon your own life. Whenever I gaze out of the plane’s window to the sea of clouds under me, I can’t help but ask myself life’s biggest questions, seek within my life’s purpose, and think about how I can lead a better life.


Traveling improves how you deal with other people.

When you’re talking to someone who barely speaks English, you’ll learn to become more patient and understanding of other people. Moreover, you will learn to let go of the unrefined assumption that those who speak, act and think different from you must be wrong.

Traveling introduces you to diversity.

I used to chuckle whenever I hear someone say “traysikol” but not anymore. Traveling expands your awareness, connects you to other cultures, and exposes you to different perspectives, beliefs and religion. But more importantly, it helps you get rid of your prejudice, ignorance and bigotry.

The Biggest Lesson

Peso. Dollar. Euro. Yen. There are a lot of currencies around the world, but I realized that there is one currency that everyone uses – and that is TIME.

You are given 86,400 seconds every day, and it is up to you how you’ll use it. You can choose to do nothing and waste it, or you can take action and use it to pursue meaningful endeavors, to invest it on life experiences that you can cherish forever.

Time is the only true and universal currency. Learn to spend it wisely.

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11 Responses to “Life Lessons I Learned from Traveling”

  1. mrvn10 says:

    Very nice reflection! Happy New Year Sir Fitz…

  2. Catherine says:

    Dearest Fitz,

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Your points are spot on. I think what I agree with the most is the introduction to diversity. I used to question people who were not like me A LOT and after having travelled to many paces, I found myself explaining why they behave like this & like that to people who misunderstood them.

    Continue inspiring us.

  3. Shie Castillo says:

    Nice article. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Kanana Mbaya says:

    This article is in line with my goal of increasing my travel base, thank you Fitz for the inspiration that I draw form your articles!

  5. True indeed… travelling can open your eyes to a lot of things. I love this article… Keep it up Fitz…

  6. Jimmy Ricarte Saupan says:

    Indeed, a great article Sir Fitz.

  7. Alicia Josef says:

    U got a big point of knowing Phils first.I grew up in Metro Manila and studied in Manila but as days passes by,i realized i dont really know Manila.On my way to airport 2 days back my brother took Manila route going to airport.I was astonished to see how beautiful,culturally colorful and interesting Manila is.Then i went back to my younger memories where we used to go to Luneta park during holiday seasons and even skate with my grand mother. I almost forgot that knowing our place first and understanding our cultures could be used in interacting with my colleagues from France,Italy,Spain,India,Indonesia and China.

  8. Carol says:

    Great post Fitz. A great reminder of the value Time… now I better stop wasting it by playing online games… Happy new year idol.

  9. Randy says:

    Very inspiring article sir.

  10. Lee says:

    It’s inspiring to know all these things in one sitting, just like you I want to explore local spots and be one with the others. Tbanks for this article you really made it so clear why one should go out and explore the earth.

  11. Simon plimo loitaruk. says:

    Oh that is great Fitz for widening my thinking scope. I have realised that all human beings are equally endowed with a great universal currency ! The time. I am starting straight away to spend and account for this strongest currency ever.

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