32 Life Lessons From People I Met On The Road

In Life, Well-Being

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. – Oscar Wilde

Graduating University

I’d just finished studying business and finance university, and I was drowned in debt and confusion.

I had two options: Get a finance job in London or go travelling.

Something didn’t feel right with the first option, and I couldn’t get excited about having my life so securely mapped out at the age of 21.

So, fuelled with a burning desire to discover more of the world, I borrowed money from a friend, packed everything I would need in a backpack and jumped on a one way flight to Australia.

Since then, I haven’t looked back, travelling to 35 countries across 4 continents. To name a few memorable journeys, I hitchhiked 20,000 km across North America, worked 12-15 hour days shovelling grain in the baking heat in outback Australia, and motorbiked 3,000km across Vietnam on a very unreliable 20 year old motorbike that I bought off a backpacker for $200.

I am a very different person now, compared to when I first set out.

But the reason for this is not because of the places I have been.

It’s because of the people I have met on the road.

In their own unique ways, each person I met shared their own perspective on some of life’s powerful questions and issues.

Putting these realisations into practice has changed me for the better.

Now, I’d like to pay it forward in the hope that their advice on life might help you too.

So here are my top 32 realisations from some of the wonderful souls I was lucky enough to meet on my journey:

  1. The one thing that others don’t have is YOU… your story, your mind, your vision.
  2. A perfectly known future is already the past.
  3. Replace “no” with “yes”; and replace “I should” with “I will.”
  4. The majority of people want to help you rather than hurt you.
  5. Talking teaches you nothing you didn’t already know.
  6. You’ll achieve more by solve small meaningful problems in layers rather than attempting to change the world with a vague goal.
  7. If you want to become a master, you must get to the point where you are not trying to be a master.
  8. When you accept what is, life becomes so simple.
  9. It is never what you do, it is always who you are.
  10. There is a very fine line between could and should.
  11. Spend time around people who have what you haven’t.
  12. People are wiggly and wiggly people do not fit in boxes.
  13. Enough is as good as a feast.
  14. The more you relinquish power, the more powerful you become.
  15. If you are not having doubts, you are not pushing the boundaries enough.
  16. If you want to keep on getting what you are getting, keep on doing what you are doing.
  17. Never act on the momentum of other people’s expectations and don’t place focus on what you can’t control.
  18. To be wise you have to become a child again, and to become a child means that you do things that adults consider unimportant.
  19. Every victory, no matter how small you perceive it to be, is still a victory.
  20. To think you are aware is to be not aware at all.
  21. It’s never the result that is important; it is the process.
  22. It’s not what we get that makes us happy; it is who we become.
  23. If you never try, you will never know.
  24. It is not that time is scarce, it is you that is scarce.
  25. Be interesting, be enthusiastic and don’t talk too much.
  26. Danger is real but fear is a choice.
  27. Commit or eat shit.
  28. Don’t waste your breath proclaiming what is really important to you; how you spend your time says it all.
  29. You already have the no, so now go spend your time looking for the YES.
  30. If it is something money can buy, it is not exclusive.
  31. ABG – Always Be Grateful.
  32. Your dream is beautiful but so is theirs.

I’d love to hear your feedback so feel free to add your own realisations/opinion in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading and all the best, 

Dan Beaumont, Thursday 16th March 2016

About the Author

Hello everyone, I’m Dan – a 28-year-old social entrepreneur and writer from the north of England, living in Bucharest, Romania. I’m currently writing my first book about my 4-year journey around the world seeking wisdom and life-lessons from everyday people I met hitchhiking and Couchsurfing.

I discovered that travel, if approached with the right mindset, can be life-changing, and a trip combining travel, purpose and introspection is a great way to learn, challenge oneself and change for the better. Now my mission in life is to share what I’ve learned to inspire others to embark on their own journey of self-discovery and use travel, entrepreneurship and technology as a means to make the world a better place.

I’m also the founder of Podstel – a vision to help humanity belong and grow by creating a worldwide network of ‘homes’ that bring locals and travellers together to share their stories, passions and skills. The first two Podstels are open and thriving in Bucharest, so if you’re passing through, be sure to come and say hi, or stay the night with us.

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