20 Lessons I’ve Learned Traveling the World

POSTED IN : Casa de Youngren

Jeff and I just returned from a six week marathon of traveling to Chicago, Massachusetts, New York, Atlanta, Italy, and Bolivia. (Did you follow our epic trip on #theyoungrenstravels?)The crazy thing is that it's the not the first time we've done this. In fact, it's about the fourth time in six years that we've been gone for such a long stretch of time, not including all of the other travels that we've taken in-between.I sat down this week to write about our recent bout of traveling, and I found this list of life lessons that I had begun back in 2009 when Jeff quit the corporate world and our travels really took off (see what I did there?).I have been adding to this list periodically over the years, and I think it's finally the right time to post it here, #donchathink?20 Life Lessons I’ve Learned While Traveling Around the World:
  1. The only toiletry item that I can’t live without is a small bottle of travel shampoo. It can be used for anything - including facewash, body wash, laundry detergent, hand soap, and the occasional bubble bath.
  2. I've learned that one size does not fit all when it comes to Mexican wrestling masks. (Long story...)
  3. I've learned that fuzzy socks, an eye mask, and a glass of wine can get you through ANY flight.
  4. I’ve learned that I would love going on cruises if I wasn’t lactose intolerant. The all-you-can-eat soft serve machine simply taunts me. For this reason alone, cruising does not suit me at all.
  5. I’ve learned that jet lag leads to the best memories of wide awake 2:00am dinners on the grand canal in Venice, midnight walks around Paris, and dancing all night in Spain.
  6. I’ve learned that the ultimate goal of putting myself through the enormous expense and exhausting effort of flying halfway around the world is so that I can sit still and stare at something that is soul-wrenchingly beautiful for long periods of time. With earbuds. And Bon Iver.
  7. I’ve learned that I am incredibly ignorant.
  8. I’ve learned that I am incredibly grateful.
  9. I’ve learned that I am incredibly blessed.
  10. I’ve learned that I am incredibly young.
  11. I’ve learned that there’s nothing that a tablet of Pepto Bismol can’t cure. (Even headaches. Weird.)
  12. I’ve learned to at least figure out how to say Thank You, Please, Pardon Me, How much?, and Coffee in the language of the country. Not in that particular order.
  13. I’ve learned that I can climb almost anything in a pair of worn out Rainbows. Almost.
  14. As a female, I've learned to squat. Wherever. Whenever. 'Nuf said.
  15. I've learned that you shouldn't drink the water. Even if it's in a supes fancy hotel in the nicest part of Bolivia...
  16. I've learned that you will definitely get flagged by TSA if you accidentally bring an apple into the country from Australia.
  17. I've learned that home really is where your heart is.
  18. I've learned that my heart is in my backyard in San Diego.
  19. I've learned that Gracie the Cat can endure anything while we're gone.
  20. And lastly, I've learned that it's less about the places you get to go. In the end, it's who is picking you up from the airport when you get home that really matters in life. (Thanks to my friend, Hannah, for this nugget of wisdom.)


Hi there! We’re Jeff and Erin Youngren, a hubby and wifey wedding photography team in San Diego. We shoot together. We travel together. We dream together. And we believe the best thing to hold onto in life is each other (+ a great glass of wine…)


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We’re Jeff and Erin Youngren, a hubby and wifey team that photographs amazing couples and their incredible weddings. Hopeless romantics, BFF's, and mama + daddy to James, we’re obsessed with traveling, podcasts, Oreos (Erin) and whiskey (Jeff).