We all profess to want to fill our lives with rich experiences so that 50 years down the line we can tell the next generation about our experiences.
There are a myriad experiences that we can create that would make quite the story to write home about.
One of my personal favourite experiences of all the experiences I have created in my life thus far was taking two notable trips in my life on a bus – to Cape Town and to Zambia (on two separate occasions).
When I went to Cape Town in a Greyhound from Pretoria (before then going to Cape Town was via flight), it was the first long distance bus ride I have ever embarked on. What an experience!
I remember thinking to myself that I would be sitting in a bus for approximately 20 hours until I got to the vibrant city of Cape Town.
It was daunting but exciting at the same time. I am always up for enriching experiences in my life.
The next long distance bus ride experience was from Johannesburg to Kitwe (Zambia). This one is possibly one of the experiences I will never forget in my life.
I learned so much from it and till this day I am proud of myself for taking a bus ride instead of booking a flight to Lusaka.
What can you learn from long distance bus experiences? Here are 4 experiences that will give you the nudge to buy that bus ticket.
1. You will have time to reflect
Having been on two notable long distance bus experiences, I will be the first to say that they gave me clarity in terms of what I want from life.
Having so much time to yourself gives you quite a lot to think about. It gives you the time you normally don’t give yourself enough of to reflect about your life and what you want to do.
The hours on the road give you your ‘me time’ to think about how your life is and what you would like to change and dig deeper to find out if you are living your life the way you want to.
It is important to have clarity in your life. Clarity gives you the much needed introspection to channel your life to the life you have always wanted to live.
You could be stuck in a job you find no fulfilment in. Something about being on the open road gives you a newfound appreciation for life.
It opens you up to alternative perspectives and because you have all the time in the world to think about them, you really dig deep to find the meaning and purpose you want to embody.
This alone time will give you time to find ways to make your job more fulfilling or to look for something that will make your life more fulfilling.
Having this time to yourself will help you realise where you had been going wrong and in so doing making a vow to yourself to steer the ship in the right direction.
2. You will make great friends
If you are the chatty type like me, making friends on your journey will be natural. You will find yourself being chatty with your fellow seatmate or those of adjourning seats.
At the end of the day since this would be a long distance journey, you would find yourself having great conversations with your newfound friends.
In all spheres of life we are always encouraged to make new friends. Making new friends opens your world views in ways you could never possibly imagine.
In fact, it is a general consensus that meeting new people widens your world views.
Remember that in as much as your close-knit group of friends is your haven, you also need to broaden your circle for alternative views. There is nothing wrong with that.
We should all endeavour to make new friends as often as opportunities present themselves.
Ultimately the draw card is in learning something new with every new encounter.
You should strive to strike up a conversation with at least one person along the way on your journey. You never know where your newfound friendship could lead.
Unbeknownst to you, that could be your future spouse, future business partner, or of course a new friend. The test of life is in expanding your horizons just a little bit further than what you are used to.
The joy of life is derived from trying new experiences that will enrich your life.
Endeavour to always get out of your comfort zone. Lessons are learned from the other side of your comfort.
So go ahead and make a new friend on your journey!
3. You will have a newfound appreciation for nature
There is nothing as beautiful as the large expanse of fields and trees that form part of our world. There is nothing quite as beatific as the scenery the mountains provide.
Travelling by bus on a long distance journey will make you appreciate our nature that much more.
You could be living in a big traffic-congested city for most of your days. Now just imagine no traffic and instead you see more trees, rivers and mountains as the scenery you see along the way.
Heck, you even feel like you are breathing in new air!
When we live in big cities everyone and everything is such a rush! The hustle and bustle of city life hardly gives us time for a go-slow where we have a break from the fast-paced life.
Being on the road will give you that needed break. It will make you appreciate nature more.
Being on the road makes you acutely more aware of your surroundings than you normally would in your daily life.
By all means, take it all in and admire the splendour that is nature!
4. Travelling opens up your world in ways you could never imagine
There is a fact about travelling that is probably preached on every second or third travelling website you come across. The fact is this: travelling opens up your world in ways you could never imagine.
Travelling to different parts of your country, continent, etc., gives you a perspective about different people and their culture in ways that reading about them wouldn’t.
You could read about Cape Town and get a feel of the city through the eyes of others, but until YOU actually experience it yourself, it won’t quite have the same feeling and effect.
Creating an experience for yourself could never compare to reading about it.
We have talented writers who would transpose your mind to the city vividly and you could feel yourself breathing in the air of that city, but even that does not compare to you actually being there so you could write about your own experiences.
That is the beauty of travelling.
You get to have your own story to write home about.
Travelling by bus prolongs that experience so that by the time you get to your destination, you are eagerly anticipating it with bated breath.
Thinking of taking that Greyhound or Sleepliner to a different province from the one you are in? As Nike emphatically states, ‘just do it!’
Create your own experiences. Dare to try and challenge yourself. Instead of taking that flight to Cape Town, take a bus.
Enjoy your experience! Revel in it and carve your experiences in your heart for they are part of your story.
What were your experiences while travelling by bus? Share in the comments section.