Lessons Learned from a Year on the Road

It’s been a year since I left my family, friends, and job in Portland, Oregon and hit the road with a backpack and a one-way ticket. To be honest, I had no idea how long I would last. I’ve seen a lot of things and met a lot of people. I’ve worked as an au pair, in a bakery, and in a factory packing kiwi fruit. I’ve bounced from hostel to hostel. I’ve lived in a family home, inside an operating indoor mini golf course, and in a trailer park. Most importantly, I’ve learned a lot from the school of life, and I’ve grown a lot from every experience. Here are a few of the snippets of wisdom I’ve accumulated along the way.

  1. Trust that things will work out. Hustle to make sure they do. When things don’t go as planned, come up with a new plan.
  2. Sometimes the best plan is no plan.
  3. Let people surprise you – just because you are very different doesn’t mean you won’t get along and even form a friendship.
  4. Take breaks to refuel (…your bank account, energy levels, etc.) and don’t feel guilty about it. Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you have to see and do things every day.
  5. Less is more. Wearing the same 7 shirts for a year won’t kill you (though every single one of them will end up with a stain or two and maybe a hole). It’s actually a little refreshing to not shop (apart from the necessities) for a whole year.
  6. If you don’t think you can do it, try it.


With a year down and a little less than two months to go, there is still a lot of adventure and learning to be had.

xx Amanda

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