5 Things I've Learned While Traveling

Mark Clennon
January 16, 2024

When I was 8 years old, I figured by the time I was 18 I’d be a real adult and have everything all figured out.

But when I turned 18 I still felt like a child.

Surely, I thought, by 28 I’d have life figured out and be ready to take on the world.

Nope, not even close.

Slowly, I'm starting to realize that there were specific moments in my life where I've made large strides towards truly knowing and being comfortable with myself.

Each one of these moments have correlated with travel.

Power of Travel

I wouldn't say that buying a ticket and going somewhere makes you a better person...but stepping out of your comfort zone does.

I am learning there isn't a secret code or a one revelation that’ll grant you the key to everlasting life and from that point on everything will be figured out and life will feel complete.

However, one thing is for certain: by overcoming challenges and stretching your comfort zone you grow as a person. Period.

One of the greatest ways to accomplish this is through intentional travel.

Don't just go on a vacation, challenge yourself while traveling. Go somewhere you’ve been hesitant to go, but always wanted to visit. Participate in activities you haven’t done before, try cuisines you aren’t accustomed to.

The difference between a traveler and a tourist is your comfort zone.


Here are 5 things I’ve learned while traveling:

We’re just a tiny dot on this earth

Ego Check! Yes, we all share the same sun and moon - but putting yourself on the other side of the world to gives new perspective on the tiny space we fill in this world.

A smile is universal

A smile and eye contact connects us, no matter the language.

Count your blessings

The fact that you’re reading this on the internet right now is a testament of how fortunate you are to have access to a computer. Traveling to a country where others are content and happy with much less than you have, is an eye-opening and humbling experience.

There is far more good on this earth than evil

The faces I've seen on all 5 continents on this earth have been warm, and welcoming. Again, a smile is universal, and so is kindness.

I’ve learned than when you are respectful of others’ homeland, country and culture, they are more than happy to welcome you with open arms.

Grow your comfort zone to grow as a person

In Peru with Under30Experiences, I learned perhaps the most important thing about my place in the world from the Quechuan farmers in the Andes mountains.


As humans, we strive to be an active contributing member to our society and know that we have a positive impact on our community

Travel is one of the easiest ways to stretch your comfort zone and I challenge everyone to travel and take strides towards finding yourself.

There is no better way to make this world a better place than each of us becoming better versions of ourself.

For more photography from Mark, check out his site URBN FRESH.

Mark Clennon
Mark Clennon is a U30X Alum & founder of URBN FRESH, a place for individuals who share a passion for music, art, and the creative process. He is creating a Community for people to come together and do cool sh#t.


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