The main thing I’ve got to thank my parents for is for raising me with a love for travel. I’ve been visiting new countries since before I could read, thanks to my Dad’s job as well as family vacations. I’m so grateful that my parents sacrificed a lot of luxuries so we could see new destinations & broaden our horizons.

As a young adult, I took my first solo trip two years ago. Travelling alone was entirely new to me, & today I thought I’d share some of the thing’s I’ve learnt while travelling (alone & with company)…

AXA Great Global AdventureTravelling Opened My Mind

When you’ve lived in one place your whole life (whether it’s an urban or rural area) you tend to see things only from that perspective. Travel opens your mind by helping you see the way other people live. It might be a bit of a culture shock at first (like my trip to Bangkok!) but at the end of the day you will learn to look at things in a more open minded & empathic way.

It Encouraged Me to be Independent

I’m always someone who is independent & proud of it. However when I’m travelling solo, there are times I’ve needed to ask for help & it encouraged me to talk to strangers.

It Taught Me to Go With The Flow

I prefer to go travelling without travel agencies or tours; just book travel and accommodation & go. I don’t plan too much in advance. Even then, when you’re on a trip often things don’t go as planned & you encounter some setbacks that you couldn’t possibly anticipate, this forces you to think on your feet & not panic!

Maybe that’s why I love Bill Murray’s advice on love & life­ ​’If you have someone that you think is The One, don’t just sort of think in your ordinary mind, ‘Okay, let’s make a date. Let’s plan this and make a party and get married.’ Take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world, and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And if when you come back to JFK, when you land in JFK, and you’re still in love with that person, get married at the airport.”

It Enriched My Life

Trying new cuisines & seeing breathtaking sights has an ability to enrich your life in a way that buying material goods or even reading cannot. If nothing else, it’ll leave you with a ton of interesting stories that’ll help you make new friends later in life. It’s the most rewarding thing I can do with money, even if I have to save for a few months & am left broke after!

AXA Great Global AdventureEncourages a Feeling of Oneness with the World

After the initial culture shock mentioned above, you will realize that people around the world aren’t so different from each other. We all want the same things ­ food, clothing, shelter & also peace, love, stability. It’ll help you think of people less in terms of nationalities & borders & more in terms of just ​people​!

Would you like to go on a Global Adventure?

Imagine getting the opportunity to take an eight­ month excursion around the world, going to countries you’ve always wanted & also get the chance to complete two paid internships along the way?

If you are a student or a recent graduate, you can enter ​AXA’s Great Global Adventure game for a chance to win the trip of a lifetime. In June 2015, William Moore was selected out of 25,317 global graduates to be the first winner of the Great Global Adventure. He’s already travelled to countries like Russia, China, Hong Kong and Indonesia, but not only that, he completed one internship at AXA Investment Managers in HK, and he will start his second one at AXA Lab in Silicon Valley this May. Plus, William will participate in a project with one of AXA’s Corporate Responsibility partners. You can follow his international adventure on ​Instagram here​ and see where he’s headed next!

If you’re interested in being the next Global Adventurer, you can play the game here (I know I will!) It opens again in February 2016, so head to the website for more information.

All photos in this post are from William Moore’s Instagram which you can ​check out here​.

I partnered with the brand to write this article but every word is mine