This article is also available in Romanian.
Travel has helped me to get out of my bubble and to feel inner peace in a world full of distractions and noise. I discovered the endless opportunities that life has to offer. Now I feel fulfilled with what I have, knowledge and open-mindedness.
This articles is dedicated to the second set of lessons that travel has taught me.
Forget about MATERIALISM
11. Materialistic stuff doesn’t lead to happiness
During a trip I am able to survive with things that fit in a suitcase. I don’t need to be surrounded by thousands of personal belongings to be truly happy.
12. Cheaper things are more amazing than those expensive
The travel in Asia taught me to appreciate and to prefer the simple things in life because they are truly authentic. It is expensive to eat in a fancy restaurant. But it is cheaper to buy a delicious meal from a local whose only source of living is that small kitchen from the street. There I don’t need a special outfit or a specific behavior. I can simply be myself.
13. Be grateful for each day spent on Earth
After one hour and a half flight over the Atlantic Ocean we were announced that we had to get back to the departure airport in the USA. There was an issue with the airplane, but we have landed safely in the end. In that moment I had a panic attack and I realized how fragile life is. Now I love to watch the sun and be amazed by it, to observe strange people on the street and imagine how someone is waiting for them to get home safe. I am grateful for each day spent on this Earth.
14. Be grateful for what I have
On the Mekong Delta in Vietnam I saw houses almost swallowed by a river. People urinated and washed their food in the same water. It doesn’t mean they are less happy than me. They were together, the whole family living in a house. Instead I have to use the technology each day to feel closer to my family. Moreover, sometimes I forget that what I have it’s more than enough for me to be happy. But I’ve started be more grateful that I have a roof over my head and that I live in decent conditions. And sometimes I remember to say an honest “Thank you” after a meal.
How to BE HUMAN
15. Help a fellow human being
I met a woman from Cambodia who was a child during the brutal communist Khmer Rouge regime. It was the worst mass killings of the 20th Century. Her story was the most touching story that I have ever heard until now. More dramatic than any other Romanian communist story I know. She recommended me to see The Killing Fields movie, a touching story that reflects what happened in that period. The lady currently lives in Paris, where she was sent alone at 12 years old from a refugee camp from Thailand.
No human interaction is accidental. That meeting showed me once again that it is very important to share our energy and our time with other people that really need it. I don’t necessarily have to give money or a thing to make someone feel better. Just listen and empathize with people and they will feel supported.
16. Be more tolerant
I learned to accept others as they are and be more tolerant. I hate hearing noises that come when consuming food or beverages. In the past I associate it with the lack of manners. However, after visiting Asia I figured out that this is a common behavior and there are a lot of people that chew with their mouth open. In addition, I have started to see the person behind those behaviors. Behind a gesture, there is always a human being whom I want to discover. I still can’t like those sounds, but I became more tolerant when hearing them.
LOVE the ENVIRONMENT
17. Take responsibility for the environment
For me Seychelles is a Paradise. However, in contradiction to that exotic and perfect place I found a lot of plastic bottles brought by water on the most isolated beaches. I have collected with my boyfriend as many bottles as possible and threw them away into a trash can. Back to my hometown from that trip I started to recycle the waste day-by-day. Earth doesn’t belong to us. We are just passengers. So it’s our responsibility to respect the places we are going through.
18. Nature doesn’t have a price tag put on it
Besides the nature reserves that require an entry for their management and environmental services, nature has so many amazing things to offer for free. It is free to hike a mountain and walk through the clouds. It is free to admire a wonderful sunset and listen the sound of the sea. The list could continue with countless examples.
In conclusion, travel has taught me more than I would have ever expected because I was open-minded and eager to learn.
What about you?