There is something magical about travel. No matter how far or how close you wonder out, no matter if its for a weekend or for years you will come back having learnt something. I’m not sure if its just the time and space it gives you to think or if the sights and sounds of new exotic places that allows us to lower our guard that makes things seem clearer, but things are always clearer when you travel!
So this is what the last month of traveling through Hong Kong, Vietnam and Cambodia taught me.
Children and old people are wonderfully similar. They walk slowly and they get distracted easily but they are unashamed to do so! And this allows them to enjoy everything fully.
My grandmother is one of the women I adore most in the world. She is independent and adventurous and would definitely have something to say about the fact I called her old! She has always wanted to see the great temples of Cambodia so when we planned to travel there she planned to join me there. Traveling with my grandmother made me realise many things.
Firstly that ice cream can actually count as a legitimate meal, that just being in a new place is enough, that sunscreen is important and that learning can and should happen every day. But mostly I realised that I don’t enjoy things fully. I rush past them ticking them off my imaginary list of things to do that day. I am too aware of onlookers and take myself way too seriously for my own good.
Being present and enjoying things slowly and fully in a world that is constantly on fast forward can at times make you look a bit crazy, but actually what’s crazy is that we are all so eager to rush through our one and only life.
You eat what you reap and you reap what you plant. If you plant stress you will grow stress. If you plant seriousness you will grow serious. If you want to eat a big old plate of happy or reap happiness in your life you must first plant happy seeds.
There is so much life in life when you aren’t filling it.
Out of sight really can mean out of mind. Keeping in contact with people is a conscious decision that you make to include someone, who you are not directly in contact with, in your day. On the flip side other people keeping in contact with you while you are out of their everyday is also a conscious decision. In both cases you will be surprised at who you actually take the time for and who actually takes the time for you.
No matter how different we all are we have a golden thread of sameness. We all want to be loved, we all want to better our lives and the lives of the people we love and we all want to come home after a long day and have a good beer!
Comfort and comfort zones are two very different things.
I am the woman I am because of the man I have. I am his strength and he is mine. I have willingly chosen to allow someone else to take a role in my life that if removed would bring me crashing down. I have trusted him and his promise to me even though I fear the results if it fails…and that is what being in love means to me.
I greatly underestimate what I do have. Only when you see the physical hardships the majority of the people in this world have to go through just to have water, rice and fish on their tables, do you realise how easy and blessed your own life is.
My holiday destination is someone else’s work place. Something only becomes routine or normal when you stop seeing it as exciting. South Africa is the dream travel destination of thousands of people around the world, you are literally living and working in a holiday paradise. Adventure is all a matter of perspective.
We generally have too much, too often. I packed one suitcase full of clothes and general essentials. This was a fraction of the items I have in my cupboards at home. Do you know there were still items from that case I never wore in my one month away. This made me rethink what ‘enough’ actually means.
The world is very big and I am a very small but crucial part of that bigness. It is an incredibly humbling experience to literally see the world from the heavens and realise that you are such a small spec on that wonderfully huge earth.
But then when you land and meet people, see people, listen to people you realise that you (even as that small spec) have the power to love enough through meeting, seeing and listening to actually make a change on that wonderfully huge earth. As Gyalwa Dokhampa says “We are all very important but at the same time not that important at all” and that is kind of a big deal!
These are only a few of the thoughts and lessons one month of airports, cheap hotels and traveling with my gran taught me. I would love to hear about your journeys (big and small) and what your adventures (far or wide) taught you. So leave a comment below and share the love through learning.