“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher
I’ve often heard that traveling can change your perceptive on life. At this moment in my life, I felt stuck and lost, therefore, I definitely needed this to shift my mind around. There was one problem; I always tend to have an excuse to not go. I’ve been telling myself that one day when all the stars align, I’ll set out to the world but after years, it gets to the point where you ask yourself “what if they never align? ”
I asked other travelers on how they do it. How do they just pack up and go? The common answer I get from them is pretty simple. Pick a date, buy the ticket and no matter what happens, just go. That’s exactly what I did. Picked a date, brought the ticket and off to the races I went.
At that time, I was on the verge of losing my full-time job due to the bad economy but I made the decision to still go with no regrets. I’m glad I went because I wouldn’t have learned these lessons to the extent I did if I hadn’t packed and left the country.
1. Being Grateful
Meeting my uncle for the first time in Hue, he shared some life stories that made me realized how lucky I am to be born in a country with opportunity. It reminded me of the great investor, Warren Buffett when he mentioned that he won the ‘Ovarian Lottery’. Meaning he luck out by being born in the right place at the right time. I finally understood what he meant.
Start appreciating the things you have instead of the things you don’t. At the end of the day, you’ll become a happier person. You are luckier than you think.
2. Embrace Change
Seeing how Vietnam changed so much in the last decade, I couldn’t help but look back at the changes I made in my life.
Those changes were never easy in the beginning stages but it was well worth the effort in the end. I love how Robin Sharma puts it.
“All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and so gorgeous at the end” – Robin Sharma
If I hadn’t changed up my eating patterns or exercise regime, I would still be known as the skinny guy (6ft at 130lb). Looking back at when I first started, it was certainly not easy and it took me years to get where I am today but I do feel a lot more confident in my body and as a result, a better-off person.
Embrace the changes ahead of you. Here’s an article from Tiny Buddha that I found to be worth reading!
3. Face Your Fears Often
Leaving my comfort zone was rarely an option for me. Fear of the unknown always kept me stuck in one place.
It was a different story on the other side of the world. Throughout the trip, I was forced to face my fears head on. If I didn’t, I would suffer the consequences. Afraid of going to eat alone in a foreign country? Then I’ll starve! Afraid of crossing the streets in Ho Chi Minh City? Then I’ll only get to explore parts of Ho Chi Minh City! I understand that these examples may not be the most frighten but these experiences allow me to bring this lesson home.
Before Vietnam, the fear of writing paralyzed me from getting any blog post done. I have no writing experience except for some essays I did back in grade 10. Who am I to be writing about travels? I’ve only been to a couple of places compare to others who have been all over the globe. Fear kept me from doing nothing.
Now that I realized what it’s doing to me and if I keep running away, I won’t be able to achieve my dreams. I must do it now and often. I’ll venture out to see the world more. I’ll become a better writer by learning and writing more. I’ll learn, I’ll grow and I’ll do whatever it takes.
We all have to start somewhere therefore if you’re thinking about traveling but haven’t been able to make the leap; I say buy the plane ticket and just go. Experiences really do trumps over material possession.
4. We All Learn From Other People Experiences
Please share at least one lesson you learned from traveling!