“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
- Mark Twain
They say every day teaches you something. And who can disagree? There might not be abstract, deep or powerful teachings that we pick up every day, but every little thing matters. And if a new day means a new teaching, four years definitely add up to a lot of discoveries. Today, I am going to tell you some of the positive things that travel has taught me for the past four years.
- Appreciate more
Appreciate your family, your friends, the country you come from and the money you have. Appreciate the comfort from home and appreciate what you left behind. No matter how good, bad, happy or sad it was, home is where the heart is and it all comes back and you wish you had that wherever you go, after a while. If you were lucky to be born in a place where trouble barely happens and in a family that was able to support you even in the harshest times, don’t forget to appreciate every single bit of it.
- What looks like a problem is not a real problem
Everyone complains – some people complain more, others hardly complain. We live in a world where problems tend to predominate, but not all problems are real problems. People complain of not ‘having it all’, but usually having what you have is already enough. Having ‘problems’ with our gadgets or not fitting in the perfect dress/t-shirt because we are one size ‘bigger’ is not worth the fuss.
- Be thankful
It is always good to be thankful: for the people you meet and their stories; for the support you are receiving, whether it is coming from your family or any other persons; for what you already have. Also, be thankful for the late night conversations, when you feel alone and far away from home – there will always be someone around you who either feels the same way or who is just willing to listen to the ‘nagging’. Sometimes just talking to people or listening to them can be the beginning of great friendships, so be thankful for that.
- Keep contact
Even if it is not happening on a daily or even weekly basis (we all have our priorities/duties), you will always have what to talk about with people that you meet in your travels. Plus, catching up with the people you know, usually brings back memories and joy, and who doesn’t like that? Also, don’t forget the people that were there for you before you left: again, even if keeping contact does not necessarily mean catching up every day, it is nice to see how people change and develop while you are away.
- People are awesome
No matter the looks, the colour, the religious views or the sexual orientation – there is something in every person you meet that will make you remember them. Of course, there are exceptions, but my personal experience has shown that generally we tend to find ‘our kind of people’. Even if we are diverse in many many ways, we do have one important thing in common – we share the same world. Through travel I got to realise that people are awesome, no matter where they come from. Sometimes a simple conversation or gesture can mean a lot and can make you see the world differently.
Having lived in the same place for 18 years and rarely leaving it, or even if I did it was not for more than three weeks, I did not acknowledge all these things, as they were there – part of my daily routine. But after I went abroad, I slowly started to realise that all the little things count and make a difference. I believe we should all be aware of these things even without travelling. Even if for some of us it is a given, it is good to acknowledge the things and people we have in our lives and to be grateful for all this. As we grow up and we open our eyes, we start to understand that the things we thought went wrong in our lives are actually not worth the hassle, as many people would like to trade off their lives and have the ‘dysfunctional’ lives we think we have. All in all, the most important part of travelling is made up by the people you meet and the impact or influence they have on you (and the other way round). So either side you are on, try to make a difference and preferably in a good way.
Until next time, open your eyes and you ears to what the world has to tell you!
By: Ioana-Alexandra Tache