In our society today, especially in first-world countries, we can get caught up in societal pressures and standards of living. Our daily “first-world problems” can often overcome us and leave us stressed and anxious. We can find ourselves worry about career progression and measuring our accomplishments to others. We can find ourselves giving in to societal pressure of buying brand names and the newest high-tech gadgets, believing those advertisements that we NEED them to be happy.
Thoughtful travel can teach us to let go of all these expectations and pressures overtime. It opens our eyes to a world of many realities, many standards of living, and many contrasting “rules” to live by.
What exactly does travel teach us to let go of and how? Read more to find out 3 things you learn to let go of on the road … … More How Travel Teaches Us the Art of Letting Go
Experiences are priceless. While a product will get old and lose value over time, our memories and learnings from each adventure we take will forever be with us. Sure memories fade. We may not remember the exact date we visited our favourite country, the name of the first kind-hearted local person who helped us find our way in a foreign country, or the name of that beautiful monument we snapped a hundred photos of. But the feelings we experienced never go away. The challenges we face on each of these adventures make us grow stronger. The beauty from these trips gifts us with a sense of wonder and contentment. Each trip expands our mind. Not one in particular is life-changing; rather, over time, the collective experiences have together changed us into better people. … More Experiences are Worth More than Material Things
I recently read the amazing Lonely Planet book called The Kindness of Strangers: Tales of Fate and Fortune on the Road by Don George. It’s a wonderful collection of real-life stories by travellers who encountered random acts of kindness on the road to anywhere, often in strangest of circumstances and certainly never expected or required. Sometimes, unfortunately these wonderful acts of kindness get lost in negative situations that arise when on the road as world travelers, or get muddled by negative news stories that skew people’s perception of a country and its people. But after reading these real-life incredible examples of pure kindness, it is no exaggeration to say it has the power, on the most negative of days, to restore our very faith in humanity. It also made me think of my own tales of fate and fortune. We all have them. But we often don’t get our chance to publish them. So here we go …
Countless of such “random” acts have warmed my heart on so many adventures I’ve embarked on. One, in particular, in a small town in Morocco’s conservative south, particularly stands out … … More The Kindness of Strangers: A Tale of fate and fortune in Morocco’s Conservative South
It was our first day on our 12-day tour of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert and the Central plains. We were perched on a small rock formation in the middle of nowhere in the Northern Gobi Desert at a nomad family’s ger camp, watching the sunset over the small cluster of white gers in the horizon. The setting sun colored the sky with a pink and orange glow, casting a shadow on the majestic horses grazing in the distance owned by our nomadic hosts, roaming free like wild animals, as all animals do on the great Mongolian Steppe. But instead of smiles on our faces, we were filled with a confused sense of negativity for the past hour. This isn’t what we had wanted. Well actually, let me rephrase. This is exactly what we wanted, but we didn’t know it at the time and couldn’t see clearly due to our preconceived expectations of what a tour in Mongolia should be, and what we envisioned living with nomad families would be like. And so began our lesson of incredible importance in the middle of nowhere in Mongolia’s bare, vast Gobi Desert about the power of expectations … … More How Expectations Kill your Trip (…and everything else in life)
Sometimes when we travel, especially to large cities, we get so caught up in visiting all the famous sights we forget to really look around and soak everything in. But when we do that, we end up only seeing the city’s famous architecture and historic monuments. What we miss is everything in between, the pulse of the city, the heart of the people. In between rushing from one monument to the next, we should pause. Take a look around. Only then do we realize the most wonderful travel experiences are those unplanned and random interactions we have with people we meet along the way, and the most memorable part of our trip may just be talking to that person sitting next to us on a train or a friendly local who offers us a steaming hot cup of tea … … More Traveling is More Than Just Museums and Monuments
“If You Travel Far Enough, You Meet Yourself” … No matter how far we travel in the world, masked under a different language, culture, religion and vastly different life experiences, we all just want the same simple things in life. Family. Safety. Happiness. Reflecting on our two-month journey across Central Asia, three examples to illustrate this really stand out in my mind … … More The Best Part of Traveling is that Moment that Reminds You, In the End, We’re All Kind of the Same