Travel has opened our eyes and hearts to so much.
We have learned a lot about the world around us just by allowing ourselves to travel while being mindful. So we wanted to share some of the valuable lessons we have learned while on the road
Everywhere you turn there is fear-mongering.
Signs on the streets, warnings of spreading disease, terror threats, and even unfortunate comments from family members about people of different ethnicities.
For this reason we don’t watch the news, nor do we trust the media.
It may be a scary thing to leave your comfort zone, but to travel to other countries, learn about culture, and meet new people is the best education.
“A mind stretched by new experience cannot go back to its old dimensions”
~Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.~
PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE
Now this is something I was aware of before our extensive travels as my mother instilled this into me many years ago.
But when it comes down to it, we all desire to be happy and loved. There is good and bad in every single culture without a doubt, and immense kindness as well. Kindness is something we experience a lot while we travel.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness”
Everyone is facing their own battle and walking their own path.
You may not understand a person because of their thick accent, but that is no reason to be nasty to them.
I have learned that we have been conditioned to fight for our country, and be extremely proud of things we are not responsible for.
This results in a disconnect from people of different cultures and backgrounds, and sets us up to fight for our own people and nation, when really we should be fighting for our world.
We should all be coming together instead of being torn apart.
I sometimes wonder why it is difficult for people to just smile or say hello. Or why people find it strange when I smile at them.
Perhaps it is easier for me to show kindness because of my upbringing?
So when people are unkind to me, I choose not to take it personally because I have learned that it has nothing to do with me.
Be kind whenever, and as often as you can.
“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether it is the garbage man, or the president of the university”
If you are not grateful for what you have now, what makes you think you will be happy with more?
Cody and I see a lot when we travel.
Lepers begging on the streets, rummaging through garbage, and living in shacks that are not fit for anyone.
Women with babies begging for something to eat, the blind shuffling through large crowds doing their best to carry a tune as they shake their tin of change that is barely there.
We have a lot; in fact we have too much.
The variety of what we have to choose from is overwhelming at times. We have too much food, too much clothing, too many electronic devices, and too many people who take it all for granted.
There is a massive imbalance in terms of what some of us own, and what others don’t, so if you have shelter over your head, shoes and clothing to wear, and food to fill your belly three times a day, you have more than over 3 billion people have at this moment.
“What if you woke up tomorrow with only what you were grateful for today”
LESS IS MORE
We own very little. No house, no furniture, and no debt; and we have never felt more happy and free.
We are taught to be afraid when we don’t own things, as if owning stuff gives us security.
It is a scary thought to some to purge everything and just live freely, as people tend to hold a lot of self worth in the things they own.
We live nomadic lives full of travel adventure, and new experience around every corner. It is thrilling! We no longer feel the need to possess things.
What we do have is shoes and clothing, a good amount of money to support ourselves, some beautiful art work from around the world that we enjoy, and most importantly our good health, sense of adventure, and great friends and family that support and encourage us to keep doing what we’re doing.
We feel free and lighter with less things. That’s not to say that we don’t appreciate a roof over our heads, and nutritious food; it just seems that so many people live in excess and are still unhappy and unfulfilled, always wanting more and never feeling satisfied with what they have.
We are mindful of what truly makes us happy vs. what we are told by the media, advertising, and society what should make us happy.
“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, and compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”
This beautiful planet we inhabit is not just ours.
In fact I don’t believe we “own” it at all.
We are a part of the universe, but are so distracted by everything going on around us, we have lost that connection.
We tend to live in our own little bubble, thinking that we are the kings of the castle, and although we do have power, it is important to be cognizant of the other beings who share this fragile planet with us.
We are all connected to this incredible universe, and live under the illusion that we have full control of it all.
As special as humans are, we can be very destructive and disconnected from everything. And we are no more special or important than any other earthling here.
We are all connected. We must take care of ourselves and each other. We learned a lot about exploitation of people and animals during our travels. We also learned about the Truth Behind Elephant Tourism.
Please do the research before visiting places like the long neck women villages in Thailand, or any elephant camp that claims to be a responsible tourist spot.
We do not support the circus, marine parks, monkey shows, tiger temples, elephant riding, or any other kind of animal captivity or exploitation.
They all suffer.
They all belong with their families in the wild. The less people who support these kinds of places the more people will begin to open their eyes to the cruelty and not want to participate in it.
We all serve a purpose here, even the minutest creature on this planet deserves respect and their own life and freedom.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
~Martin Luther King~
MONEY IS NOT SUCCESS TO EVERYONE
We are made to believe that success comes only in one form. Material.
A good paying career, a nice house, fancy car, and designer clothing.
With all of this you should be satisfied and content, but this is not so.
If this was the case, people with everything would cease to continue consuming whatever they could get their hands on.
Never once have I heard in school or in society that what’s most important is happiness. Being financially stable most definitely takes a lot of stress off of ones life, but it doesn’t necessarily bring you happiness.
For us, success comes from knowing who we are, and helping others. And of course living our own lives exactly as we have chosen.
“There is only one success-to be able to spend your life in your own way”