11 LIFE TRUTHS THAT TRAVEL TEACHES YOU
I don’t know whether it’s something about the number 24, or if it is the fact that I have been living on this mysterious and incredible planet for almost a quarter of a century, and that with almost a quarter of a century’s worth of time, I am finally starting to understand a small fraction of it’s mystery. Or perhaps it is with 24 years of experience, struggle, failure, success, and TRAVEL, the world is starting to make just a little bit more sense.
Being a Female-Solo Traveler and Living in Another Country Can Forever Change Your Life, and so can travel.
LIFE IS SHORT.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Whether you want to believe it or not, our days are numbered. Life is a blessing, and we don’t know when our time will come. If there is something that you want to do, you need to do it, now. Seriously. RIGHT NOW. Life has a habit of being extremely unpredictable. You could be living in Colorado teaching one moment, and then boarding a one-way flight to Paris, France the next. You could be discovering the richness and beauty of India, only to have your life turned upside down, after having discovered you have two heart tumors you must tend to. You could have been in love with a certain French man, only to realize that the person you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with, is now someone that you used to know.
Life is short. Really, short. It’s unpredictable, too.
Life is even shorter when you do not live it with purpose, each and every single day.
Be purposeful when choosing who you spend your time with and what you spend your time doing. Be purposeful when listening to the direction that your heart pulls you. Act and be “selfish.” Follow your dream. Don’t waste your time living someone else’s, because you don’t know when it’s going to be your last.
Knowing that life is short could change your life…and someone else’s.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “ONE OPTION,” …OR “TWO OPTIONS” FOR THAT MATTER.
While your parents might have told you when you were young and refusing to eat your vegetables that, “You have two options: either you can eat your green beans or you can go to bed.” We all know, at least if you were as smart as my 6-year old younger brother was, that we, really do, have more than two options in life. For instance, you could take your dinner roll and make a hole in the bottom of it. Then, when your dad was not looking, stuff your green beans up into the bottom of it, put it back onto your plate, and say that you were “too full from all my veggies,” to eat your dinner roll. Then mid-way through throwing away your dinner roll, your dad stops you, tells you that he will eat your dinner roll for you, and seconds later, you end up having squished green beans “that you had to eat,” spit all over the kitchen floor, by someone that wasn’t you!!! Who would have thought your cleverness would be taken as hysterically funny and that not only did you not have to eat your green beans, but you also didn’t have to go to bed early, either.
Rules can be broken and travel teaches you that you have an infinite amount of possibilities in terms of what you want do with your life.
HUMAN KINDNESS IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THINGS IN THIS WORLD.
There is nothing like authentic and genuine kindness. On the road, when you are lost at 1am in the morning, and your super smart, Smart Phone, just died and you have absolutely no flipping clue where you are, you notice a cute old man taking out his dog, he notices your fear-striken face, asks you if you are lost, and walks you to the door of your AirBnB apartment. Travel teaches you that most humans are kind, and that kindness is absolutely gorgeous on a person.
ONE HEARTBREAK IS NOT GOING TO KILL YOU. YES, YOU WILL LIVE, AND THERE REALLY IS MORE THAN ONE FISH IN THE SEA.
When breaking up with someone you love, the absolute last thing you want to typically hear from someone older and wiser is that, “there is more than one fish in the sea.” Now, as annoying and un-helpful as this may seem in the wave of your own self pity-party, the truth is, it’s true. Did you know that there is not just more than one fish in the sea, but more than one sea you can chose from? Travel teaches you that there are fish in the Mediterranean, Baltic, Caspian, Black, Red, White, Yellow, South China, East China, Adriatic, Caribbean, North, Tasman…Sargasso, Bering, Arabian, Coral, Greenland, and Andaman Sea!!!
… East Siberian, Philippine, Chukchi…. need I say more?
IF YOU ARE MAKING EXUSES, YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME.
One day when you are going to be, God-willingly, old and grey, your grand-children are not going to want to hear stories about what you wished you had done, what you thought about doing, or what you didn’t have time to do. They are going to want to hear stories of what you DID DO. They are going to want to hear how you not just climbed to the top of Machu Picchu, but were lucky enough to, also, get on a limited guest list to climb to the top of Wayna Picchu also. They are going to want to hear how you waited for your first kiss to be special, and that it was under the starlight sky in a medieval town in Italy. They are going to want to hear that you learned what “French-kissing” really was by a French-man that you had met in Bali, how you taught 4th Grade in Colorado, sky-dived from 13,500 feet, and rode with an Italian on the back of his Vespa along the Amalfi Coast. They are going to want to hear how you “broke the rules,” and secured yourself a job in two years time, booked a one-way ticket to Paris, France, climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower,
and learned La Langue Française. They are going to want to hear about how you were kissed by a dolphin in Roatán, Honduras, how you did a headstand on top of the Tent Rocks in New Mexico, saw buffalo and herds of elk in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, and spent several nights in an all-blue town called Chefchoan, and saw the leather tanneries in Fés, Morocco. Your grandchildren are not going to care about what you didn’t do.
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
You can graduate from University.
You can survive your nightmare boss.
You can learn to see that beauty comes from divorce, specifically in the form of two beautiful and gregarious baby sisters.
While heartbreak is still heartbreak, you can learn and grow, and actually be grateful for what it taught you, and the person you have become, because of it.
You can pack from bags, leave a job that makes you unhappy, and move to Paris, France.
You can parler français…un peu.
You can see where Anne Frank hid in Amsterdam.
You can cliff jump off of some of the world’s steepest canyons in Switzerland.
You can ski in the Swiss Alps…and NOT die, even though you felt like you were going to.
You can eat the best Pad-Thai of your life for the equivalent of 1 US dollar off of street cart in Bangkok, Thailand.
Yes, anything is possible.
NO ONE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR HAPPINESS, EXCEPT FOR YOURSELF.
Travel teaches you that you and you alone, are the sole person responsible for your happiness. You cannot expect someone else to make you happy. That’s your job, and it will always be. Yes, you are “hangry” and want to bite someone’s head off, because you are STARVING, but only you can eat that chocolate bar stashed away in your “emergency kit.”
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL AND ONE-OF-A-KIND. EMBRACE YOUR UNIQUENESS.
I do believe our very dear friend, the Cat in the Hat, disguised as no one other than the very, Dr. Suess himself, was very wise when he said, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. No one is alive who is Youer than You.” There is approximately 7.125 Billion people, and yes, you my friend, YOU ARE UNIQUE. Embrace it. You are exotic to every country, except your own. Be you.
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL.
We live in an insanely beautiful, mysterious, and ever-changing planet. This insanely beautiful, mysterious, and ever-changing planet is full of beautiful, mysterious, and unique people who are capable of loving and being loved. What could possibly be more beautiful than this?
PEOPLE ARE THE ONLY THING THAT REALLY MATTER.
Family. Friends. Relationships. People are the bond that holds us together, people. Never, ever, take for granted your loved ones. They are, for me at least, the only things that truly matter in life.
IF YOU HAVE STUCK WITH ME THIS LONG, YOU WILL REALIZE THAT THE TITLE OF THIS BLOG IS IN FACT, NOT TRUE.
Go out, explore the world, and discover that “truth,” is relative. There are so many different “truths” in the world. However, there is just one truth that is of the utmost importance to you, and that is discovering your own truth. That’s it. Everyone else’s is not for you to worry about, because, it’s just that, theirs.
Until next time, be purposeful, follow your OWN, wonderful and marvelous, Helplessly Wanderlust.
Gros bisous from Paris