Traveling is a good teacher. Here are some simple but deep things I’ve learned while traveling.
- Don’t worry… As Jesus, my favorite teacher, says: ” Which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his height?” (World English Bible, Luke 12,25) If you have a serious problem, face it instead of worrying. Most of the stuff we worry about is not worth worrying! India taught me that things work out well but in a different way than expected. Relax, refuse to worry, and observe how things go their way. Be open, let yourself be surprised. It’s probably the most beautiful thing about traveling!
- … be hippie! Yes, being a little bit hippie is good for all of us. Being hippie means to live simple, to sit on the ground, to walk barefoot, to not care so much about your appearance but to take care of your soul. Be hippie. Wear colors you usually don’t! Introduce yourself with a different name – why not? Most people you’ll never see again and they don’t care if it’s your “real” name. Try something new. Traveling gives you the freedom to be whoever you want to be!
- Let go of control. The western world often builds up the illusion that we can have everything under control! Thus we believe we have everything under control AND we are forced to control everything. But this is not real life. Living in a southeast asian country for a while will teach you this lesson pretty much every day. The best thing to discover: nothing bad happens when you don’t try to control everything! Life goes on and there is so much to discover: about other cultures, about yourself, about spirituality, about faith. Let go little by little of the control. Accept circumstances and let them take you on a journey – not only on the outside but more on the inside.
- Respect yourself. Respecting yourself means accepting yourself with your talents and your weaknesses. This is so important, not only while traveling, of course! But travelling will confront you with your weaknesses. Is it easy for you to bargain? Do you often do things you actually don’t want to? Are you angry with yourself when things don’t work out? Hey, all of this is normal from time to time, I think, but it feels so much better when you have patience and love for yourself. Accept your personal limits – in everything! Set healthy boundaries – say no if you feel like. Accept your emotions. Don’t feel sorry for yourself! Travelling means meeting new people every day. When you respect yourself you’ll likely be respected by others.
Be a happy traveler. Let traveling take you on an inner journey. Experience the fullness of life and be thankful.