From the highest of highs to lowest lows, I would seriously not give up a single second of my story, as it gave me nuggets of wisdom that changed my life.
Here are the 11 pieces of wisdom that I gained that I now share with you!
1 - There is a reason everything happens.
Fell asleep on the bus and lost your luggage? The "lemon" car you rented keeps breaking down?
Chances are it is not your "karma" dealing you such misfortunes. Learn from your mistakes and move forward a little wiser and a humbler.
2 - Embrace challenges.
Challenges are how you grow.
Miss the train? Don't speak the local language? Lost your wallet?
These are not catastrophes, but excellent opportunities to think outside the box. There is always a solution.
Get creative and learn from these experiences.
3 - Don't limit yourself to your own imagination.
When you are in a new and exciting place, chances are your mind can't possibly fathom the potential of wonders that lay before you.
Listen to recommendations, accept invitations, get lost once in a while.
Be open to detours!
4 - Strangers have the best stories.
The absolute best way to get to know and understand people of any culture is to listen to their story. Invite them for coffee, or even better, accept their invitation to authentic local cuisine, and ask about their life, their experiences and customs.
You just might find you have more in common than you ever would have imagined.
5 - Everyone you meet has something to teach you.
From the taxi driver to the beggar on the street, everyone you will encounter knows something that you don't.
Welcome them with love and respect and you just may gain a nugget of wisdom, a new perspective or perhaps an epic hidden gem destination.
6 - Step lightly.
Leave no trace. Not a footstep, not a gum wrapper.
Be mindful of how you move and interact with your surroundings. All ground is Holy ground and deserves respect and admiration.
7 - Practice invisibility.
Sit quietly and become the observer. Instead of drawing attention to yourself, allow yourself to be wrapped in the colorful cloak of your surroundings.
By blending in (the best you can) you are more likely to be swept into deeper, and much more authentic opportunities and experiences.
8 - Keep your wits about you.
Always be aware of your surroundings and situation.
By keeping open eyes and a clear mind you will ward off potential threats, whether they be the local petty thief, an ankle twisting pot hole, or any other misfortune just waiting to ruin your fun.
9 - Play often. Every chance you get.
Splash in puddles, play on playgrounds, join in the local children's games.
Laughter and good cheer cross any and all language and culture barriers.
10 - Embrace the art of 'Why Not?'
It's basically like saying yes to anything that comes along with the occasional exception saved only for when you have a very good reason not to.
Example: try all the new foods and flavors with the exception only if you are allergic.
11 - Set personal boundaries and stick to them.
When meeting new people and trying new things it is important to know what you are and (perhaps even more important) what you are not interested in experiencing.
Your boundaries are allowed to evolve, or change, but it is up to you to create and honor them.
Whether you are a world traveler or a backyard lounger, these lessons ring tried and true. You don't have to fly over oceans to experience life in the fullest.
You don't have to fly over oceans to experience life in the fullest.
Engage with your neighbors, spend time outdoors, and by all means try the new Indian food joint that just opened down the street.
Keep your mind open, your heart full and your taste buds singing.
Happy travels, my friend!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Teal Day, an adventurer aficionado, has traveled the world and lived quite the incredible gypsy life. She now shares her stories and insights as a means to inspire the masses to tap into their own ability to have fun and enjoy each and every moment of this winding road.
Teal Day is an author at Truly Free Society.
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