Seeing the sights, learning the culture, and eating the food are always fun little highlights when traveling, but what truly makes the destination come alive is when you experience a true connection. Most seasoned travelers will tell you that the people make the place... Because making a connection with locals who live their lives differently, perhaps uniquely, offers a whole new world of experiences and possibilities. The moment you slow the pace of your travels and look passed the sights, the tourist traps, and all of the junk littered in-between, it’s easier to let travel change you. And when you’re looking back on your wanderings with romanticized memories, you will typically fantasize about the people and the conversations, and the adventures you shared, rather than the fish and chips you ate or that nifty looking ancient ruin.
“I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.” –Dawna Markova
The fondest memories are often those that are short-lived and free of negativity. When traveling from hostel to hostel, it’s ridiculously easy to make new friends, because everyone else is in the same boat – alone and wanting to that to change. Anyone who wants to make friends at a hostel typically hangs around the common areas or the bar area, and they tend to gaze around watching for any sort of connection that comes their way. It’s pretty easy to simply walk through the common areas, catch sight with a loner or small pack of people, and share a smile – it’s as simple as that to make a friend. If that doesn’t work for you, simply plop down in a seat next to a bunch of others, and let the conversation sweep you away.
Travel is defined as: To go from one place to another; take a trip; journey.
However, true travel is a life-altering journey that has nothing to do with staying a night at the newest hotel or lounging out at the hottest beach. When travel is done right, it can change you like nothing else in the world can. I’m often quoted saying, “Travel is about cutting all ties and ditching all preconceived judgements, and getting truly lost – because only then can you find yourself.”
Everyone has a different response to this question. But there are also quite a few that collate with similar answers, like having enough money, quitting the job and focus on hobbies, living somewhere exotic, focusing on family only, and traveling the world. There’s nothing wrong with any of those answers, but there are also a fair few that might say that the objective of saving people or animals over their own wants is inevitably their ultimate happiness. While that’s brilliant, inspiring and quite challenging, it’s not the honest answer of the majority of the world. Truth is, the world is selfish. The whole point of this post is to make you think... not to feel bad. Because if you think about the actual true answer to your ultimate happiness, you may surprise yourself by realizing how selfish you are as well. However, the catalyst is when the good in you begins to override the temptations of selfishness within you.
It happens to the best of writers. That feeling strikes most when either nothing comes fourth from beyond your cerebral cortex, due to lack of inspiration, or when there’s so much shit swirling you that your mind locks itself shut, then throws away the key. A good friend of mine has recently expressed quite the lockup of her own, because of the latter mentioned. She’s a traveler who writes a blog about her antics and one thing after another has happened to her while traveling recently. Daily she finds herself dealing with the usual terrifying questions like “Where am I to stay tonight?” and “What am I to do?” Those sorts of questions boggle the mind, creating worrisome and stressful issues that can easily block the mind from its free-flowing art of expression.
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