Travelling changes people. No matter where you go, so long as it’s foreign, you will come back a different person. Travel in Asia is much like sending Crocodile Dundee into the city. It’s a new world of weird, wonderful and strange things. A completely different way of life and that is why I love it!
I love to travel in Asia because I learn something new every single time I leave my hostel, or step out of a tuk tuk, try new foods and meet more friendly locals. But the most important things that I have learnt from my travels in Asia will stick with me forever. Lessons that cannot be taught anywhere, accept when you step outside of your comfort zone.
Opportunity is taken for granted
It’s so crazy, we get caught up in our own world that we forget how much we take for granted. When you have the chance to travel in Asia, you get so see what little opportunity most countries have. Some people don’t even have the opportunity to go to school and get educated; others don’t have the opportunity for health care. Which makes me think, as basic as it is, how lucky most of us in the western worldare just to have clean food and water.
Most of us have more opportunity than we can poke a stick at. We so often forget that there is only one way, but if you can stop for a minute and really take your time to see, there is opportunity everywhere for us and it all goes un-noticed and taken for granted. So next time you believe you are stuck in a rut or feel as though you have no where to go. Take a deep breath, take your mind away from what little options you have and start thinking about all the positive options you have, you will soon realize opportunity is aplenty.
Being polite does not mean you are a good person
Of all my travels throughout Asia, I learnt this in Japan. Strange hey, you may think how could I have learnt this from being in Japan? The country that is seen for being one of the nicest races in the world, how could this be? Well unlike most, I was fortunate enough to spend more than the average 1-2 weeks in Japan like most holiday makers. Meaning, I could understand that as a tourist you are far too busy sight seeing to notice, but when you are somewhere for a couple of months you start to understand the way in which people live and go about their daily life.
In Japan I noticed that, its not that the Japanese are polite because they genuinely want to be nice, it’s that they are too afraid to be seen as rude by their peers. This allowed me to notice that a lot of the Japanese are not particularly nice, and I am not saying this is all of the Japanese, because I had the joy of meeting and staying with many really amazing people. But the thing is, the Japanese people I stayed with were different from the majority of the people in Japan, they were a lot more open minded and not under any influence of control that appeared to be generally present in the Japanese society. You can see this in their work ethic, which I will not delve into on this post.
Here I am having an awesome time with some genuinely amazing friends I made in Osaka, Japan
In saying that I don’t mean to bag out the Japanese, however seeing that attitude in Japan helped me to see it all over the world (even, no especially in my home town). It is something I have picked up on, allowing me to see if someone is just being polite, or being a genuine person and that is a life lesson that will stay with me forever.
Absolutely everyone in the world has something to give
No matter how little someone has, they still always have something to give. When I travel in Asia most people have next to nothing, they are struggling in businesses, don’t have a mode of transport, clean food, water or even shelter and yet they still have something to give. Even if it is a smile, it’s a smile that can change your day, your week or month. I can still remember walking by a slum in India when a little child came out and smiled right at me and gestured for me to come play cricket with himself along with his brothers and sisters. On that very same day I was extremely home sick, physically run down and ready to catch the next flight out of there.
These kids just wanted to have some fun, these are the slum dwellers who really showed me life is awesome no matter what you have or where you live
However, whilst just playing cricket with them outside of the slum, this kid really picked me up. This is where I learnt everyone has something great to share, so don’t look down upon people like they have nothing to give. You may be surprised just like I was, that absolutely everyone in this world, no matter how much or how little they have, there is always something they have that they can give.
The most valuable thing we will ever have is our time
Whilst spending a lot of my time travelling in Asia I noticed that we too take our time for granted. I never used to realize that whilst working a 9-5 job, how much of my time I was really wasting, mainly because I was spending it doing something I didn’t want to do.
What drove this particular point home even further were the people I often meet when I travel in Asia, tourists and backpackers alike. Many who them are incredibly rich, they either had or have it all, from cars, to houses and the best of everything. But what they were missing and that was far more valuable was time.
Spending some quality time just seeing Beijing
Which is how I came to learn the most important life lesson I ever will learn. That (just like these people I met) you can earn as much money as you want in the world, but you can’t earn time. Which is why our time is so valuable, it would be such a shame to waste it on something that doesn’t fulfill us.
People can make and break your trip
I have now made a conscious decision to travel with only the best, if you go solo, sure you should be open to meet new people. But if you don’t click with someone, don’t choose to be around that person just for the sake of not being lonely whilst away from home. It is better to be by yourself than to travel with someone who will bring you down and sap your energy on every adventure you choose to take.
Yet again, when those who you meet are fun and genuinely nice people, grasp a hold of those amazing opportunities to spend time to travel with them.
In the Philippines I become friends with some of the coolest kids getting around, this group and i had the greatest of times and I am ever so grateful to not only them but everyone I have shared such amazing travel experiences with
Taking trips and hanging out with great people is where the best memories are made. Because in the end, miserable people will only bring you down, but, on the bright side, those great people that you do meet will allow you to have an even more amazing trip than you could of imagined. So hold onto those special people and let the downers drift.
Adventure is the best kind of drug
When I would travel in Asia and daily or weekly adventures would end, I would be immediately looking for my next fix. I was addicted, I became so addicted to adventure that I gave up drinking because I didn’t want to be hung over and waste a day of potential fun.
I would link adventures back to back each day. Swimming, diving, snorkeling, hiking, checking out tourist attractions, snowboarding and bungee jumping you name it I tried it. I realized I was an adventure junkie, but when I really thought about it, I was cool with my own self-diagnosis of this.
Totally addicted to drugs, the travel drug, or should I say bug . . .
Because, if I am going to be addicted to anything, adventure is my drug of choice, it causes no harm and allows you everything to gain. Simply put, it is the best kind of drug there is.
Happiness does not come from the things we buy; it comes from the things we create!
Through Asia I wanted to travel everywhere, although I came to a realization that unless I was super wealth I wouldn’t be able to see it all, at least not in one trip. But that was fine with me, because I knew I didn’t have to see it all to be totally stoked on the adventure I had before me. This helped me to realize, that
“Although we can’t buy it all, we can still have a ball’ – Jaryd Krause
Just making the most of my time in the Philippines, with these bundles of joy
Even if could buy as many plane tickets as I wanted, I still wouldn’t be happy even if I could visit every destination in the world. It’s not about what we buy like fancy shoes, clothes, house-hold accessories, cars, bikes and also travel. Because sure, all these things, just like travel can ‘help’ us to become happy, but to really be happy we need to create our own happiness.
To do this we need to go out and seek amazing opportunities and create everlasting memories with either our new found travel buddies or our best buddies from high school.
“You can have all the money to buy all the toys in the world, but the only thing you need to create those unforgettable moments of happiness is you, so stop buying and start creating” – Jaryd Krause