How Travelling Changed the Way I Saw The World

I was raised to be career-driven. I came from a family that believed financial success equated to a successful life. My mother worked two jobs while completing her graduate degree, and my father fought his way up to the top of the corporate ladder for thirty years. Failure was not an option in our household. So you can imagine that my decision to quit my job at twenty-five to pursue a nomadic lifestyle put a wrench in my family’s plans. Being on the road for the last six months has shown me more lessons, more hardships, and more joy than my career ever did. With that being said, I have gathered a few pieces of advice that have stuck with me and have helped shape the person I have become.

1. Spend less time focusing on what you don’t have, and be grateful for what you do have.

You know that expression, “someone out there has it worse than you do”? Well, it’s true. In our Western bubble, we tend to get caught up in our “first world problems” and the latest Apple product. Will we ever be content if we continue on this path? Probably not. Sometimes the people that have the least, gain the most happiness out of life.

2. Life waits for no one.

Do you regret not taking that week vacation to go visit your family upstate? Do it now. Thinking about hopping on a train to a new destination? Go for it. Still wondering if you have a shot with the girl you met downtown last week? Call her. You don’t know when these opportunities will strike again, and you’ll only regret the chances you don’t take. Hindsight is 20/20.

3. Shit happens.

I know Forrest Gump covered this one already but stay with me on this. You may miss that flight, you may completely screw up a business proposal, you may put your foot in your mouth fifteen times at your girlfriend’s family dinner. It happens. And you know what? Life goes on. So should you.

4. Happiness is not a thing. It is not a person. It is a state of mind.

The point is, you have to get to happiness yourself. No person or new city or piece of technology is going to give you put you in a permanent nirvana. Be grateful. Consider what you have. Become more positive towards yourself and the world. It will benefit you with a healthier, happier life in the long run.

5. Be kind.

I know we can get so caught up in our own lives, but the world is a much better place when we treat each other with kindness. It opens up new doors that you never knew existed and changes your outlook on how you see those around you. There is no harm in offering a stranger a smile or a hand.

6. There is more to life than money.

I get it (trust me), money may be your goal but do not make it your purpose. Satisfaction doesn’t come in the form of a cheque with multiple zeros (but maybe momentarily). You are more than the number that is in your bank account. You have more to offer this world and the world has more to offer you.

I’m no life-advice expert, but I have noticed a difference in the quality of my life. You don’t have to quit your job and start a new life like I did; sometimes, all it takes is changing your daily routine. Open your eyes to see that everyone is going through their own struggles, and I swear this world will never look the same as it did before.

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