27 years old, 15 countries, 8000+ miles, 11 times circled the globe, 700+ hours, 23 mountains hiked, 9 different time zones..and the list goes on!!
Jet lag — That’s the 2nd most common word in my life.
Over the years I have been traveling to different countries on business or tourist/pleasure while sometimes just to escape the reality and find my focus.
While some people think travel is to : pack all the essentials, just hop on the plane, put your phone in the airplane mode, take that cozy blanket, put on your favorite movie and enjoy glass of fine vintage Château Côte de Baleau Grand Cru.
For me, travel= magic. So quick summary of the things I learnt from my travels :
1.You meet interesting and unforgettable people :
Once I was flying from Munich to New York, and met a very interesting student. She was quite intrigued by the book (Murder on the Orient Express) I was reading. I asked her name and then she introduced herself. As we continued to talk for the next few hours, she told me about her life, how she left everyone to pursue her dreams and how she is working as a part time bartender to make sure she pays her bills and completes her education. While I could see some hesitation in her voice, I was also impressed by her determination to be better in the life.
Life is not “bed of roses”, but how many do you think are determined to make it better every day?
Just 2 months back, I was flying from Shanghai to New York ( business class) and met an investor, must be in her 50’s. While she was happily enjoying her wine, after 50 minutes into the flight, we started talking and that’s when she shared her “grand perspective” towards life and startups. While she had few hiccups as an investor previously and on the personal front due to her marriage yet she never bogged down. I shared few start up ideas, why I thought it can be next the “big thing” and to what level it can succeed or fail. She asked me to send her a business plan. Just few days back I sent her the plan with an empty feeling that she must have forgotten me. I have always been a person who cared about time and details, she replied to me after 3 days and I was completely amazed by her detailed feedback. I thanked her later!
2. You find your “why”
There was a point in my life when traveling wasn’t just a hobby but a therapy. I called it my “inflection” point and it helped me in finding my why. I found myself and it made all the difference in my life.
3. Started writing a book
I have always been an avid reader (completed reading my 457th book recently). Having met so many people in my life and been through so many experiences, I started writing a book ( which I’ll publish soon). Experiences ranged from going on date with an absolute stranger — discovering different “kind of personalities” — an emergency landing — hitchhiking in a new country at 3am — — hiking with different group of people — camping with strangers— drinking wine with guys I never met in my whole life — diving 10 m deep in the sea — — ending up getting hitched for fun in a chapel in the Vegas and many more…
4. You feel “unstoppable”
Someone said it right that if you are feeling over confident, hike a mountain because mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence. Till now I have hiked 23 mountains and that created all the difference in my personality. One such place where I exhausted myself was “Pinnacles in Borneo”. Sharp blade like rocks ( pic below) tested everything I had in me. I cried with happiness when I completed the hike after 9 hours of climb and descend. It made me feel “unstoppable”.
5. Humbleness and Grateful
More than 8 billion people on this planet from different countries, religion and cultures. Different cuisines, celebrations and colors, I have experienced it all and I cant be more grateful. I became more open to people’s opinion, appreciate the fact that different people react to the same situation in a different way. In short I became more acceptable to the fact that I can be wrong in someone’s opinion and can be idolized in someone else’s mind. Having met so many people I learnt how to be grounded and be a better listener even when I’m talking. Everyone has a story, perception of reality, opinion, experiences and thoughts. There is no right or wrong opinion.
6. Get out of your comfort zone and try new things
Travel allows you to experience living in conditions that you never thought you could survive. But you will. Only when you step out of your comfort zone, then can you really push yourself to your limits and discover what you can achieve. Now whenever I feel I cannot do something, I replay those moments when a task/situation seemed utterly difficult and the way I accomplished it.
“Your strength lies in all those things you completed which once deemed impossible”
7. Finding the way on your own after getting lost.
Ever got lost? No phone, no maps, language barrier, no one to help? Take a deep breath and look around. What do you feel? I felt like wandering on my own.
There is nothing like being lost in Rome where every street corner has another spectacular sculpture; or being lost in Brussels where every neighborhood has a cluster of bistros or bakeries.
By the end of the day, I explored more than I planned. Some one said it right :
“Not All Who Wander Are Lost”
8. Knowledge and fearless mindset
I faced language barrier many times especially when I was in China and Korea. So I learnt Mandarin and Korean. Life is full of adversities and I’m not new to such situations. Bus broke down? Train delayed? Road block? Severe food poisoning? Lost your way? It’s okay, slow down and find an alternative way out.
Many times I asked myself “What’s the worst that could happen?” and that’show I developed a “fearless mindset”.
9. Living the moments
This one is my favourite. I was just out of my cocoon and in Singapore. Like any amateur traveler I was clicking the beauty Singapore has to offer. A European guy was watching me. He came to me and said something I’ll always remember. He said “ Sometimes we are so engrossed in capturing/clicking things that we forget to live the moments and beauty the place has to offer”. He was right! From that time on, I started living in the moments and in my perspective it’s beautiful!
“An amateur traveller tries to capture everything amazing in his/her camera whereas a mature traveller live those amazing things and moments”
Oh did I forget to tell you about the spectacular vast and infinite “ Sky views”?
( Pics I clicked)
Why I wrote this post? Some day I’ll be 80 years old and still be traveling. When I’ll look back, I will read this post again and say to myself “The journey is more beautiful than the destination” and I lived every moment of it.
**** This is my first post, apologies if you find any error/mistake. And, if you like it and want me to write more posts, please don’t forget to “like & comment” because your appreciation would motivate me***** 🙂
Keep traveling !!!
Love Naina 🙂
Disclaimer: *Contents of this story is Authors personal views and presentation.
**Photos from google
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