Collected thoughts about how much travel has changed me. I hope it makes a coherent story.
Fragments of our old life in Amsterdam were flashing by as we sat in a tram, on our way to a late breakfast with a friend. Raindrops on the window, slowly spiraling down. How much have we changed? How different are we compared to 5 years ago? With Amsterdam floating by, I realized just how much this past year has shaped me. People told me our trip would be life changing beforehand. But I have to see and feel to believe. And I believe.
In the tram I made a list to describe how I was feeling at the moment. Growing up. Changed perspective. Mature. Confident. Open minded. Loving. Caring. Compassionate. Open armed. Free. Understanding.
On the road we talked a lot about how this trip might affect the rest of our lives. We talked a lot. But we never ever thought it would be like this. I was surprised when I realized just how much I have changed, we have changed, us has changed. You see, I believe people can change. If you want to, you can. But it’s not going to be easy and it’s not going to be pretty. But you can. And you’ll be proud of yourself.
I let go of almost all of my fears.
I have learned to go with the flow, roll with the punches. I have learned to let go. I feel confident. I have found my limits, broken through them and imposed new limits on myself only to shatter them as well. I have learned to love, with all my heart. I learned to smile. Smile as wide as I can. Smile because I’m alive. Smile.
Do things that make you happy. You only live once (yes, I went there). Cliché’s are often true. You will never get today back. Today is your day to shine. And so is tomorrow. Learning to embrace this is the most valuable thing you will ever learn. If you live each day exactly the way you want to, you will be grateful to yourself when all is done and said.
Embrace what you have, but learn to let go. Your body is your own. Treat it well, it needs love to be at its best. Learn to let go of all the clutter in your life. Learn to let go of resentment, regret and hate.
When you’re traveling, the traveling itself becomes everyday life. I didn’t walk around exclaiming ‘oh my god, I’m traveling the world, it’s so awesome’ all the time. It’s just how it was. When it’s your everyday life, it loses most of its ‘oh my god’- factor. Now I’ve had some time to process it all. Looking out of the tram window it finally hit me: ‘Oh my god, we’ve traveled the world for a year and it was awesome’.
There’s this restaurant. When I lived in Amsterdam, I passed by every day and I never understood its name. Somehow I always thought it was a made up word. We passed by it again in the tram and for the first time I understood its name. It was ‘hello’ in Thai. Simple things like this make me want to travel more. I want to learn more of the world around me, I want to learn about the simple things and the deep insights. About myself and about the world. I want to experience. I want to eat sushi in Japan, speak Spanish (and eat tortillas) in Mexico, climb mountains in Nepal and swim with whales. I did find out I really need a place to feel at home, a place where I have some roots and where I can hide when the world overwhelms me. A place that is mine and ours.
I believe that everything that happens, just happens. There is no regret, just lessons.
It’s not just travel that changes you, it’s everything. You’re always changing.
Please share your thoughts, I would love to know what you think!