Being disconnected from the reality we knew a year ago, away from family and friends and living out of a bag has taught us a lot about life and ourselves. Here are few lessons we thought were worth sharing.
LOCAVORista wrote a list, so I’ll follow suit. Here are the things I learned over the last year.
- I love Asia. The culture, food and history make this the world’s best continent, 2/3 of all humans have it right.
- Public works, especially infrastructure, is essential to building a society. You have to pay taxes, but clean water, passable roads and breathable air are worth so much more.
- Hot is worse than cold. Growing up in Minnesota I always thought the tropics were a great idea, but you can always put on another layer when it’s cold, there are only so many layers you can take off.
- Stability is nice. We knew it was something we gave up to do this, but it’s so much easier knowing what and where you’ll be next week than not.
- My wife is driven by emotions. When you have 15 minutes to get to a train station this is not a beneficial quality.
- The world is pretty safe; almost everywhere is safer than the USA when it comes to physical violence.
- There is no way to explain where we’ve been, what we’ve done and where we’re going. I don’t have the words or skills to be able to really do it justice.
- Downtime is life changing. Having time with nothing to do and nothing needed to be done gives one a lot of time to ponder themselves and their future in a way that just isn’t possible while in “real life” with work, social and household demands.
Twelve countries, twelve months and many more than 12,000 miles later I look back on a few lessons I learned from a year on the road.
- There are thousands of ways to say thank you and the more of them you know the more grateful you become. This trip has opened my eyes to how incredibly blessed I am and how lucky I am to have this experience.
- Gore-tex is the most amazing fabric ever invented; proven by my durability tests in the muddy rice terraces of Sapa, Vietnam and the cold winds at Mt. Everest base camp in Tibet.
- If life gives you lemons (or limes) make lemonade, you’ll be surprised at how refreshingly delicious it is.
- China probably won’t take over the world, but if they do it wouldn’t be as bad as I thought
- The friendliest people in the world live in Myanmar
- There are more colors in the rainbow then I could have ever imagined and you’ll find them all in a Philippine sunset
- The world is not as dangerous as it seems from the five o’clock news, thank goodness… In fact even when walking alone at night as a blonde woman in Asia I feel safter than I would in most U.S. cities.
- You would be amazed by how much you can learn from someone even if you don’t share a common language
- Carrying everything, all your valuables on your back puts life in perspective, so does all that travel time with nothing to do but think.
- Pig’s foot is one of the most vile dishes ever created
- Sometimes you just have to laugh, because it’s funny…really, really funny.
- You can’t claim to know someone until you have spent an entire year together non-stop, the little things you become aware of are priceless.