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Take That Trip Into The Real World - growth comes from experience.


So much of our choices these days are loaded with judgements. Environmental judgement being the biggest. Will I be judged less if I make this choice or that one? People especially the younger generation are paralysed by this interface that’s been created through mostly mainstream and social media.



I spent much of my younger years living in foreign countries. I was working but I was also travelling within these countries and I would travel to other countries from this country.



I was recently complimented on my “knowledge” of the world at a dinner party. Actually someone said it to my partner when I had popped to the ladies. We were in Belize under a canopy of trees, on a warm balmy evening, barefoot and sand between my toes. The people I shared this dinner table with were a Dutch couple, an American couple, my partner who is Cornish and our Italian hosts. Our conversation took us from where we all live, skirting worldwide politics but always coming back to travelling and experiencing somewhere new and sharing these experiences - the highs the lows and the enchanting in-between. Train rides across the Siberian icelands, volcanic eruptions in Gautamala, the entanglement of wildlife and cultural humanity across differing landscapes.


 

The experiences I have had travelling are without a doubt what has shaped me and my knowledge of the world. I never went to university, I was travelling and in this I was learning first-hand about what is really going on with the changes to both the natural world and the imprint humanity has on this landscape.


No amount of reading, movies or social media can inform one of the truth in this experience. I learnt to find my own truth in amongst these experiences. I formulated my own value system, the borders of my integrity, overcame some fears to have new ones creep in and mostly see and understand the people and the land on which their heritage and song lines thread through.


Mandela shared in a speech he made about speaking to people in their own languages speaks to the heart of that person but this also rings true that if you have travelled to somewhere and then meet someone who's native country that is it connects you to that person and vice versa. It transcends the lines of unfamiliarity and now a common ground is found. This is not the same experience one gets from watching tv or reading a book. Its a live wire to their heart.



Travelling I feel should be encouraged and I am certainly not advocating that going on a package holiday to somewhere for a week to never set foot out the resort designed entirely to all the creature comfort needs of a specific nation but I do feel going away on an adventure changes us.

Don’t plan everything before you have gotten there. Allow for the serendipitous to occur, follow your gut, make that wrong turn that Google maps tries to redirect you to its suggested way. Step out of your comfort zone and talk to the locals, make conversation with them, ask them about their lives, what their passions are, why do they work in the areas they do, thank them for their service and above all listen to their stories. There is so much to learn just by listening. And many just want to have a voice that is heard. And try not to judge if they do not know something about your country or even ask where you are from for millions of people, travelling is a luxury and definitely a privilege to experience. Millions of people never get the opportunity to leave their home town even if they wanted to.




So to all those that have the means to travel and I mean really travel, get out of  the headspace of I’ll do it when I’m older. I have seen what age and complacency does to humanity. Seeing a country from a cruise ship isn’t travelling, its the glass bubble looking into a snapshot of a culture.



So yes travelling does have a carbon footprint but I believe this has to be offset by the real grittiness of being out of one’s comfort zone, learning to communicate in foreign languages and find one’s way through the unfamiliar landscape.



Let go and enjoy the ride for it will have its plus’s and its minus’s but without a doubt it will shape you and connect you to the world.


Many thanks to all the beautiful people I met travelling in Belize. To the Mayans who shared their knowledge of their ancient history, the lovely hosts of the places we stayed in, the many diverse travellers we met and the local people who shared their passion for protecting the wildlife, jungles and coral reef reserves that make up their home.




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