I’m a travelholic. I’ve told myself that every few years I would invest my time and money into some sort of big trip and fly somewhere where I don’t speak the native language (and if I don’t recognize the characters of their alphabet, even better).
This year I decided to journey to Indonesia. My trip was perfectly in-line with my mission for 2013: Balance. Epic sunrise volcano climbs, afternoons of surfing and monkey bite shenanigans juxtaposed with guru-guided yoga sessions and crystal-clear open water swims were the perfect recipe for mental rejuvenation. Another fascinating trip to a third-world country put my senses into overdrive and brought me back to the U.S. with the realization that as different as our worlds may seem, we are really all the same. Regardless of culture, we all have dreams for a better life for ourselves and our children.
Traveling emphasizes what’s really important and I definitely got my dose of perspective (something I think everyone seems to slowly lose without realization. Hell, I’m guilty). I returned to the Western world thinking about how much we have and how much we take for granted. Too many of us are so enthralled in things we want and lose sight of what we already have. We have forgotten to keep it simple and we have mastered the art of over-complicating. We have forgotten how to slow down, take a breather and enjoy the things and people that are important to us as individuals. I had a lot of time on planes to reflect not only on the differences in lifestyle of the people and places I visited, but on the things that matter to me most. Simply put, I am grateful. Grateful for my health, my freedom, my successes, the dreams I have managed to turn into realities at the ripe age of 26 and, above all, I am grateful for my friends and family. I am reminded that I worry too much about things that don’t matter. Reminded that being a good person has its rewards. Sometimes they are small rewards, but it’s often the little things that can make all the difference. So when you feel like being an asshole, don’t be. Stay grounded. It’ll payoff.
With that said, take a minute to think about what matters most to you. If it’s a person, tell them. If it’s an action, indulge in it. Relax, enjoy and remain grateful for everything and anxious for nothing.
Oh, and did I mention I got bit by a wild monkey? I leave you with a few Indo-stills: