Global Travel – Learn from others, but do not compare your experiences before they happen
Each moment you have will only happen once – Life happens once.
Traveling is not about the photos at the end of a trip. Traveling is about the preparation, the build-up, the excitement, the learning, and the small interactions with like-minded people.
Little moments are the very foundation to what we call life. The more of these encounters, these highlights, these positive experiences we can encounter the more fulfilled your life will be. There is a distinct difference between those who have a fulfilling life and those who are empty. That difference is effort. Effort is the very seed for self-actualization and it is the ‘how’ to live a fulfilling life.
Growing up and even evolving as adults, we are constantly comparing ourselves to an ever changing collection of people who have unequal denominators (upbringings and backgrounds). We set ourselves up for disappointment and failure by comparing each other’s current states of wellbeing and perceived levels of success. If we do not feel like we have achieved more than this individual we feel as if we are a failure. We take it out on ourselves and that very individual, that we are unfairly comparing ourselves to. Resentment is a byproduct of this self-defeating ritual of comparison. Resentment typically leads to your inaction, supported by excuses. Recognize that without action you will believe your own excuses.
Stop comparing and learn from others. Learn from their successes and their failures and appreciate their effort or understand their lack of effort via direct communication and not distant generalization. These interactions could be your biggest life learnings. It’s a valuable chance to figure out for yourself, how you can balance work and life, how you can travel, and how to live a life full free of resentment. Without effort, I promise you, you will not be fulfilled even if you do end up traveling. Put in the time and hard work no matter what. Do not compare, but rather learn.
I want to finish this short article with an example of how generalizing others experiences can ruin your travel plans. Say your dream trip is Thailand because you want to go:
- Hike in Chiang Mai
- Volunteer/participate at an elephant sanctuary
- Train in Muay Thai
- Do a yoga practice for ‘x’ amount of time
Now I chose some basic, high level examples of goals while traveling.
Then you see an individual you may like or not like post photos or statuses about her/his trip and how it was way too expensive to ride an elephant, the hiking was terrible because of the weather. Now what you are doing here is seeing your goals and dreams of this trip scrutinized. You lose interest and motivation towards this trip. You see all of their photos and everything else looks fun, but what you want to do. If you did your research and found out the appropriate times to go this destination then you would work around the poor weather, and then found out that riding elephants is terrible for the elephant unless it is at a sanctuary without any harnesses. So with your assumptions and lack of knowledge you are more easier swayed. This comparison to this individual who didn’t do their research ruined your mentality towards all of Thailand has to offer. Create your own experiences and learn from others, do not let it create a misguided opinion about travel and or life in general. You will be a happier traveler because of it