1.) Be open and kind always to strangers in your path. Never underestimate the impact opening up to the person next to you can have on your life. Even someone next to you in the airport, on the train or on the bus whom you know you will be next to for only a short stint. We have becomed so closed off, barely ever glancing up from our phones or taking our headphones out and avoid all contact with those around us in the moment while en route. I have been amazed by what you can learn about someone’s journey in life and inspiration gained by some of the shortest encounters I have had in the most random of places. Some people you are meant to learn from, if only for a moment. Be open and kind always because everyone truly is fighting their own battle.
2.) Make time for rest and take this time seriously. Some people when traveling feel like they constantly have to go, go, go and make every second exciting. Most of these people are those who only have a few weeks off work and have planned their vacay a year ahead of time. I feel for them, but still, chill out, yo! This is a surefire way to burn out fast and enjoy your time away less. Traveling is draining unless you take time to relax and recharge. Sleep in and spend time alone in reflection without feeling guilty.
3.) Be yourself. I meet a lot of other people of all ages abroad also traveling alone. The most beautiful thing they all have in common is that they have been cut off from all the things that molded them into something that is not their true selves such as society and family status or even the position they held within their group of friends. On the road, you come as you are. You are free to just be. It is amazing to meet all these beautiful, courageous souls who are venturing away from things that tied their spirits down. For me, this one lesson alone is one of the hardest to keep going when returning home. To remember that what we truly are has nothing to do with where we are from or the stories people think about us.
4.) Be adventurous. In the words of a friend I met living in the jungle of Costa Rica from Prague recently told me, “There is little on this earth that can truly hurt humans. Most everything is on our side and not out to do us harm.” This was in reference to wild animals while I lived in a tent in the jungle, but also applies to many things people fear. When you face your fears, you realize the one thing to really fear is fear itself and the power you give it. Be brave, be bold. Live more, fear less.
5.) There is beauty in the little things. A flower in Paris is just as perfect as a flower at the grocery store down the street. The meaning we give things is what makes them less or more special for us, not the object itself so take it all in. Every second you are here to breathe and smell and touch and taste. It is all a magnificent gift and a miracle! Take nothing for granted.
6.) Be still more.
7.) You don’t need a lot of material possessions to be happy. Just the truly basic stuff, and sometimes in Barcelona I didn’t even have that (i.e. shoes while camping on the beach for example…) Life as a flight attendant has opened my eyes to the fact that living out of a suit case is not only completely doable, but freeing too. When options are taken away, you don’t think about what else there is. Thinking that we need all this stuff is a lie society wants us to believe. The more I simplify at home now as well, the better I feel. The more free I feel. I am a firm believer now that clutter around you directly effects the clutter in your thoughts.
8.) Experiences are far more valuable than anything money can buy. The memories I will have for the rest of my life I would never trade for a new car or Gucci purse. Sounds silly even writing that out but so many people chose STUFF over travel. Yes, there ARE “sacrifices” to make when it comes to worldly possessions but I know for a fact that walking the streets of Rome is far better for your soul than any fancy, schmancy pair of Italian heels (or whatever other extra stuff it is that you spend your money on.) I have met one flight attendant in particular who is AMAZING at saving money for travel. He is extremely inspiring and gets this lesson more than I probably ever will. He wore his shoes until there was a hole in the bottom but let me tell you, those shoes took him literally across the globle.
9.) Nature is the best teacher. It teaches you so much like how small and insignificant you are in the big scheme of things. It teaches you to stay humble and in awe and keep your eyes open and to breathe deep and so, so many other things… it truly is the best teacher. Get outside and go see new sights you have only ever seen on TV. 10.) There is always more beautiful places to see. Keep exploring. Always stay curious. Never let your heart shut down or close up. Keep it open at all times to the epic adventure right around the corner.