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30 Things Traveling Has Taught Me About Life as I Turn 30

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Having had the opportunity to visit 65 countries in the past eight years, I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to travel so much. The people in each place have taught me so much about love, happiness, generosity and life.

As I turned 30 this summer, I wrote this list of 30 things I've learned about life as a traveler.

  1. We're all the same on the inside, and we all want the same things. Resist the urge to judge a book by its cover.
  2. Travel is the only thing that costs money but makes you richer. Buying experiences is better than buying stuff.
  3. Children are the best teachers if we'd just listen and recognize their wisdom.
  4. Happiness is unique to all of us, but it still comes down to making the decision to be happy.
  5. There is no such thing as winning and losing, only your attitude and what you learn.
  6. If you want to change the world, then change your community
  7. You really are what you eat. Eating chemical-filled, preservative-laden garbage probably isn't a good idea.
  8. Life isn't fair... for anyone... so get over it. Don't go through life as a victim, and be happy with what you've been blessed with. Acceptance is the key to happiness.
  9. The world is spiritually bankrupt.
  10. The collective attention span has never been shorter, yet there have never been so many important things that need to be paid attention to. Apathy reaps what it sows.
  11. The media is biased -- everywhere. Everyone is biased too. The truth can be hard to uncover so battles should be picked wisely.
  12. Family is everything... and my parents seem to get smarter each year I get older.
  13. There are always people who are faster, smarter, taller, thinner, etc. than you, but only you are you so embrace yourself and stop comparing yourself to everyone else.
  14. If you are miserable at work, it's your fault. Find your passions, grab life by the horns, break some paradigms and take the plunge. Excuses guarantee continued misery.
  15. The mind plays a bigger role in our health than is acknowledged in Western medicine. A pill can't solve everything, and modern society is quite disconnected internally now. We've "outsourced" too much of our health to doctors.
  16. Question everything, trust everyone, and listen to your gut.
  17. War solves nothing and is the tool of cowards and profiteers.
  18. People are good. Our leaders and systems are bad and they probably always will be since they appeal to the worst in us.
  19. Time flies. Make the most of each day and live like tomorrow will be your last. If you are bored you're not living correctly.
  20. Happiness is everyone's goal yet most people search for it in all the wrong places. You can only find it inside...
  21. Traditional music all around the world touches the heart and soul. Lady Gaga and Akon don't, though everyone could use a little Bob Marley in their lives.
  22. Complaining is easy. Coming up with solutions and fixing things is hard.
  23. Comfort zones are made to be broken... no, shattered.
  24. The voiceless people of the world have the most important things to say. Similarly, Mother Nature has a voice and it's screaming at us but over centuries of moving to the cities we've lost our connection to her and our ability to listen to her.
  25. Crazy people think out loud. Sane people think out loud but close their mouths. Both are guided by the voice inside their heads. Meditation gets control over the annoying voice within so you can live from your heart.
  26. People in the developing world have financial poverty. People in the developed world have mental poverty.
  27. You may get taken advantage of by living a life serving others, but you'll get taken advantage of if you live a life only serving yourself too. Better to create some positivity along the way.
  28. Freedom is the absence of fear.
  29. Greed is bankrupting. There's plenty to go around. Scarcity exists because some take more than they need.
  30. There is no past. There is no future. There is only the present moment -- now. Start living for now instead of yesterday or tomorrow.