In the last few years, I've had the privilege to travel all over the world, spending time in six continents in over twenty countries. I've learned many things through my world travels not only about myself, but also of the world we live in.
Through my world travels, these are the five things I've learned about the world:
There is beauty in everything.
We live in a big world filled with amazing landscapes, breath-taking monuments, crowded cities, and peaceful paradises. Everywhere from the sleepy beach towns in Nicaragua to the bustling city of Tokyo, there is beauty in everything. You just have to look for it. Whether it's natural or man-made, shiny or dull, large or small, it's all part of our world to enjoy and appreciate. Revel in the beauty of the world, wherever you are, by being grateful for what you are able to see and experience.
We all have a responsibility for our environment.
This world is not ours alone. It belongs to our kids and their kids and the generations after that. It's our responsibility to take care of the beautiful world that we have by caring for the environment. We all have a stake in this world and should do everything we can to help reduce, reuse, and recycle. You can start with simple things like trash separation and using a reusable shopping bag when buying groceries. You can also compost your trash, bike to work, or drive an electric car. Your actions will be examples for your kids, relatives, neighbors, and friends, so that they can also change their behavior towards the environment.
People are innately good and kind.
We were born to be good. When you travel, you get to experience the goodness of people everywhere in the world, whether it's the lady at the German bakery who gives out a free bread sample to keep your kids happy, or the Spanish teacher who adores your kids at school, or the Asian flight attendant who takes extra care to make your family comfortable on the airplane. A smile, friendly comment, nice gesture, and a helping hand go a long way to supporting other people, even if they are perfect strangers. Wherever you go, no matter what culture of language, there will always be people around to help you. You just have to be open and receptive to their kindness.
Relationships aren't easy, but they're necessary.
You cannot live in isolation or on a deserted island. We were made for one another to help one another. So like it or not, you need to constantly be working on relationships whether they be with your spouse, kids, parents, friends, co-workers, boss, etc. Wherever you travel in the world, you'll find people living with one another, whether it be in close proximity or long distances, there are always communities of people. We need each other for comfort, support, and guidance. Relationships are complicated, but we need them to feel whole and part of something bigger than ourselves.
There isn't one right way of life.
People from different backgrounds and cultures have different beliefs and value systems. For example, Buddhism is mainly practiced in the East and Christianity is mainly practiced in the West. Everyone has their own way of living and as long as it's not harmful and inhumane, we need to accept and appreciate those different lifestyles. It's the differences that make us interesting. Tolerance, empathy, and love are what's needed to live in harmony with one another, despite any differences we may have.
Originally appeared on LiveFamilyTravel.com. Images courtesy of author.
Cliff Hsia is a father who is determined to live a better than normal life by traveling the world, slowly and purposefully, with his wife and two young daughters. He's currently on a gap year of world travel with his family. He writes about travel, family, love, happiness, faith, and everything else that life throws at him.
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