I am super excited! I will be moving to a city I have dreamed of living in. I fell in love with the city, vibe, and met amazing people, with such diversity.
In life, people often think that what is in front of them and the ideas fed into their minds from society, is all there is. In essence, it is difficult to go astray from status quo. After all, that is comfort for most people. I think that life is more than a set of 1. do this at this age, 2. now this, 3. you better be doing this now! Before you know it, you will be reaching retirement with years of “what-ifs” and “dreams on hold.” Many people, unfortunately, do not even live to see retirement. Today is a blessing, and tomorrow is a gift. Life is not guaranteed for anyone, and being in healthcare, I know for a fact how precious health is. Health, for me, is wealth. I do not chase after money. Instead, I care to pursue adventures and new experiences. It is an honor to be part of the profession I am, as I have the privilege of caring for other human beings, at some of the most vulnerable times. How I will miss taking care of my patients for the next couple months, but I know the value of time and health. Therefore, I have decided to make some major life changes that involve moving to a place I see myself thriving in. I have lessons from traveling to thank for giving me the courage to take such steps in life. Here are some of the lessons I have learned from traveling:
- Be flexible. Sleeping in dorms and learning to navigate new cities and towns by oneself really makes you street smart and flexible. Plans go wrong all the time. That is part of the journey.
- Be willing to rough it out. Growing up, I did not live in some fancy house, so when I stay in hostels, I am more than happy with the accommodations. In fact, fancy hotels get boring after a while. I have stayed in my share of resorts too! Hostels are cheaper and a brewing ground for socializing and meeting people from all over the world. Experiences are worth more than wall decorations.
- Don’t be afraid to be assertive and stand up for yourself. When you are traveling alone, you learn to be extra cautious. At the same time, don’t miss out on getting to know strangers. I have met amazing people at hostels and air bnbs who became good friends, and we would go travel and explore the city together! Therefore, one is never truly alone for too long when traveling. Hiking through mountains in Chinque Terre Italia with buddies from the hostel, to exploring Mexico City Frieda Kahlo’s home/museum with another solo traveler. Going on houseboat tours in backwaters of Kerala with group from the hostel to dining with international and local travelers on rooftop of a house in Banaras. Having an intellectual conversation about global policies and education with a fellow traveler in Zagorolo, Italia, to meeting a mother-daughter team in Geneva, who was about to embark on a religious pilgrimage. I have met families with toddlers, to older people, to people my age, to younger fresh out of high school crowd. Backpacking is not just a “gap year 20 something” thing. I know from experience how it can be for anyone who is willing to be flexible and have an open-mind while sharing a passion for getting to know our planet Earth’s diverse roots and branches for what they are!