And before I knew it 50 days were up and it was time to come home. Despite living out of suitcases and going through the rather tiresome airport security drill every few days in the US- 12 times on my trip, I had a wonderful time. I spent time with family and old friends, did things outside my comfort zone, ate all sorts of food, walked miles every day that culminated in 10 days of restorative yoga sessions and did not even catch a cold or have a stomach upset.
I have travelled with my kids, I have travelled with my parents, I have travelled with my husband, I have travelled alone- travel has been a great teacher. Here are the five important lessons I have learnt from travel:
Patience- the endless waits at airport lounges, flight delays, and constant frisking at airports have taught me the virtue of patience and that things are always not in my control and that I can live with that.
Appreciation of history, natural beauty, other cultures and lifestyles- when I go to Bali and see the way the Balinese practice Hinduism, I am amazed and appreciative at the same time; when I go to Scotland or New Zealand, I can appreciate the natural beauty of the world we live in and how we can keep it unsullied; when I go to Venice and Istanbul, I can appreciate history and what human kind has had to go through to reach where we are today; I can appreciate the lessons we have learned and some that we haven’t learned despite all that has happened in this world.
Independence- I have travelled alone many times and have learnt to be independent- learnt to pack light so I don’t have to wait for anyone to carry my bags, learnt to be safe and look out for myself (though I have been occasionally swindled and cheated, which taught me to be more careful the next time)
Acceptance- of life styles far different from your own, of things that you can’t change; Acceptance of what you consider are peculiar quirks and funny habits; finding something that works for you- for example, I have managed to survive as a vegetarian from Bali to California to Istanbul and it wasn’t such a bad thing!
The final lesson I have learnt from travel is that the journey is as important as the destination- you have to savour everything along the way as much, if not more than your intended destination. The destination becomes unimportant- the experience is what counts.