Existential Lessons Learned While Traveling
There are countless "_(#)_ Things I Learned While Traveling" posts already in existence (and for good reason, I mean, you DO learn A TON while traveling). In an effort to avoid "that" post while still allowing myself the ability to regurgitate some of the most valuable lessons I've come across, I thought I would stick with the magic number three and attempt to make my list of things learned--or in some cases simply just confirmed--a little bit more "existential," if you will.
1. Normal is an incredibly relative statement. At work in Los Angeles, it was "normal" to hear a 10-minute temper tantrum thrown about how long it would take to get a car detailed. Here in Thailand, waking up to a cockroach scurrying across my bedroom floor has become surprisingly non-alarming. It's kind of fun actually, finding out what the "new normal" will be, everywhere I go. And more importantly, it's allowed me to broaden my perspective about the world prematurely (prior to experiencing said new normals), and cease to pass judgement on foreign things I don't understand. Because you never know; today's "what the f**k" judgement could be tomorrow's greatest comfort.
2. This might be the most existential lesson of the three I'm choosing to list, and I came to this realization when I got tired of trying to categorize the (literally) thousands of people I was meeting on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. What I have learned is this: Everyone just "is." We all just "are," trying to find happiness and figure out the meaning of life and what we are doing here. Some people "are" choosing to "be" in a more difficult way than others, while some people have figured out that existing here on Earth in this lifetime doesn't have to be a constant battle. Myself along with everyone else on the planet has fallen into the trap of categorizing those around us. "He's too angry." "She's too self-absorbed." "Why is everyone around here so dumb and unenlightened?" We've all said these things, ironically reducing our frequency to the same frequency we are accusing others of functioning at in the process. When we stop judgement and cease the compartmentalizing those around us and instead choose them to see them as fellow humans, filled with the same longing and potential as ourselves, compassion becomes the default and we find that our "is" just got a whole lot easier.
3. Cool shit doesn't just happen to people and luck isn't really a thing either. You know all those people you see who have awesome lives because they are doing all the cool stuff everyone else only talks and dreams about? Before you fall down the toxic rabbit hole of critical envy towards these people, remember that that person--whoever they are--wasn't just sitting on the couch one day when a lamp with a magic genie fell into their lap and transported them on a magic carpet across the globe with an unlimited credit card and pre-planned itinerary. Really. All the people you know doing cool shit have spent years putting plans in motion to bring said cool shit to fruition.
So there they are. The three most valuable things I've learned while traveling so far and felt like sharing. More to come.