1) Only travel the world if you are prepared to discover uncharted territories of other countries as well as within yourself.Chances are that wherever you are going, millions of people have already been. When I left for Thailand I thought that I was going to be a modern Columbus, Sir Francis Drake, or even Colonel Kurtz (minus the colonialism, the imperialism, and “the horror” ) and would be a solo intrepid earthly navigator. Come to find out that I was quite wrong. Wherever we travel in this world, there have been scores of other travelers there before us, not to mention those actually from there. I thought I would be the first outsider sharing my story, but instead many had stood where I was before me, sharing their own stories as well. At first this bummed me out, thinking that a fair amount of the individuality and uniqueness of my experience would suffer but when I revisited the idea I found out what I was worried about as a negative turned into a humble positive. I came to discover that the story of traveling isn’t a selfish one that is for me alone, it wasn’t an experience that I should be able to look at by saying “I did this first” or “I traveled the longest”, (although you’ll meet more people like that than I care to mention) but instead traveling—and living for that matter— is a shared experience for everyone who roamed there before and since. The streets, trails, beaches, hostels, bust stations and airports turned into some sort of an heirloom passed down from generations of travelers. The entire experience changed from a stale, solitary experience into a something like an old pocket knife from a grandfather.
2) Learning to mime is probably more important than all out learning to speak the language.In a world of 7 billion people, we have just over 6,000 widely used languages. Only a handful of people (pun intended) know how to speak an accredited sign language, yet I am convinced that there is an untaught natural consciousness that we are all innately familiar with. I have had many a scattered conversation about everything from food and friends to religion and politics all with only waving my hands and awkwardly moving my body, and not only have I gotten the point across quickly and effectively, both parties had a great laugh at my expense.
3) Only leave the material comforts that you are surrounded by if you are willing to come back and understand how unimportant they truly are.Deliberately pack your bags light so that you are slightly underprepared. Then realize how little you need how little they actually mattered in the first place. Downsizing in material things can be truly liberating.
As the great Tyler Durden says what you own ends up owning you. True indeed, Tyler.