The world isn’t starving. You are.
Experience is life’s greatest teacher. Immersion in the unknown, the unexpected, and absolutely frightening can be a life altering experience.
I found myself, when I set off on a quest to experience the extraordinary through traveling solo. I discovered myself, my uniqueness, my fearlessness, my independence- those characteristics I love about myself the most.
I also began to see the world through different eyes. I came to understand that there is nothing wrong with the world, and that we don’t need to fix it. There is something wrong however, with people who see something wrong with the world. So rather than fix it, I began enjoying all that the world has to offer.
In my travels through India, Cambodia, Thailand, and Africa, I encountered what looked like extreme poverty. The more I immersed myself, and allowed myself to experience people and children up close, I realized that they are not poor at all, in fact, they do not see themselves as poor. They don’t even understand the meaning of the word.
We judge their condition by our own standards, and assume that what is necessary for us, is also what is missing from their lives. But, most of the countries I mentioned have never had clean water, nor what meets our health codes. Most villagers have never had electricity, running water, nor air conditioning, nor do they care if they have them. Most of their children, despite a lack of school supplies, are bright, aware, informed, ambitious, responsible, accountable, and well behaved.
So rather than set out to change the world and improve it in our own image, perhaps what we need to do is get out there to change ourselves. If there is something missing, it is within us, if there is something wrong, that is within us too.
Seeing the world as oppressed, hungry, in need of repair is a sign that in some way, those conditions reflect our inner being. So, please don’t land in a foreign country with a mission to teach them, improve them, or fix them. Arrive with your heart and mind open, and allow yourself to be taught, improved and repaired.
Beautifully written! I couldn’t agree more. I always try to remember I’m the tourist in a foreign land. Instead of trying to impose my thoughts and beliefs, I’m quiet, I’m open, and I listen. Then, I leave changed. And better for it!
Thank you so much La Vida Sunshine, my first re-blog. xoxo
Reblogged this on La Vida Sunshine and commented:
A beautifully written article on traveling and letting it change us.